Palm oil shortages worsen under military regime

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Nay Pyi Taw, 3 October

Myanmar’s palm oil shortages and long lines to buy oil have been growing in the two and a half years since the coup, according to ISP-Myanmar, a research organization.

According to a data gathered by ISP-Myanmar in September 2023, 56 of 110 townships are facing limited supplies of palm oil, while the remaining 64 townships are lining up to purchase it.

The report states that in almost 40 townships, people are allowed to buy edible palm oil only once a day in a queue, and in eight townships, they are allowed to buy it three times or more.

There are 31 townships that can purchase palm oil on a limited basis, and 36 townships that can purchase as much as needed.

A local resident told Than Lwin Times that palm oil prices have skyrocketed compared to the previous year, and families are struggling to make ends meet.

He added that the military council mainly sells edible palm oil only in the cities, and the local people in the districts and rural areas have to pay a high price to buy it.

According to ISP – Myanmar, those who want to buy palm oil in line in need a letter of consent from the ward governor or a purchase permit card at least 25 townships, and in other townships, they must provide their registration card or household list.

The military council is currently selling palm oil at a price lowered from 4,800 to 5,800 kyats per viss, resulting in long lines to purchase palm oil.

The price of palm oil, which was just over 1,800 kyats per viss on the external market in 2020 , has hit the record high of 16,000 kyats.

Myanmar mostly buys palm oil from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, but during the coup, the military council imposes import restrictions, resulting in palm oil shortages.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-RFA

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