Kenya Oils and Fats Market: Leveraging High Economic Growth
by Kamal Azmi Kamarudin
Kenya is strategically located for investor wanting to access the East and Central African market. Port of Mombasa plays an important connectivity and getaway for transhipment to inland countries where roads and rails connect major cities of Kenya and neighbouring countries. Kenya is a well-established as an importance marketplace for palm oil products. It is a mature market where growth, profit margins and products of existing refineries are relatively stagnant. With the entrant of Golden Africa Kenya Limited (GAKL), a subsidiary of Pacific Inter Link Group (PIL) with production capacity of 700 MT per month, Kenyan oils and fats market is expected to more competitive and challenging. However, there is still a large space for expansion in Kenya’s high growth economic setting. At this moment, per capital consumption of oils and fats for Kenya stands at 10 kg per year which is very low compared to world average of 27 kg. The scope for expansion can be further realised with Kenya rapid economic growth and rising population. Currently, Kenyan Government is encouraging investments in oils and fats industry whether in upstream, midstream and downstream activities. Kenya’s membership in regional trading as such COMESA and the East African Community (EAC) provides potential investors with a large regional market for palm oil based products. In view of this development, Malaysian palm exporters should take this opportunity to develop the market further by increasing exports and/or investment in key strategic area such bulking installation and refining leveraging the high economic its growth and thus further gaining access to a large market under the regional market groupings.
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