Oil expressors allay fears of price increase or shortages

By Owen Mandovha

LOCAL companies have allayed fears of a massive increase in the price of cooking oil, saying they have put in place measures to cushion consumers as global food supply chain disruptions persist.

The disruptions in global food supply chains have also destabilised prices of soya bean and that has been felt on the local market as Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine continues.

Oil Expressors Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) President, Mr Busisa Moyo says any price increase will not hit consumers’ pockets as measures are being implemented to cushion them.

“As Oil Expressors, we are aware of the disruptions that are taking place but it is fortunate that there is the auction system where forex to import the soybean oil is being availed and the central bank will meet our demands even if the prices continue to rise on the global market. However, we don’t anticipate that any potential increase of price will hit hard on consumers because there is capacity to cushion them,” he said.

In view of the eruption of future external shocks, local companies are harnessing soya bean production to cushion the local industry from potential external shocks.

“We have entered into contracts with farmers to grow soya bean and obviously these are measures aimed at ensuring that we self-sufficient in our needs and the onus is to elevate that so that we avoid imports at all costs as any global shock will expose us as a country,” he added.

Meanwhile, the latest update on top 2021 imports by ZIMSTAT show that soya bean oil imports ranked number 3 at US$223 million, with the bill expected to rise this year if local production is not enhanced.