Wilmar Africa shuts down manufacturing plant due to influx of cheap imported cooking oil

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Wilmar Africa Limited, producers of Frytol Vegetable Oil and Fortune Rice, has announced the closure of its manufacturing plant.

In a statement issued, the company disclosed that the oil aspect of the business has been facing challenges due to the importation of cooking oils.

It read “we wish to communicate to your good office, some operational challenges that Wilmar Africa Limited, the oil side of the business is facing that is affecting the business negatively.”

It also attributed its operational challenges to the introduction of the government’s duty discount on Benchmark Value policy.

It indicated that government’s announcement of the reversal of the duty discount on benchmark policy was a welcoming news; however, government has suspended action.

“Firstly, since the introduction of the government’s duty discount on benchmark value policy, there has been a huge increase in cheap imported products into the country. This has made it very difficult for us to sell in the local market because imported oils from Asia are selling far cheaper than our product.”

“The unit cost of our oil is high as compared to the imported ones as we have to contend with all the overheads in our cost build up. The government’s announcement of the reversal of the duty discount on benchmark policy was a welcoming news; however, government has suspended action on this announcement,” the statement reads.

The statement also highlighted the porous borders of the country as a factor. According to Wilmar, Ghana’s borders allows infiltration of smuggled oil products.

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“Secondly, Ivory Coast has decided to regulate the price of oil in their market and they have set the price far lower than the prevailing price of local producers like us. Ghana being a close neighbour to Ivory Coast has encouraged smuggling into the country through our porous borders. All these factors are not making us competitive in the market”.

“Therefore, we cannot sell and our oils stock has piled up in the warehouses. Sales have subsequently slumped significantly”, .it added

Wilmar Africa Limited is also “asking for the suspension of the CBA negotiations, as we do not have the environment to negotiate in good faith.”

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