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Pwani Oil Shuts Down Amid Looming Dollar Shortage

Pwani Oil which manufactures Freshfri, Salit and Fry Mate cooking oils attributed the shortage of raw materials to lack of dollars to pay suppliers.

Consumer goods manufacturer Pwani Oil has temporarily halted operations in Kenya die to lack of raw materials. 

Pwani Oil which manufactures Freshfri, Salit and Fry Mate cooking oils attributed the shortage of raw materials to lack of dollars to pay suppliers.

According to Pwani Oil Commercial Director Rajul Malde, the company cannot acquire supply of crude palm oil imports from Malaysia due to lack of dollars.

“Getting sufficient amount of dollars required to support the factory in terms of getting sufficient raw materials is not happening. We are not even running the plant right now because of lack of raw materials – crude palm oil,” said Malde. 

Malde noted that its bankers can only provide half of what they require to pay the suppliers for the raw materials.

“At the moment, based on the inflows from banks, we are only able to source between $500,000 and $1 million a day against a requirement of $2- $2.5 million a day. So we are only getting half of what we need, sometimes even less than half,” he added. 

Malde stated that their situation can be averted but only if the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) sorts the dollar’s crisis.

“The situation can only improve if the dollar situation improves. And I am not seeing the dollar situation improving on its own without the central bank intervening and releasing some of the dollar reserves that they are holding to stablise the dollar demand in Kenya,” he said. 

He added;

“We are expecting one consignment [of palm oil] in the middle of this month and then after that there’s no more supply until the end of July. The one that is coming next month is dependent on dollar availability whether we will be able to pay to release that cargo.”

Pwani Oils workers in action PHOTO/COURTESY

This comes at a time when Kenya Airways (KQ) has suspended ticketing services in Malawi over the country’s biting dollar shortage crisis.

Passengers travelling from Malawi on the airline must buy their tickets from agents in other countries.

READ ALSO: Hatumjui! Pwani Oil Limited distances itself from Anita Nderu’s LGBTQ themed cooking show

Malawi has been facing acute shortages of foreign exchange currency forcing foreign traders to halt or suspend some of their operations in Malawi.

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