According to experts, in the next 5 years, in Uzbekistan, the number of enterprises processing oilseeds will decrease by about 10 times – to 30. This will happen due to the consolidation of competitive enterprises and the departure of ineffective processors from the market. This opinion was expressed by the Chairman of the Board of the Association of Fat and Oil Enterprises of the Republic of Uzbekistan “Uzyogmoisanoat” Oybek Zufarov during the third international conference “Asia Grains&Oils Conference in Tashkent 2023”, which takes place in Tashkent on September 14.
According to him, today there are 300 oil production enterprises operating in the country, with a total processing capacity of 4.3 mln tonnes of oilseeds per year. At the same time, capacity utilization reaches only 62%. As a result of the closure of inefficient enterprises, this figure could increase to 80%, the speaker noted, while the total processing capacity will remain at the same level.
“The production volumes of vegetable oils by the remaining enterprises will be enough to saturate the domestic market and for export,” believes O. Zufarov.
According to Uzyogmoysanoat, which unites more than 90% of oilseed processors in Uzbekistan, the actual consumption of vegoils in the country totals 488 thsd tonnes per year. Today, domestic production provides 293 thsd tonnes of these products.
At the same time, in 2023, the volume of imports of sunflower oil has already exceeded last year’s figure – 170 thsd tonnes against 154 thsd tonnes. In 2021, this figure was 61.7 thsd tonnes, in 2020 – 54 thsd tonnes.
In the structure of imports of crude oils, sunflower oil takes the lion's share - 67.3 thsd tonnes. Soybean oil import amounts to 8.4 thsd tonnes and 0.6 thsd tonnes of other oils.
The speaker noted that Uzbekistan is increasing not only the import of vegetable oils and oilseeds, but also its own production of oilseeds. Thus, the planting area under sunflower seed in 2023 increased to 75 thsd ha (against 73 thsd ha in 2022, 71 thsd ha in 2021 and 17 thsd ha in 2020), and the production – up to 135 thsd tonnes (versus 119, 114 and 17 thsd tonnes, respectively).