The president of the Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) is calling for more letters of credit (L/Cs) in support of soybean imports.

Busisa Moyo says improved L/C availability would help ensure a reliable supply of edible oil in the country.

Price speculation

Moyo was responding to the Zimbabwean government's suspension of a moratorium limiting soybean imports.

The government had reduced the number of permits for imported soybean to ensure local oil expressers bought the commodity from local farmers.

But in spite of oil producers promising a steady supply of cooking oil, the country recently faced a cooking oil shortage blamed on speculation on prices by some retailers.

L/C support

Moyo said possible shortages in selected outlets in urban centres could be averted by immediately increasing the amount of foreign currency allocated to producers.

He is also calling on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to support L/Cs to enable OEAZ members to import soybeans.

Currency constraints

The association's members require at least US$5 million per week to import soyabean, crude edible oils and other raw materials to satisfy their requirements and meet national demand for oil and related products.

However, foreign currency supplies have recently been constrained to less than US$1.5 million per week.

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