Nigeria strikes stall imports of Asia soap noodles

13 January 2012 10:48  [Source: ICIS news]

Nigeria’s annual consumption of soap bars are estimated at above 30,000 tonnesSINGAPORE (ICIS)--A widespread strike now on its fifth day in Nigeria has stalled the African country’s imports of soap noodles from southeast Asia, market sources said on Friday

“Our usual customers have told us they are unable to buy from us at the moment because everything is in a mess,” said a major producer of soap noodles.

Nigeria’s annual consumption of soap bars are estimated at above 30,000 tonnes, said an industry source.

Workers at Africa’s third largest economy are protesting the abolition of a fuel subsidy this year that caused a spike in gasoline prices.

But Asian soap noodle sellers said they are not very worried that the market will be significantly affected by Nigeria’s temporary absence, optimistic that the problems in the African country would be resolved soon.

“Soap is something people need everyday. The demand will come back after things stabilize in the country,” a trader said.

Prices are not likely to be affected given Asia’s wide customer base for its soap noodle products, said an Asian producer.

“Prices still remain more dependent on feedstock costs,” said an Asian producer.

Soap noodles in southeast Asia are mainly made from crude palm oil (CPO), crude coconut oil (CNO) and crude palm kernel oil (CPKO), whose prices have been stable to soft this week.

By: Wong Lei Lei

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