CPO Exports to Pick Up

Shipments of crude palm oil expected to increase going forward on new markets

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian export of crude palm oil (CPO) is expected to pick up in the coming months, supported by the opening of more markets from emerging economies and a substantial discount to soybean oil.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor is confident upcoming export figures for the country will strengthen as more markets open up in emerging economies, especially from Africa, Middle East and India.

“This will also be aided by supported by substantial discount of palm oil to soy bean oil at about US$200 per tonne now,” he told reporters after delivering welcoming remarks at International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference 2012 here yesterday.

On Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), Lee said that the industry was facing a dilemma now where there was an ample supply of CSPO but not sufficient uptake by the multinational end users.

“The efforts of many are thus being undermined not by the palm oil industry but by end users in developed nations who also now haggle on the paltry premiums that the industry requires to cover the additional certification costs.

“For us, we can only keep highlighting the issues in the various channels and meetings with the food companies and retailers, so that the other stakeholders in this whole palm oil sustainability exercise meet their side of the bargain.

“Some major food companies have put a deadline that by 2015 they are to fully convert using CSPO, but I think that is quite a long time away when there is already a huge amount of CSPO being produced.

“I think food companies can now start buying more of this CSPO,” he said.

The annual production of CSPO is about five million tonnes, with Malaysia contributing about three million tonnes.

On the flip side, Lee said the biggest attraction of the industry today could well be the biomass from the oil palm plantations, which was currently under utilised.

“While we produce nearly 18 million tonnes of palm oil annually which is only about 10% of the total mass balance in the plantations, the remaining nearly 90% generated as boimass is seeking for more technology innovations that will create economic value form it.

“To achieve this major jump, we need technology expertise and investment which could be forged through innovative partnerships and collaborations,” he said.

At the two-day conference, close to 200 local and international participants from the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Germany, the Philippines and Indonesia registered, which was a testament to MPOC’s dedication in addressing issues relating to palm oil sustainability.

Lee said the Malaysian palm oil industry had always been mindful of its environmental impact.

“Provisions has been made by our Government to adhere to the commitment made during the United Nations Rio Convention of Biological Diversity 1992, to maintain the country under at least 50% forest cover.

“Almost 21 years later, we are still keeping or even exceeding our commitment,” he said.

Source : The Star

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