IJM Plantations aims to boost palm oil output

IJM Plantations Bhd aims to achieve double-digit growth for its oil palm crop production by 2012, aided by its venture into Indonesia, chief executive officer Velayuthan Tan said today.

He said the firm, which planned to acquire 30,000 to 40,000 hectares of land in Indonesia, hoped to plant at least 6,000 hectares there by next year.

“It won’t be a double-digit growth for us this year in terms of production. We are coming to a single-digit growth here, so we have to move forward to Indonesia,” he told reporters after the firm’s annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Tan said there were only 85 hectares of land available for planting in Sabah and the firm would start replanting soon for the rest of its local plantations.

The land that the firm planned to acquire is situated on the Indonesian side of Borneo island, located near its existing 30,000 hectares of plantations in Sabah, he said.

He added that shareholders had approved its rights issue to raise RM336 million, out of RM600 million to RM700 million needed, to fund the land acquisition in Indonesia.

On the crude oil price trend for the second half of this year, the firm”s general manager of corporate affairs and finance, Purushothaman Kumaran, said it is expected to be better than the first half, although not as high as in 2008.

“We think the price will strengthen in the next couple of months due to several reasons such as the shortage of world vegetable oil,” he said. – Bernama

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