Malaysia is unlikely to repeat its record 2008 export
earnings from commodities including palm oil, rubber and timber of
RM112.4 billion this year, due to declining commodity prices caused by
the global economic crisis.
It would be the first annual decline in four years.
oil export earnings are expected to dip by 25 per cent to RM50 billion
this year, even though the country has initiated measures to cushion
the fall such as replanting efforts.
palm oil and palm oil-related products, exports hit a record RM65.2
billion in 2008, a 44.3 per cent jump compared with RM45.1 billion a
year ago as prices rose to a historical high of RM4,486 per tonne in
This year, with prices at about half of last year’s
record high, coupled with lower production and erratic world demand,
earnings will likely be weaker.
“But crude palm oil (CPO) prices will be okay next
year, ranging between RM2,300 per tonne and RM2,700 per tonne due to
steady global demand, tree stress and a possible resurgent of the El
Nino,” said Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad.
Palm oil earnings from companies such as Sime Darby Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd
and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd to the Federal Land Development Authority
(Felda) are all expected to fall this year from last year’s record
highs, dragged by weaker CPO prices.
The oil palm sector
throughout the year also grappled with false and repeated claims by
Western non-governmental organisations and media that orang utan
habitats in the state were under threat from oil palm plantations and
this antagonism is expected to carry on next year.
also endured numerous criterias set by the Roundtable on Sustainable
Palm Oil, which has endlessly imposed health, environment and other
sustainability criteria before the commodity can be exported to Europe.
This is expected to continue well into next year.
Source : Business Times by Zaidi Isham Ismail