Malaysia’s palm oil exports and earnings this year will be better than last year’s due to growing demand for vegetable oil from countries like China, India and Russia.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, said the three countries’ economies were growing and their uptake of vegetable oils, including palm oil, would increase.
“The Chinese economy has never relented and it is still growing. Therefore, 2010 could be a better year for the palm oil industry,” he said in an interview recently in Shanghai, China.
The minister was on a six-day working visit to Beijing and Shanghai from June 1-6 to promote palm oil, rubber and timber as well as to boost bilateral trade and investment ties.
Dompok said export volume of palm oil and related products in 2009 had not changed much compared with the previous year, but the earnings dropped because of the crude palm oil (CPO) prices.
“Hence, the export earnings this year could be much better than in 2009, supported by the CPO prices which stayed above the RM2,500 per tonne level,” he said.
In 2009, exports of palm oil products declined by 24 per cent to RM49.59 billion from RM65.2 billion previously. The decline was due to lower average CPO prices of RM2,244 per tonne last year compared with RM2,859 in 2008.
Dompok and his wife, Puan Sri Diana Dompok, also visited the Malaysia Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
He said the expo was an ideal avenue to showcase Malaysian products and a source of information on the country’s main commodity exports such as palm oil, rubber and timber.
Dompok said China was a big market for Malaysia, especially for palm oil.
“For instance, we are exporting more than four million tonnes a year and I think it will continue to be a market for us.
“The two countries are active because both have been enjoying a friendly and cordial bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1974,” he said.
He gave an assurance to the Chinese consumers that the palm oil supply to China would be sustained despite the mandatory sales of biofuel starting next June as Malaysia has 1.6 million tonnes of palm oil stocks.
“The priority at the moment is given for food production. I think the amount of palm oil that we are going to produce will increase in future because we are working towards increase productivity.
“Also because some of the oil palm we have at the moment have not matured yet especially those in Sarawak. Once all these are matured, then we will see an increase in production,” he said. — Bernama
Source : Business Times