KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s palm oil industry will continue to see increases in export figures to several traditional markets this year, says the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
“This trend, I believe will continue throughout 2010, based on the current ecnomic conditions and other supply demand indicators,” said its Chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor in his opening speech at a seminar entitled “Reach and Teach Friend of the Inudstry: Challenges and Opportunities in 2010” here today.
He said 2009 was a reasonably good year for the industry.
The country’s major export destinations are the developing economies and among them, several have begun to flex their growing economic muscles, he said.
“The phenomenal growth of our giant palm oil importers — China, India along with other primary destinations, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middle East and Africa — continue to register impressive demands for the palm oil,” he added.
He said in order for the industry to compete effectively in 2010 and beyond, all the tools of the trade are needed, including gathering crucial and valuable information on what the competitors are doing.
In addition, the local players need to foresee and understand new issues on the horizon, which can be major hurdles for the industry in the short, medium or longer term.
Currently many safety requirements are being imposed especially by the developed countries and the issue of 3-MCPD (a compound which is considered toxic) needs to be looked at seriously, he said.
It could create a lot of problems for the industry in the near future, he cautioned.
On the oils and fats industry, Lee said the issue of trans fatty acids was among the major issues impacting trade in the current decade.
“Trans fatty acids, its health related problems and the need to remove this from the human food chain is a major issue.
“The removal of trans fatty acids, already a mandate in Europe and the United States (US) is now catching up in other regions,” Lee added.
He said palm oil stood out as a viable healthy alternative.
He said this year will also prove to be both a challenging and exciting year for MPOC and the palm oil industry.
“We have created valuable networking in several strategic regions and we are also in a position to help the industry through our regional offices to improve the export of palm oil and palm oil products,” he added.
Source : BERNAMA