Dompok: Sabah issue not big enough to factor in the supply and demand for the palm oil

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent development in Sabah is not big enough to factor in the supply and demand for the palm oil industry, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

“I do not think refiners are affected as they are mostly in town areas,” Dompok said.

The affected area is about 1% or 1,000ha of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGVH) Sabah estates

The Malaysia Palm Oil Board, in its palm oil statistics for January, showed that Sabah was the biggest crude palm oil (CPO) producer in Malaysia accounting for 33% of the total production or 534,842 tonnes produce for the month.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition 2013 yesterday, Dompok said at the moment, Sabah held 1.4 million ha of plantation land area, which is almost 28.4%.

Meanwhile, Dompok said the export tax on the CPO for the following month depended on the market forces that would drive the price movement base on the demand and supply.

“At the moment, we have no new plans for this year to further strengthen market prices and reduce the high stockpile. It would not be more than what we have announced,” he said.

Besides the export tax changes, the Government has announced several programmes which include the replanting and biodiesel programme.

On its plan to tap in new markets for the industry this year, Dompok said Malaysia would continue to drive the growth of its markets by seeking opportunities to expand our partnerships.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, who was present at the press conference, said the palm oil price would increase gradually. “We expect the CPO price would be between RM2,200 and RM2,500 a tonne for this year,” he added.

He said exports had declined because of high competition and weake demand for CPO.

Based on statistics from independent surveyor Intertek, Malaysia’s palm oil exports in February dropped 9% month-on-month.

“We are now trying to manage CPO production through replanting programme and increase consumption especially through the biodiesel programme,” he added.

Source : The Star

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