Higher Palm Oil Export Earnings Expected This Year

MALAYSIAN palm oil exports and earnings are poised to be better this year than last in view of increasing 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 in tandem.

“The Chinese economy has never relented and is still growing. Therefore, 2010 could be a better year for the palm oil industry,” he said in an interview in Shanghai, China.

Dompok was on a six-day working visit to Beijing and Shanghai from June 1 to 6 to promote palm oil, rubber and timber and boost bilateral trade and investments.

The minister said the export volume of palm oil and related products did not change much last year compared to 2008. However, earnings were lower because of softer crude palm oil (CPO) prices.

“Hence, the export earnings this year could be much better than in 2009, supported by CPO prices which have stayed above the RM2,500 per tonne level.”

Last year, exports of palm oil products declined 24 per cent to RM49.59 billion due to lower average CPO price of RM2,244 a tonne. In 2008, the average price was RM2,859 a tonne.

Dompok and his wife, Puan Sri Diana Dompok, also visited the Malaysian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

He said the expo was an ideal avenue to showcase Malaysian products as well as being a source of information on the country’s main commodity exports such as palm oil, rubber and timber.

Dompok noted that China was a big market for Malaysia, especially for palm oil.

Dompok gave an assurance to Chinese consumers that palm oil supply to China would be sustained despite the mandatory sales of biofuel from next June as Malaysia had 1.6 million tonnes of palm oil stocks.

“The priority at the moment is food production. I think the amount of palm oil that we are going to produce will increase in future because we are working towards increased productivity.

“Also, because some of the oil palms 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

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