PALM OIL EX­PORTS RISE TO RM24.7B

Sec­tor on track to cross RM70b tar­get by year-end, says min­is­ter

New Straits Times - - Business -

OOI TEE CHING

KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

MALAYSIA’S palm oil ex­ports rose 37 per cent to RM24.73 bil­lion in the first four months of this year com­pared with RM18.05 bil­lion in the same pe­riod last year, said Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

“We saw a 37 per cent rise in rev­enue from palm oil ex­ports due to the higher av­er­age pric­ing from last year.

“This is a very good sign. We are on track to sur­pass­ing the RM70 bil­lion tar­get by the end of this year,” he said.

Mah said this af­ter re­ceiv­ing a cour­tesy call from Jeremy Fau­con­nier, the great grand­son of French­man Henri Fau­con­nier — the planter who first com­mer­cialised oil palm cul­ti­va­tion in Malaysia at Ten­na­ma­ram Es­tate in Kuala Se­lan­gor a hun­dred years ago. To­day, the es­tate be­longs to Sime Darby Bhd.

On the trade bar­ri­ers faced by palm oil ex­porters, the min­is­ter said the sin­gle cer­ti­fi­ca­tion threat, as pro­posed by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, was a sig­nal for Malaysian Sus­tain­able Palm Oil (MSPO) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to be recog- nised uni­ver­sally.

“We are of the view that if Europe wants proof of sus­tain­ably-grown palm oil, it should re­spect and ac­cept cer­ti­fi­ca­tions from pro­ducer coun­tries,” said Mah.

He said the MSPO was the ideal plat­form to show the world that palm oil pro­duc­tion was car­ried out on a bal­anced needs of peo­ple, prof­its and planet.

“I strongly be­lieve the process of MSPO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity in the face of scarce re­sources, such as land and labour,” he added.

The min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that the palm oil in­dus­try was the main pil­lar of the com­modi­ties sec­tor to­day, con­tribut­ing RM67.6 bil­lion in ex­port value last year, which was equiv­a­lent to 6.1 per cent of Malaysia’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

With more than two mil­lion Malaysians in­volved in the palm oil value chain, in­clud­ing 644,522 small­hold­ers, Mah said the im­pact of the in­dus­try on the well­be­ing of the rakyat was un­de­ni­ably huge.

Rise in palm oil ex­ports for four months this year com­pared with

same pe­riod last year

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