PORT DICKSON, The Primary Industries Ministry has taken various approaches and initiatives to expand the palm oil market overseas in an effort to increase the price of the commodity.
Its secretary-general, Datuk Dr Tan Yew Chong said the low price is not the first challenge faced by country, instead it is a short-term issue as commodity prices constantly fluctuates.
We use a holistic approach to overcome this challenge (of low prices). So, we need to look at the overall supply and demand from all palm oil producing countries. There are many elements that we need to examine and many initiatives are already underway or have been implemented.
One of them is to expand our global markets. Each time we have a promotion and trade mission, we look for ways to increase the sale of our palm oil and palm-based products, he told reporters after a briefing on the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification and dialogue with smallholders in Bukit Pelandok, near here today.
Also present were Malaysia Palm Oil Board Integration and Research Division director Dr. Ramlee Moslim and Chuah State Assemblyman Michael Yek Diew Ching.
Tan said the ministry would send more delegations to promote palm oil overseas in the near future.
Our main markets are China, India and the Middle East. Recently, Deputy (Primary Industries) Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin led a delegation to Saudi Arabia to expand the market there. Before this, we have already grown the market in Pakistan and India.
Currently, Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim is leading a commodity and palm oil promotion delegation to several countries in Europe. At end-May, she will be going to China to promote palm oil and other Malaysian commodities, Tan said.
The ministry is also giving emphasis to downstream oil palm products to explore more investment opportunities, he said, adding that for example, only 15 per cent of a oil palm tree is used while 85 per cent more is under utilised.
From the 15 per cent usage, we have obtained RM67.5 billion in exports (from palm oil and palm-based products). Assuming that we add another 15 per cent (of usage), this means we can easily to multiply the export earnings.
Therefore, within five to eight years, we can achieve a target that can sustain the palm industry through the development of a vigorous downstream industry, he added.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)