SHANGHAI: Malaysia aims to capture a bigger share of China’s palm oil imports, according to Plantation Industries and Commodities minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
He said Malaysia currently accounted for 58.8% of the total imports, and the target was to increase the figure to 70%.
“China is Malaysia’s largest export destination for palm oil products, taking up 20.4% of Malaysia’s global exports,” he said when opening the Malaysia-China Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar (POTS) here recently.
According to Uggah, palm oil is the second most important oil consumed in China after soybean oil. Last year, palm oil consumption was recorded at 6.3 million tonnes or 17.7% of the vegetable oil consumption.
In the first quarter of the year, Malaysia exported 1.3 million tonnes of palm oil and palm-based products valued at RM3.5mil to China.
The exports to China in 2013 were valued at RM11.3bil.
Uggah said the palm oil trade would have multiplier effects on the growth of other economic sectors to China instead of just benefitting Malaysia.
“It will also contribute to employment in industries associated to the trade. The trade is mutually beneficial to both countries,” he said.
Uggah stressed that the sustainably produced palm oil from Malaysia met Chinese food and safety standards.
He added that the palm-based oleochemicals would also see an increased demand in China due to its rapid industrialisation.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor, in a press conference said, the Government’s decision to scrap export duty on crude palm oil (CPO) had seen positive result.
“Exports have increased 30% in the first 10 days of September, compared with the corresponding period of the previous month,” he said.
The export duty exemption on CPO was imposed for September and October as part of the Government’s effort to mitigate declining CPO prices.
POTS China 2014 themed Malaysian Palm Oil: Managing Challenges, Creating Opportunities” was aimed at providing an insight into the innovations in the use of palm oil, and promoting economic opportunities in palm oil trade.
Organised by MPOC and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the event featured a line up of experts to share their views on palm oil as well as the oils and fats industry in China and the world.
In addition, MPOC also hosted a consumer programme in Shanghai to promote the consumption of palm oil.
“Malaysian Palm Oil - Fun Food Lifestyle” was the third of its kind to be held after Pakistan and India. The content of the programme was tailored to suit the consumers in each market.
Lee said the consumer programme event was designed to create more awareness on the usage of palm oil in cooking. “Currently, palm oil is popular among industrial food manufacturers. It is used in the production of cakes, ice cream and instant noodles.”