PETALING JAYA: Captains of the local palm oil industry have pledged to export 100% certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) by the end of 2019.
This consensus was achieved at a recent special dialogue session between Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and the country’s top planters.
In a statement yesterday, Mah said captains of industry have expressed unanimously their collective support towards proactive measures taken to increase Malaysia’s share in the global palm oil market, especially on exporting 100% CSPO by end-2019.
Towards this end, the captains of industry are supportive of the government’s initiative to adopt the mandatory mandate of the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification standard by significantly increasing their combined MSPO-certified hectarage.
Many big plantation companies are expected to double their current MSPO-certified hectarage by the end of this year.
Of the total 3.52 million ha of estate plantations, only 237,509 ha are MSPO-certified. This constitutes about 4.1% of MSPO-certified hectarage compared with 5.76 million ha of total oil palm plantation in Malaysia.
Mah, in reiterating his aspirations for local palm oil to be recognised as a premium world-class oil, urged the captains of industry to share the responsibility of ensuring Malaysia gets the global acknowledgement as the world leader in producing and supplying CSPO.
During the dialogue session, the captains of industry were also briefed by Malaysian Palm Oil Council CEO Dr Kalyana Sundram on the country’s current export performance and the emerging markets for local palm oil, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mah also encouraged planters to explore the opportunities to export to the Asia-Pacific region as “the region is expected to increase Malaysia’s palm oil imports by an extra 350,000 tonnes in 2017, leading up to an extra 692,000 tonnes in 2020”.
He pointed out that local palm oil has a steady market within the Asia-Pacific region, commanding an average of 65% of the region’s market share despite the competitive price offered by other palm oil-producing countries.
Last year Asean countries imported RM8.3bil worth of palm oil and palm oil products from Malaysia. The Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar were the major importers, with around RM2.3bil, RM1.8bil and RM932mil of importation respectively.
It accounts for 57% of total palm oil and palm oil product exports to Asean.
Prior to the special dialogue, the National Association of Smallholders Malaysia (Nash), led by its chairman Datuk Aliasak Ambia, had paid a courtesy call on Mah in Putrajaya.
During the meeting, Nash lauded the government’s move to provide 100% incentive for smallholders to obtain MSPO certification, and described the incentive as important to ensure that smallholders are not burdened by the certification cost.