MPOC upbeat about palm oil industry in 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s crude palm oil (CPO) export is expected to improve by 12.5% this year to 4.5 million tonnes from an estimated 3.67 million tonnes in 2020, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

Chief executive officer Datuk Dr Kalyana Sundram said CPO prices are set to stay above the RM3,000 per tonne level amid concerns of supply limitations due to the monsoon season.“We forecast the CPO average price to be at RM3,650 per tonne for the first quarter of 2021, ranging from a low of RM3,500 per tonne and a high of RM3,850 per tonne, ” he said during the virtual Malaysian Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS Digital 2021) yesterday.

Separately, Bernama quoted MPOC chairman Datuk Osman Sapian as saying that the Malaysian government and palm oil industry players would continue to work hand-in-hand to guarantee that palm oil is sustainably produced and recognised as such around the globe.

Osman stressed that both the government and industry players have the responsibility to ensure that all industrial activities remain sustainable and as environmentally-friendly as possible.

“We have implemented various stringent policies and guidelines to ensure that the industry upholds the very highest standard of sustainable practices, ” he said in his keynote address during the official opening of event,

Osman said that sustainability is crucial in the local palm oil industry as Malaysia is the world’s second-largest supplier of palm oil.

Palm oil constitutes 30% of the global oils and fats production, and plays a significant role in fulfilling the demand in the global oils and fats market.

“Global palm oil export, which was recorded at 15 million tonnes in 2000, is estimated to have reached 50.7 million tonnes in 2020.

“Similarly, the global palm oil consumption, which was a mere 22 million tonnes in 2000, has shown an impressive growth of 241% over the past 20 years, and is likely to exceed 75 million tonnes in 2020, ” he said.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general Datuk Ravi Muthayah said the palm oil industry should move towards high value-added and not be risk-averse in business decisions as traders cannot depend solely on palm oil as a commodity “This is because palm oil is always subject to price volatility and uncertainties, ” he said.

Nevertheless, Ravi said palm oil would continue to face challenges as long as there are other competing edible vegetable oils.

“Worker’s rights are equally important and should not be taken lightly. This is important to ensure the palm oil industry is viewed as a responsible and caring industry.”

Meanwhile, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the total export value of the Malaysian palm oil and palm oil products for 2020 is expected to surpass RM70bil, compared with RM67.5bil in 2019.

He said the sector’s performance has not only benefited the country through the high import earnings but also helped the smallholders. — Bernama

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