No plans to restrict export of crude palm oil, says Zuraida

KUALA LUMPUR: There are no plans by Malaysia to restrict the export of crude palm oil (CPO), said Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

"We have no interest in restricting the export of crude palm oil unlike Indonesia, because CPO export has been very profitable for the nation even during the pandemic," the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said when answering a supplementary question raised by Nga Kor Ming (PH-Teluk Intan) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 16).

She noted that Indonesia is able to restrict the export of CPO as the commodity is subsidised by the government there.

"Indonesia imposes a levy of RM1,500 higher than what is imposed by Malaysia on exportat of CPO.

"Also, palm oil is subsidised in Indonesia as they are focusing on its use for biodiesel, while we are subsidising petroleum here," she said.

On a related issue, Zuraidi said a total of 30,000 foreign workers are expected to begin arriving into the country to work in the palm oil plantations by the end of this month.

"I am aware that about 40% of the nation's palm oil harvest is done during the year end, and amounts to some RM30bil.

"I will not allow this to go unheeded and allow the palm oil fruits to be left unharvested.

"I will push the Human Resources Ministry to expedite the intake of the foreign workers," she added.

Zuraida also informed the House that palm oil exports between January and August this year had decreased by 1.04 million metric tons (mt) to 9.15mt from 10.19mt in the same period last year.

However, she said the net value of palm oil exports had increased by RM9.9bil from RM37.37bil, compared to RM27.41bil for the same period this year.

She noted that India remains the largest importer of Malaysian palm oil, totalling 1.9mt worth RM8.03bil, followed by China (1.6mt worth RM3.77mil) and the European Union (0.95mt worth RM3.97bil). ENDs

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