Malaysia seeks new markets for palm oil exports
Malaysia will explore alternatives markets for its palm oil exports following boycott by some European countries, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said.
The MPOC chief executive officer Kalyana Sundram said the country would seek to increase its market share among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members.
The council is tasked with promoting the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil through enhancing the image and fostering acceptance of the vegetable oil.
“Other than this, we are looking at new markets. Africa is an exciting market and last week we went to (current markets) Pakistan and Turkey,” he was quoted by state news agency Bernama saying after a briefing on the upcoming Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) meeting.
Malaysia, who chairs the CPOPC, will host the meeting on Feb. 28 to discuss trade policy issues affecting members.
Malaysia has been facing pressure over its palm oil industry with the European Union (EU) embarking on an anti-palm oil campaign over concerns of environmental degradation and deforestation for large scale plantations, which Malaysia has repeatedly denied.
France, Norway and Switzerland have made decisions to gradually ban the import of the commodity.
Malaysia is heavily dependent on palm oil exports.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said recently that palm oil and palm-based products are currently Malaysia’s fifth major export commodity, generating over 62.7 billion ringgit (15.2 billion U.S. dollars) in earnings last year.
According to the MPOC, the country is the second biggest producer of the commodity after Indonesia, with overall production accounting for 39 percent of the global output and having a 44 percent market share of the product on the world market.