16/09/2007 (The Star Online), MIRI - Palm oil export is set to turn in record earnings this year. The worldwide demand for palm oil for making bio-fuel such as bio-diesel has soared worldwide because of the current high price of fossil fuels and the increasing global warming due to overuse of fossil fuels.
Malaysia expects to mark a record year in terms of export of this “golden oil” judging from this current trend of global demand, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui.
“Because of the current sharp hike in demand for palm oil, the price per tonne has also shot up. Due to this, our revenue from exporting this oil has also shot up tremendously this year.
“For the first six months of this year, Malaysia’s revenue from export of palm oil and related products was RM17.9bil, an increase of 23.6% from the RM14.1bil earned during the first six months of last year.
“If this trend continues, this year will be a record year in terms of palm oil earnings,” he said at his office here yesterday.
Chin, who is Miri MP, said that because of this high price, Malaysia’s palm oil industry was enjoying its most robust revenue growth even though its actual volume exported had declined from 9.3 million tonnes for the first half of 2006 to 8.9 million tonnes for the first half of this year.
In terms of export earnings, Chin said other commodities were also doing well.
Cocoa, for instance, earned RM1.1bil for the first six months of this year, an increase of RM204mil compared to the same period for 2006.
Rubber brought in revenue of RM78.9mil more for the country during the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.
“The earnings from timber had also shot up. For the first six months of 2007, Malaysia earned RM11.4bil from export of timber products as compared to RM10.7 billion during the same period last year,” said Chin.
“However, the amount of trees we logged had dropped due to conservation efforts. The extra income in export earnings is because of the rising price in the global market.”