08/04/2008 (The Star Online), Bangi - The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) expects palm oil export earnings to touch a record RM50bil this year on anticipation that the price of the commodity will maintain its bullish run.
Palm export revenue jumped 41.8% to RM45.1bil last year compared with RM31.8bil in 2006.
Chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad said the continued tight supply and high demand for vegetable oils as well as adverse weather conditions could see a continued bull run in palm oil prices this year and next.
“We expect the world demand for vegetable oils and fats to increase within the next three to four years,” Sabri said in his opening remarks at MPOB's Programme Advisory Meeting 2008 yesterday.
He said the palm oil industry recorded a phenomenal performance in 2007, with average palm oil price having risen 67.5% to RM2,530.50 per tonne in 2007 from RM1,510.50 in 2006.
However, the production of crude palm oil declined marginally by 0.4% to 15.8 million tonnes in 2007 from 15.9 million tonnes the previous year, he said. The total oil palm planted area increased 3.4% in 2007 to 4.304 million ha from 4.165 million ha in 2006, he added.
Sabri said palm oil exports fell 4.8% to 13.7 million tonnes in 2007 from 14.4 million tonnes a year earlier.
China maintained its position as the largest importer of Malaysian palm oil for the sixth consecutive year, accounting for 3.84 million tonnes, or 27.9% of the exports, he added.