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News 26761 to News 26770 of about 27228 news within page 2677
26761. 02/11/2001
KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs. 02 November 2001 (Business Times) - The palm oilindustry, facing the prospects of sending back 28,300 foreign workers andsustaining a RM1.05 billion loss by the end of next year, wants theGovernment to reconsider the ruling limiting temporary work permits tothree years.
26762. 01/11/2001
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 (Bernama) --Primary Industries Minister, Datuk SeriDr Lim Keng Yaik will head an official four-day Malaysian visit toIndonesia from tomorrow (Nov. 1).Lim said in a statement the purpose of the visit was to discuss commodityissues as well as to further strengthen ties between Malaysia andIndonesia.The other members of the delegation are the ministry's secretary generaland two other officials.Dr Lim will take the opportunity to get to know better the new Ministerswhose responsibilities are related to matters pertaining to commodities inIndonesia under the helm of President Megawati.Other important issues include Malaysian investment activities inIndonesia particularly in the palm oil sector.In this connection, Lim said that he hoped to obtain government togovernment assistance through diplomatic channels on ways to solve currentissues faced by Malaysian investors in Indonesia.-- BERNAMA
26763. 01/11/2001
Financial Post, October 26, 2001, TORONTO - Toronto Hydro-Electric SystemLtd. has launched a large-scale test of vegetable-based biodiesel fuel inits fleet of cars, trucks and vans as a first step to converting to 100%vegetable-based fuel. By using a mixture of vegetable oil and low-sulphurdiesel in its fleet, Hydro expects to improve air quality.
26764. 31/10/2001
PUTRAJAYA ,Wednesday, October 31, 2001 (The Star) - Prime Minister DatukSeri Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged huge plantation companies to contributetowards increasing food production by integrating cattle rearing on theirland and varying their activities to include food commodities.The move, he said, would help reduce the country’s dependence on importedfood besides opening a new avenue for them to break away from thetraditional commodity of palm oil which was too susceptible to pricefluctuations.Agriculture Minister Datuk Effendi Norwawi said Dr Mahathir made the callwhen chairing the second meeting of the co-ordination council for thepublic and private sector in the agriculture sector.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Effendi said the total acreage ofoil palm estates in the country stood at almost four million hectares andthey could easily support the rearing of at least a million head ofcattle.At the moment there are only about 100,000 head of cattle being reared insuch estates.Effendi said Malaysia had the potential of not only being self-sufficientin food but could also be a major food producer, provided there was aco-ordinated effort involving all related parties.“The main detriment to this is the scarcity of land. All mentris besarhave agreed to allocate land for agriculture, but the problem is that thespace is just not enough because most of the land have been taken up forhousing and township development projects.“That is why we need the co-operation of large plantation companies torealise this potential because they already have large tracts of landsuitable for mixed or integrated agricultural activities,” he said.He said large estates have the requirements to become large-scale foodproducers as they already have the land, sound human resource andfinancial management and good track records in research and development.“At the moment, our self-sufficiency in food production is only about 23%.If we do not consider large-scale production, the best we can hope toachieve within 10 years is to be 28% self-sufficient.“The ministry will be reorganised so as to be more investor-friendly toencourage more active participation of the private sector in theagriculture industry and to provide a strong support especially in newtechnology, marketing, funding and R & D.”
26765. 31/10/2001
10/28/2001 (Business Recorder) - Pakistan and the US signed an agreementlast Saturday, for the supply of 60,000 tonnes of soybean oil worth over$30 million. The US supplies which are scheduled to commence in Januarynext year, will be sold by the government to the private sector inaccordance with the standard practice. It may be recalled that Pakistanwas given last year a donation of 75,000 tonnes of soybean oil and 165,000tonnes of soybean, worth $80 million.While 62,500 tonnes of the soybean oil is reported to have already arrivedin Pakistan by September, the first instalment of 165,000 tonnes ofsoybean was expected this month. It will thus be noted that the USsupplies could prove instrumental in averting a serious shortage of edibleoil in the country that was feared since July this year, as the situationwas further aggravated by the stalled shipments of palm oil from Malaysiawith the dislocation of shipping services to Pakistan, in anticipationanti-terrorism operations in the aftermath of the 11 September terroristattacks on the United States.The soybean and soybean oil gifts would benefit Pakistan in another way aswell. This has reference to the standard practice in such deals, unlikeunder the PL-480 Programme, allowing the government to freely use the saleproceeds in local currency for funding rural development and povertyalleviation programmes in accordance with the country's long-term socialand economic goals. The areas of such funding, including food security andpromotion of broad-based development, will mean a contribution also to theongoing challenging effort for economic restructuring of the country.Another significant feature of this programme is that as the cost ofshipment of the commodities is borne by the United States, it will meanlessening of pressure on the country's limited foreign exchange resourcestoo.It will thus be noted that there is a great deal more to the US commodityoffers than meets the eye. However, it may be noted that together with thequick restoration of palm oil supplies from Malaysia, the import of edibleoil from other sources, including United States, has proved of littleavail in ensuring the expected relief to the consumer from a cut in theprices of vanaspati and cooking oil. Not only the slash in prices hasremained elusive, but a great deal more has continued to add to the woesof the baffled consumer from the unabated price hike. This is a trend thathas come to stay in this country since prices once gone up seldomstabilise at lower levels. For, the remedial measures taking care of oneaspect of price rise are soon found negated by another problem or a set ofthem to keep prices perched at higher levels. The worst part of thisunwelcome tendency is painfully discernible in food items, hitting thelower income groups the most. Thus it invariably serves a sad reminder ofthe sorry state of agriculture that happens to be the predominating sectorof the economy. An idea of the predicament of this vital sector,development of which could have helped the country's economic growth, maybe had in the grim fact that Pakistan has become increasingly dependent onimports for a widening range of food items with the passage of time sinceindependence way back in 1947.In so far as edible oil is concerned, the dependence on its import hascome to affect oilseed too which the country can produce in enoughquantities not only to meet the domestic need but also to earn valuableforeign exchange from exports as well. And as repeatedly pointed out inthese columns, it should serve as a serious reminder of the need of anemergency plan to redouble efforts for boosting edible oil production inthe country from a serious thrust on correcting the situation in ascientifically planned manner. Trying to achieve self-reliance in edibleoil over the past several years, the effort can be seen as having provedcounter productive in a number of ways. This should beckon the governmentand the private sector to a bold new thrust to break the vicious circle ofshortages.
26766. 30/10/2001
10/29/2001(Rueters) - Malaysia's palm oil sector looks to be caughtbetween a rock and a hard place, as demand remains sluggish whileproduction continues to rise, threatening in the process to cause anentirely new headache — storage.Already, a leading palm oil bulker in the south has had to turn awayclients from Sabah and Sarawak, as well as Indonesia, to store some 50,000tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) as its tanks are full, sources said.Other bulkers appear to be having similar problems with storage capacity,they said, reinforcing concerns that palm oil stock levels are turningcritical not only in Peninsular Malaysia but also Sabah and Sarawak, andeven Indonesia, which is the world’s second largest producer of thecommodity after Malaysia.And the situation could get worse in the coming months in the absence ofsigns of a let-up in production although demand has shown an uptick. Thereare 31 licensed bulkers in the country, with facilities located in Johor,Pahang, Penang, Selangor, Sabah, and Sarawak. Combined, they can hold upto 850,000 tonnes of CPO at a time. Johor leads with a capacity to store267,000 tonnes, followed by Selangor with 247,855 tonnes, Pahang 120,880tonnes, Penang 115,500 tonnes, Sabah 94,840 tonnes and Sarawak 3,600tonnes. Felda Johor Bulkers Sdn Bhd has the largest capacity at 242,000tonnes. The other leading bulkers include Fima Palmbulk Services Sdn Bhd,Butterworth Bulking Installation Sdn Bhd, Wilmar Bulking Installation SdnBhd, and Guthrie Export Sdn Bhd."It is a very tricky situation. Exports have been significantly affectedby developments in Afghanistan. "The market did not anticipate it... animmediate issue is the war risk surcharge, (for which) a quick solutionmust be found," said a executive of a bulker when contacted. If things donot improve soon, producers may have to start selling CPO at even lowerprices, and the authorities consider reactivating the programme to usepalm oil as biofuel to generate electricity, he said.Crop forecaster Ivan Wong has put October production at 1.14 milliontonnes, exports at 850,000 tonnes and closing stocks at 1.37 milliontonnes. Exports for the first 20 days of October rose to 605,137 tonnesfrom 434,472 in the same period of September, according to Cargo surveyorSociete Generale de Surveillance (SGS)."Outlook for the palm oil sector appears clouded at the moment as theglobal economic slowdown has caused commodity prices to weaken generally.Low prices for rival soyabean oil and the extra cost from the war risksurcharge in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack in the US arenot helping," a trader said.Dealers said CPO prices are expected to remain range-bound in the next fewweeks as investors closely monitor stock levels and also the price ofsoyabean oil, which is hovering at 20-year lows. According to theMalaysian Palm Oil Board, the country’s palm oil stock rose by 36.44 percent to 1.214 million tonnes in September from 890,413 tonnes a monthearlier, with production rising 12.19 per cent to 1.1 million tonnes from981,141 tonnes.Meanwhile, CPO futures prices on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange (MDEX)closed sharply higher yesterday on assurance by the Government of "warassistance" for the sector. Traders said benchmark January 2002 CPOfutures should fetch between RM860 and RM930 a tonne in the near term amidvolatile trading.The November contract rose RM21 to RM869, December RM17 to RM909, andJanuary 2002 also RM17 to RM933. February 2002 was up RM21 at RM953. Totalturnover jumped to 2,060 lots from 1,622 while open positions increased to12,992 contracts from 12,629 the day before.
26767. 30/10/2001
JAKARTA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Ministers from Malaysia and Indonesia, theworld's main palm oil producers, will meet this week how to limit palm oiloutput and lift sagging prices, an official said on Monday.Hatanto Reksodipoetro, Indonesia's director general of International Tradeand Industry Cooperation, said Malaysian Primary Industries Minister LimKeng Yaik was due to meet Indonesian Trade and Industry Minister RiniSoewandi on November 2 to discuss palm oil cooperation."Minister Lim will visit Jakarta on November 2...and hold talks to enhancethe cooperation between Malaysia and Indonesia on palm oil," Reksodipoetrotold Reuters."The two may discuss cooperation to set up ways to regulate palm oilsupply to the world market in order to lift prices."Malaysia and Indonesia have been bitter rivals over market share for palmoil, partly because of an oversupply in edible oils.The two countries reached a broad deal in February on moves to liftsagging world prices and agreed to cooperate for better access in Chinaand India.But traders in both countries said no concrete action had been taken tolimit output so far.Malaysia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, last week orderedgrowers to stop planting the crop to support sliding prices of the edibleoil.
26768. 29/10/2001
Monday, October 29, 2001 (The Star) - ALL parties involved in the oil palmindustry need to overcome problems of declining palm oil extraction rate(OER) amid competition from other countries, said Primary IndustriesMinister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.He said if a party involved in the industry took a lackadaisical attitude,this would affect the oil palm industry's revenue. As such, he hoped allparties involved would give serious attention to achieving the OER targetof 25%.Dr Lim said this in his speech at the Oil Palm Industry and Malaysian PalmOil Board (MPOB) Awards ceremony 2001 on Friday.He said that looking at the average percentage of OER for mills inPeninsular Malaysia, only four mills had succeeded in achieving theaverage of more than 20%, while 36 others registered OER of an average of19% and above and 204 more still at the 19% level.Dr Lim said the decline was due to inefficient management, especially indetermining that only quality oil palm was sent to the mills.As such, he said, all plantations and small-scale entrepreneurs shouldtighten the quality of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) by harvesting only thosethat were really ripe.“There is also a need to implement a proper grading of the fruits acceptedat the mills,’’ he said. — Bernama
26769. 29/10/2001
29 October 2001 (Business Times) - TENAGA Nasional Bhd wants to reduce itsdependence on gas fuel and increase consumption of coal, says chairmanDatuk Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.“The Government is giving Tenaga a 50 per cent subsidy on gas but coal isnow about the same price as gas. Naturally Tenaga should consider usingmore coal in case the subsidies are reduced or removed later,” he toldBusiness Times.Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Leo Moggie has saidgas should be priced around RM7.68 per million metric British thermal unit(mmbtu).The open market price for gas fuel is currently between RM13 and RM14 permmbtu, which means Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is giving a discountof about 50 per cent to power generators.Local research house MIDF Sisma said gas-powered plants account for 81.1per cent of Tenaga’s total generation capacity, with coal a mere 8.6 percent, hydro 8.3 per cent, and oil 2 per cent.“This is why Tenaga is pushing for a more diversified fuel mix. It isdangerous to rely so heavily on a single fuel, a supply disruption inwhich would affect overall power production,” it said.Sectoral analysts said Tenaga could more than double its coal consumptionby 2010 with MIDF Sisma projecting that the fuel’s share would rise to 20per cent and gas’ fall to 59 per cent.The industry as a whole is also expected to see a boost in coal usage withthe commencement in 2006-07 of two coal- powered independent powerproducers (IPPs), namely SKS Ventures and Jimmah Power. Their combinedoutput is estimated at 3,500 megawatts (MW).The country’s total capacity currently stands at about 12,000MW.In addition, analysts are saying hydro-power will play a decidedly moreprominent role upon completion of the Bakun project. MIDF Sisma isforecasting a 20 per cent contribution from hydro by the end of thedecade.Jamaludin said Tenaga has not been informed of any decision by theGovernment regarding an increase in gas prices.Under an agreement with Petronas which expired end-2000, gas is sold toTenaga at a fixed price of RM6.40 per mmbtu.Tenaga has continued to pay at this price.Analysts said the Government may not make a decision for a while yet givenunder the current economic circumstances.“Electricity affects everyone, any increase in gas prices will affectelectricity tariffs and add to the inflationary pressure.”“The Government will probably wait for signs of an economic recovery,maybe towards the end of the year,” said an analyst with a local researchhouse.Meanwhile, Jamaludin said Tenaga will continue to work closely with theMalaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) on the project to use palm oil as biofuelto generate electricity.Palm oil is already being burned at a boiler plant in Prai and adiesel-fuel station in Sabah.MPOB director general Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron confirmed when contacted byBusiness Times that the biofuel project is ongoing.“We have a trigger price (calculated according to a formula) (todetermine) when to burn palm oil to help prop up the commodity’s price.The lower the price the more we burn,” he said.
26770. 26/10/2001
Jakarta, Oct 23 (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Iran will set up a joint ventureto build and run a crude palm oil (CPO) refinery in the Central Asiancountry to meet its demand for edible oil, Trade and Industry MinisterRini MS Soewandi said here Tuesday.Scheduled to be constructed between March 2002 and 2003, the refinerywould produce CPO to meet Irian's domestic demand for the commodity whichranged between 300,000 and 1 million tons a year, she said.The minister spoke to the press after the conclusion of the sixth meetingof the Indonesia-Iran Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperationwhich produced a series of agreements.The Iranian delegation to the meeting was headed by Post, Telegraph andTelephone Minister Seyyed Ahmad Mo'tamedi.Indonesia, Rini said, would deliver the CPO to Iran where it would beprocessed into edible oil and the commodity would also be sold tocountries near Iran.Indonesia had also agreed to sell its steel products on counter-tradeterms but Iran had yet to decide what goods it would supply to Indonesiain return.Rini said, the joint commission had agreed on cooperation to holdtrainings in the oil and gas sector, agriculture, animal husbandry,fishery and trainings in banking, tourism and education sector."Cooperation in post, telecommunication, and transportation will includeinformation technology, common stamps, and maintenance of Iran's airplanesby Garuda Indonesia," Rini said.In addition, the chambers of commerce and industry from both countries hadagreed to establish promotion centers in Jakarta and Tehran.The Joint Commission was scheduled to hold its seventh session in December2002 in Tehran to follow up on previous accords.Rini said, the joint commission was important for Indonesia amid itssluggish exports to main destination countries such as the United States,the European Union and Japan.As those countries were facing an economic slowdown, Indonesia needed toanticipate its negative impact, Rini said."One way for it is increasing economic and trade cooperation withnon-traditional partner countries," the minister said.According to data from the Trade and Industy Ministry, total bilateralIndonesia-Iran trade during the past five years (1996-2000) has been onthe decline.In 1997, bilateral trade dropped by 26.08 percent to US$535.21 million,from US$552.45 million in 1996.Bilateral trade showed afurther decline and reached US$221.86 million in1998, US$137.85 million in 1999 and was slightly up at US$240.23 millionin 2000.
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