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News 26831 to News 26840 of about 27228 news within page 2684
26831. 09/10/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) - Malaysia must intensify efforts to raisepalm oil exports and boost competition amidst rising stocks andcompetition from other edible oils, Primary Industries Minister Datuk SeriDr Lim Keng Yaik said here Friday.
26832. 09/10/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 (Bernama) - With 35 million tonnes of oil palm biomassbeing produced as a result of extracting 10 million tonnes of crude palmoil in Malaysia annually, opportunities are abound for turning the wastematerial into commercial use, it was announced today.
26833. 09/10/2001
   
CALCUTTA, 10/8/2001(Financial Times) - An indifferent monsoon anddiversion of land to more lucrative crops have led to India's lowestoilseed harvest in a decade.This is expected to make the country a large buyer of vegetable oils inthe coming weeks.According to trade officials, India's vegetable oil imports (mainly palm,soyabean and sunflower oil) in the current season will jump to nearly 5mtonnes from 4.5m tonnes in 1999/2000.The Indian federal government is concerned about the fall in oilseedproduction from a record 24.7m tonnes in 1998/99 to 17.37m tonnes in theyear starting in November 2000 and ending this month.The fall will give imports a share of nearly half the country's vegetableoils market.Farm officials said the setback in the oilseed crop was the result of afall in the area under cultivation in the current season, together with"moisture stress" in many growing centres last month coinciding withflowering and pod formation."In the last 10 years, the minimum support prices for wheat and rice wereup 2.5 times, against 1.7 times for oilseeds. This has caused alarge-scale diversion of land from oilseeds to other crops," said anofficial.The country is facing the peculiar situation of having wheat and ricestocks of nearly 62m tonnes, compared with a "food security" requirementof 25m tonnes, while poor oilseed production is triggering large importsof vegetable oils.JNL Srivastava, agriculture secretary, said the anomaly would be correctedby a combination of getting more land under oilseed cultivation,productivity improvements and contract farming.Farm officials say it should be possible to lift oilseed production by upto 40 per cent because, at about 900kg a hectare, Indian oilseedproductivity is currently half the world average."Give the farmers high-yielding and pest and drought-resistant seeds andtechnology and they will usher in a revolution in oilseed production,"said Ashok Sethia, a leading importer.
26834. 05/10/2001
   
10/1/2001 (Philippine Daily) - EXPORT markets for local coconut oil inChina are being eyed to offset the expected drop in export revenues fromsales to Europe and the United States.Danilo Coronacion, administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority, saidthe $900-million coconut industry can be tapped to offset the anticipated15-percent reduction in the country's exports to the US due to theescalating conflict with Muslim extremists.Possible markets include China, South Korea and Japan.Coconut oil, which is extracted from dried coconut meat, is the country'sbiggest farm export product."We will soon sign a product-swap arrangement with China. They would giveus farm machinery and other equipment in exchange for our coconut oil,"Coronacion said.The expected decline in exports to the United States coincided with thedecline in Europe's purchases of Philippine coconut oil. Aside from theuncertainties following the terrorist attacks on the US, the decline wasalso attributed to the more stringent import measures on agriculturalproducts.European countries such as United Kingdom and France clamped down on theentry of agricultural products as they begin to trace the origins of themad cow disease that plagued their cattle industry, causing millions ofdollars in losses."We hope to instead increase our coconut oil exports to South Korea andother Asian countries as a contingency measure since industry expectslower exports to Europe," Coronacion said.PCA and the agriculture department are also looking into other uses forcoconut oil to service both domestic and foreign markets, in a bid tocushion the impact of fluctuating prices in the world market.The domestic market currently absorbs about 20 percent of the coconut oilproduced by the industry and used for commercial and industrialmanufacturing purposes and about 70 percent are exported to the UnitedStates, Europe and to other Asian countries.He said that they would pursue the marketing of coco-diesel andcoco-bunker fuel as substitutes for the expensive fossil fuels now beingsold by local oil firms. Coco-diesel is currently priced at P12 to P12.50per liter while the diesel sold at gas stations are at about P14 to P14.50per liter.The PCA would also push for the use of coconut oil in making detergentsinstead of hard surfactants.The PCA chief expected that export prices of coconut oil would remain lowthis year due to a global oversupply of vegetable oils.Copra prices are estimated to hit $289.50 per metric ton this year, lowerthan the annual average $300 per metric ton price. Last year, copra pricesin the world market averaged $446 per metric ton.
26835. 05/10/2001
   
04 October 2001 Business Times) - MALAYSIA’S first electronic exchange forpalm oil — ePomex — has seen “several tonnes” of the commodity exchanginghands after three days of trading.The exchange, developed by Ecomex Palm Oil Sdn Bhd with an investment ofRM3.5 million, went online October 1 and is utilised by 13 palmoil-related firms.Of the 13 companies, sources said, three are palm oil sellers, namelyGolden Hope Plantations Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd and Austral Enterprises. The 10buyers consist of both domestic and international buyers includingrefiners such as Pan Century, Kuok Group and Cargill.“So far, several tonnes have been traded on the exchange by the marketplayers,” a source told Busines Times in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.He said more sellers and buyers were expected to participate in ePomex.New sellers which have expressed their interest to participate as early asnext week include Sime Darby Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and the FederalLand Development Authority (Felda).Ecomex Palm Oil chairman Datuk Ali Hassan is expected to issue an officialstatement today providing more details which include total volume andvalue transacted to date.Meanwhile, an industry source said what was important was for the portalto strengthen its system and eliminate fears and doubts which may ariseamong participants using ePomex.“Some of the fears include accidental pressing of computer keys during atransaction and how to rectify them. ePomex must grow gradually butsteadily as it progresses,” said the analyst who has expertise in theinformation technology field.The analyst added ePomex was also on track to be the international hub tocater to transactions across the world’s exchanges by the first quarter ofnext year.The ePomex is a portal which brings together growers, millers, refiners,downstream manufacturers and overseas buyers in a single electronic marketplace.With the portal, buyers and sellers which will never meet by usingtraditional means of communications such as telephone, facsimile and telexare actually brought together through the new mean.Traders can communicate simultaneously with multiple parties from anysegment of the world’s market at any part of the world by the stroke of acomputer key and can be conducted across the globe 24 hours for sevendays.
26836. 05/10/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- The government expects that the even flowof palm oil exports to Pakistan and other consuming countries would bemaintained despite the distruption to certain shipping trades.
26837. 05/10/2001
   
01 October 2001 (Business Times) - US MULTINATIONAL General ElectricInternational (GE) is expected to deliver 20 high-powered locomotivesbeginning April 2003 under a palm oil counter-trade agreement withMalaysia.Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said GE willdeliver the diesel electric locomotives to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd(KTMB) in about 16 months.Malaysia will pay for the purchase, which was sealed two weeks ago, with200,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm oil products valued at US$60 million(US$1 = RM3.80).“The locomotives are the first batch out of 40 locomotives being procuredby KTMB,” Dr Lim told Business Times last Friday. The remaining 20 werebought from Chinese group Dalian Xinze Piston Manufacture Co.“Dalian has yet to deliver its locomotives to KTMB due to complications onhow the China Government will allocate palm oil deliveries to fit with its1.3 million tonnes annual edible oil import quota,” said Dr Lim.Under the counter-trade agreement, Johor-based Pasir Gudang Edible OilsGroup will supply GE 200,000 tonnes of palm oil over a period of 30months. GE will handle the distribution, promotion and sales.GE president for South-East Asia Stuart L. Dean said via e-mail GE isplanning to make an official announcement on details of the deal today atthe Association of South-East Asian Nations Railway Conference in KualaLumpur.The Government has been pushing to use palm oil to pay for part of severalbillion-ringgit deals for locomotives and double-tracking rail contractswith the US, China and India.“Malaysia hopes to see its palm oil make further inroads into the US oilsand fats market. A counter-trade arrangement for the commodity will be inline with such efforts,” Dr Lim said.However, the GE counter-trade deal is separate from a RM12 billiondouble-tracking project which Malaysia is also pursuing, Dr Lim said.The double-tracking project will eventually be part of the Trans-Asiaproject linking Singapore to Kunming in China.Last May, the Government signed a memorandum of understanding withstate-run engineering and construction firm Ircon International Ltd ofIndia to double track and electrify the northern portion of PeninsularMalaysia railway lines.China Railway Engineering Corp is expected to double track the southernportion.Under this counter-trade arrangement, some 8 million tonnes of palm oilare expected to be delivered to both countries over a period of betweenfive years and six years.Malaysia is also currently looking at a counter-trade deal with Russia forthe purchase of fighter jets which is currently in the works.The model of the GE locomotives is not immediately known but sources saidit is widely believed that it is the GE Universal Series ofdiesel-electric locomotives.This model features a wide range of configurations for various gauges,axle loads and horsepower output.“The (American) locomotives can be used to ferry both passengers andcargo, and are probably between 20 per cent and 30 per cent costlier thanthose produced by India, currently used in Malaysia,” said a source.The locomotives are powered by the GE7FDL diesel engine with either directcurrent or alternating current propulsion systems.GE has a locomotive manufacturing plant in Madiun, East Java, Indonesiacalled PT GE Lokomotif Indonesia (PT GE Lokindo).The facility assembles the C20i 2000HP locomotive mainly for the Asianmarket and has delivered 24 units to both the Philippines and Indonesianrailway operators. GE’s locomotives are operated in more than 60countries.GE first started in Malaysia in 1975 with operations in sales and serviceof Power Systems products, state-of-the-art aircraft engines engineeringand electronic commerce base.
26838. 05/10/2001
   
04 October 2001 (Business Times) - KUMPULAN Guthrie Bhd may have toreconsider the structure of a planned international Islamic bond issue toaccommodate global investors’ softening appetite for risk, bond runnersand industry observers say.Guthrie is likely to delay the US-dollar denominated bond issue to nextyear due to weaker sentiment, traders and dealers said.The arrangers, ABN Amro, may also change the size and tenor of the issue,they said. The discount considered earlier for the Islamic bonds, too, mayhave to be adjusted.Proceeds from the bonds will be used to refinance the group’s borrowings,taken to buy 203,000ha of oil palm plantations in Indonesia with estatescovering Kalimantan, Sumatra and Sulawesi.Traders said it will not be easy for Guthrie to go ahead with plans forthe debt papers. Many companies in Asia — such as Nomura ResearchInstitute Ltd of Japan, mining giant BHP Billiton and Philippine LongDistance Telephone Co — have cancelled share and bond sales after aterrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York and part ofthe Pentagon on September 11 and sent world financial markets spirallingdown.“I believe the arrangers have been planning the bond issue over the lastfew months, so the timing could not have been worse as nobody expected theterrorist attacks,” a treasury dealer said.Last year, Guthrie bought 25 oil palm operating companies in Holdiko PalmPlantations — now known as Minamas Plantation — through the IndonesianBank Restructuring Agency.Market talk is that Guthrie is looking at an initial issue of US$150million (US$1 = RM3.80) to gauge investors’ response, with other trancheslooking at over US$250 million.As it is an Islamic debt paper, traders and dealers expect the bonds to betargeted at Islamic investors in West Asia.Financial advisers for the debt paper, ABN Amro, told Business Times thatthe bank will have to look at the changing market conditions in the wakeof the September 11 attacks in the US.Officials said the proposed bond issue has not been confirmed. Bank Islamis the structural adviser for the debt papers.Guthrie is believed to have asked local rating agency Malaysia Rating CorpBhd to rate the credit quality of the conglomerate. A rating by aninternational rating agency is expected to follow for the US-dollardenominated bond issue.According to analysts and traders, Guthrie’s preference for internationalbonds could be a move to take advantage of low US interest rates, as wellas to tap the Islamic West Asia financial market.The US Federal Reserve cut its short-term interest rate again on Tuesday,bringing it to 2.5 per cent, the lowest since 1962.This has indirectly helped to enhance Malaysian sovereign bond yields overUS Treasury trade bills.However, a bank treasury head said the cost of the bonds will depend ontheir credit rating. He said a local ringgit bond issue might be cheaperas Guthrie’s would benefit from a better local rating due its familiarstanding.Meanwhile, analysts covering the plantation concern said the recentsluggishness in palm oil exports is likely to dampen future earnings whileinterest expenses on borrowings for the purchase of Indonesian companieswill depress profits for the year ending December 31 2001.They said Guthrie could post disappointing results again in the thirdquarter due to weak crude palm oil (CPO) prices and high operating costs.Guthrie posted a pre-tax loss of RM24.64 million for the second quarterended June 30 2001 compared to a pre-tax profit of RM17.45 million in thecorresponding period last year.Analysts believe that the losses could be due to higher replantingexpenditure.According to them, the contribution from the acquired Indonesianplantation is expected to materialise only in the next financial year atan operating profit of more than RM120 million based on an average CPOprice of RM1,150 a tonne.The contribution takes into account production of between 20 and 30 percent of the capacity of mature trees in the Indonesian plantations, and isexpected to increase steadily from 2003 onwards.
26839. 05/10/2001
   
BANGALORE, Sept. 27 (Business Line) - The Karnataka Government hasannounced a subsidy of 25 per cent on certified seeds for small andmarginal farmers to help them boost agricultural production.The announcement comes in the wake of failure of the kharif crops, whichagainst the target of 74.5 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, is likely to reachonly 48.53 lakh tonnes.Announcing the subsidy here on Thursday, the Minister for Agriculture, MrT.B. Jayachandra, told mediapersons that it would be given for five crops- jowar, bengalgram, wheat, safflower, and sunflower. The Karnataka SeedCorporation would be procuring the seeds and distributing them through itsoutlets and 'raithara mitra' centres. He said Rs 1.43 crore had beenreleased as part of the subsidy.Mr Jayachandra said the deputy commissioners of the districts had beendirected to start procurement of farm produce at a price not lower thanthe minimum support price. The Minister announced that the minimum supportprice has been increased for commodities, and a notification has beenissued on Thursday.The Minister said rains in the last two weeks had helped commence sowingfor rabi crops in the northern districts. Crops sown late in the southerndistricts were recovering, he added. In the last two weeks, 20 taluks hadexperienced excess rainfall, 92 taluks had normal rainfall, and the resthad scanty rainfall.
26840. 05/10/2001
   
04 October 2001 (Business Times) - MALAYSIAN investors and businessmenhave been urged to seize investment opportunities in Egypt’s automotive,tourism, furniture and palm oil-related industries.Currently awareness of investment potential in these sectors is stillminimal and Malaysian investors can make inroads in these economicsegments by initially carrying out a detailed and comprehensive marketstudy, according to Essam Ismail, Minister Plenipotentiary and Economicand Commercial Affairs of the Egyptian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.Egypt, with a population of 66 million and per capita income of US$1,000(US$1 = RM3.80), is a vast market of untapped potential, said Essam.“Currently the balance of trade between Malaysia and Egypt is in favour ofMalaysia.“Malaysia’s total exports to Egypt amounted to RM1 billion while importtotalled RM50 million from our country last year,” he added.The main export items from Malaysia to Egypt consist of palm oil, wood andrubber products, metals, machinery, electrical appliance and automobileswhile Egypt exports fruits and herbs, raw cotton and cotton yarn andaluminium to Malaysia.Egypt is Malaysia’s fifth largest consumer of its crude palm oil,importing over US$138.9 million last year.“By investing in Egypt in the palm oil sector, Malaysian investors areable to gain access to the 250-million Arab speaking market,” he said.Essam said there is ample opportunity for Malaysian businessmen to investin the production of automotive components such as seat belts, seats,exhaust, brakes and windscreen since the local component production isstill low at 40 per cent.“Our automotive industry was in existence long before Malaysia in 1955 butafter 46 years we only managed to produce less than half of the componentslocally,” he added.Essam said presently the two Malaysian national car producers, Proton andPerodua do not have any assembly plants in Egypt but have only appointedagents to sell their respective makes.One main factor attributing to the lag in the automotive industry Essamsaid was the long term effect on the economy due to the four wars withIsrael in 1948, 1956, 1967 and the last being in 1973 taking a heavy tollof over 1 million lives.Essam explained that the lack of information on investment opportunitiesand knowledge on the Egyptian market seem to be the main stumbling blockin the low interest shown by Malaysian investors.“We have organised several Egyptian investment seminars in several partsof Malaysia and I must say that business discussions during the meetingsbetween Egyptian and Malaysian businessmen do not normally result inconcrete follow-up measures.“In the end we see businessmen from both countries not being able to comeup with any real business relationship,” he said.Another sector which offers great potential is the tourism industry.According to tourist arrival figures of the Monthly Economic Digestpublished by the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, Egypt received2.97 million visitors of which only 12,000 are from East Asia and Pacific.Essam said tourists arrivals from Malaysia last year were very minimalwith only 3,000, with students comprising one third of them.Essam added Egypt is trying to capture the large Jeddah-bound travellersmarket from Malaysia totalling some 170,000 who mainly go for the haj andumrah or business purposes.He said the Egyptian Government adopts a business-friendly approach andwelcomes foreign investment.Regulatory bodies such as the General Authority For Investment (Gafi) isresponsible to process foreign investment applications and formulate thenecessary policies governing foreign direct investments.“Our investment laws offer tax breaks of between 5 and 20 years fordifferent industries, “ Essam said.Apart from the incentives offered by Gafi, the Government has alsoinstituted all necessary legal framework to attract foreign investmentsuch as corporate tax guidelines, customs duties and regulations governingfree zones.“More importantly we encourage Muslim investors from Malaysia to formpartnerships with their Egyptian counterparts so that trade relationsbetween these two Islamic nations can be further enhanced,” Essam said.
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ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7803 5544 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533