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News 28751 to News 28760 of about 29290 news within page 2876
28751. 10/12/2001
   
Monday, December 10, 2001(The Star) - What will the fortune of the edibleoil business, in particular palm oil, be in the face if the abnormally lowwould price for some time now? This is the million-dollar question for theMalaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC). MPOPC chief Datuk HaronSiraj, a former secretary-general of the Ministry of Primary Industries,talks to LIM HOCK CHYE on the next charted course for palm oil.IF one were to ask Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) when palmoil would regain its brilliance, it would say the answer relates to whenthe US-Afghan war will end.Even French astrologer Nostradamus’ prophecies may not provide the rightanswer, although elsewhere, predictions abound that the war may heightenin the middle of next year and hopefully, be over by year’s end.Speculation aside, the MPOPC is not dodging the question, but no one canexactly chart the prospects for the commodity, one of Malaysia’s toprevenue earners.Being the largest world producer of palm oil, the current development inPakistan and Afghanistan is certainly a concern for the industry, inparticular, its supply and demand.As MPOPC chief executive Datuk Haron Siraj said, the local palm oilindustry post Sept 11 was looking ahead only from month to month as theindustry was still reeling from the consequences.Any longer term projection will be too ambitious as many shippers arereluctant to move to the markets in Pakistan, Russia and the formerCentral Independent States.Haron said during an interview in Petaling Jaya recently that manyshippers were unwilling to move to that part of the world because of thehigh insurance due to risk factors.Currently, palm oil is still being transported by various lines such asMalaysian International Shipping Corp Bhd and Sutrajaya Shipping Sdn Bhd,and the war has added uncertainties to freight cost and landed prices ofpalm oil.But Haron argues that at the same time, the industry cannot let certainparties take undue advantage of the situation by hiking the rate ofinsurance.“I hope to have an understanding among the buyers and the shippers,” Haronsaid, adding the industry already had its fair share of its “war” inrespect of price and it could ill-afford more problems in the interest ofprice stability and consumption.He said further price war would disrupt the commodity from reaching itsdestinations.It certainly will not benefit any party, as oil is such a basic need andfor the foreign buyers, stocks are going to start dwindling soon inanticipation of the coming festive seasons, such as Hari Raya Puasa andChristmas.The shipment of the oil must come in November and that is the main worryfor the local industry as well as the buyers.There have been reports from Egypt and the north African states that thepassage of ship in this region can be affected due to the war and this hasfurther dampened sentiment. MPOPC, nevertheless, is not directly involvedin the shipping.As a promotional agency, it is responsible in ensuring that we are able todeliver things in respect of time, quality and quantity specified,” saidHaron. More importantly, Malaysia has to see that palm oil enjoys a goodreputation.He noted that the buyers appreciated the problem and that the MPOPC was afacilitating agency, and the government would have to spearhead therelevant move.It has come to MPOPC’s ears that in Pakistan, people are selling the oilsparingly as they are afraid stocks may be in short supply. The councilhas been told some 40,000 tonnes will be shipped to Pakistan.“The situation at Karachi and Lahore ports is quite all right...the worryis again on the shippers and the country wants to order more, some 140,000tonnes for the next few months,” said Haron.The Pakistan market demand for our oil has increased to more than 15% overlast year’s demand. The buying is now more on CIF and understandably, thepremium is many times more.“I think there is a solution. It has to be shared responsibility. We haveestablished a good relationship among the various parties. There areindications that certain parties are willing to share the responsibilityif trade is disrupted,” Haron said.Everyone was affected and palm oil prices had been quite low for a longtime, he said.The new markets may provide a breather to the industry. Malaysia isselling to 140 countries. Every effort has been made to penetrate theworld market and the furthest sale is to some parts of Africa.“We are selling to some new markets too,” said Haron.The MPOPC is looking at, for instance, China (mostly urban areas), theUnited States (some 200,000 tonnes) Canada, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos andKampuchea.Iran is also on the list, according to Haron, and the Malaysian Palm OilBoard has set up a representative office there recently.“Our presence in Iran, for instance, has shown results. From January toAugust this year, Iran bought 60,000 tonnes against some 3,000 tonnes overthe corresponding period last year. This is an encouraging jump,” he said.The increase is due to the greater understanding between the two nationsand Haron said his immediate concern was to increase the number ofcountries which could absorb the commodity, because “by the time we cometo the 141st or 142nd country, the volume will be quite marginal.”In his opinion, Malaysian businessmen are not that aggressive or keen onpushing themselves to the final frontier.Haron said they must use |the established contacts to further theirbusiness interest. If not for |the war, Malaysia would have expanded thepalm oil market and |be concentrating now on densely-populated countries.Haron also reflected on the American Soybean Association (ASA), which hesaid “things are all right now.”“I must emphasise the truce with the ASA in 1989 has helped both sides alot. We have been meeting on a regular basis and we have always remindedourselves not to hit below the belt. They are also quite gentlemanly. Wehave a complementary role and if we can do that (carrying on the goodties), we are doing a good service to the world,” he said.Haron met ASA officials in September in Australia. At the meeting, thepalm oil industry drew out the best of both ASA and Malaysia’s attributes.As Haron puts it, “we synergise and work out our different niches.”For instance, efforts have been made to combine soyabean and palm oil tomake a margarine called “smart balance” and this uses the good qualitiesof both oils. More importantly, the ASA has indicated its desire to workwith the palm oil industry and this could not have been a better piece ofnews.“We are always looking at less discriminatory treatment. Let’s talk aboutlevel playing fields in the true sense of the word. If some enjoy animport duty or a certain percentage of tariff, why can’t we enjoy thesame?” he asked, adding that things were not easy because of the differentamount of subsidies by the respective countries.Haron’s advice to the palm oil industry is that anything we can produce,we must be able to sell them.Traditionally, Malaysians are quite comfortable with people coming fromelsewhere to buy from us but the scenario has changed.“We must not be happy with a certain price. The industry must godownstream and get new products. And where palm oil is sold as an edibleoil the cost must be effective,” Haron said.He also said the industry must replant and with the help of research, itwould ensure Malaysia’s survival in the trade.“Don’t forget we have competitors but that aside, we can also cooperatewith neighbouring countries on market development and generic promotion,”Haron said.In this respect, Haron said, Malaysia could draw on different expertisetogether to cooperate on multi-level trade issues.In essence, the efforts will result in a stronger linkage and eradicateundercutting.“Remember, Malaysia can’t afford to sell below cost, likewise, othercountries,” he said.MPOPC: Industry well-positioned to face Afta challengesTHE Malaysian palm oil industry is well-positioned to face the challengesfrom the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta), said Datuk Haron Siraj, the chiefexecutive officer of the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC).He said this was because the industry had gone downstream and was quitecompetitive. “Our research and development has created a lot ofopportunities for the industry.”Thailand is aggressively pursuing downstream processing but by virtue ofour relatively lower cost of operations in research and development,Malaysia still enjoys a competitive edge.Malaysia’s lower cost of operation and labour are its selling points andthe Asean market is there for it to tap.Giving his views on Indonesia, the world’s second largest palm oilproducer, Haron said its production would increase. Its cost is relativelycheaper and some 40% is consumed at home.“If they can get over whatever setbacks they have now, they will certainlygrow bigger and it is in our interest to work together with Indonesia,”said Haron. “I believe co-operation and co-existence are very important.There is a place for everyone.“The world needs edible oils and fats. There is a role for our productsand Indonesia’s. If both of us are efficient and happy with reasonableprofits, we can work together. But I believe it must be attractive forus.”In terms of value for money, palm oil gives premium health and nutritionalvalue.According to Haron, palm oil is the product for the poorer section of theworld community in particular.Malaysia has conducted 942 research projects worldwide to ensure palm oilis a “healthy” oil.“The relationship between the Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil industryis getting closer. We have been to China and India together to sell palmoil. We also want to appear to be responsible. We don’t want to be seen asganging up or pushing up prices as high as possible,” he said.Palm oil is suffering from tariff discrimination by some countries and itis in the interest of all that it enjoys better treatment compared withother oils.Malaysia and Indonesia will certainly want to see equal treatment of palmoil in some countries.“Transparency has to prevail, and with the quotas, we do not know whatthey are up to. The main objective in imposing a high tariff on importedoils and fats is because the country wants to raise its ownself-sufficiency in the industry,”said Haron.Notwithstanding this, he said, Malaysia felt it was still doing all right.But there is always room for improvement or for a more level playingfield.
28752. 07/12/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 - Weather continued to be good for both cropdevelopment and harvesting for the second consecutive month in November.Excessive rains in some areas, particularly in the East Coast region ofPeninsular Malaysia and some parts in East Malaysia had impactedharvesting and oil extraction rates slightly.Overall CPO production in November turned out as expected at an estimated1.035 million tonnes. This is 105,000 tonnes or 9.3 percent lower thanOctober. On an annual basis production was down 11.2 percent or moresevere than the contraction of 3.6 percent in October. For the 11 monthsto November, production amounted to 10.825 million tonnes. This is 17,000tonnes less than output for the whole of last year. With one more month togo total production this year might just reach 11.68 million tonnes. Thiswould be 840,000 tonnes or 7.7 percent more than last year.Palm oil offtake is estimated at 1.1 million tonnes in November. This is15,000 tonnes up on our previous estimate and nearly 60,000 tommes morethan a month earlier. Exports alone are estimated to have increased 45,000to 945,000 tonnes. This is also nearly 50,000 tonnes more than a yearearlier. During the month some traders had high expectations that exportswould reach a million tonnes as reported by wireservices.These traders had pinned their hopes on robust offtake by Pakistan andIndia. They unrealistically expected Pakistan to take at least 200,000tonnes palm oil but the actual figure was around 160,000 tonnes comprisingsome 130,000 tonnes from Malaysia and an estimated 30,000 tonnes fromIndonesia. Stocks of palm oil dropped 40,000 tonnes to an estimated 1.3million tonnes at end-November. This is little changed from our previousestimate. Compared to the all-time record high level registered a yearearlier stocks were down a hefty 225,000 tonnes.During the week beginning November 19, CPO futures trended upward on fourconsecutive days on concerted speculative buying that forced shortists tocover when stops were hit. However, the week's gains of 85 ringgit (basisFebruary) were fully erased the following week on long liquidation profittaking arising from increasing likelihood palm oil exports for Novemberwould not come close to a million tonnes coupled with sluggish new exportsales.Notwithstanding the steady to firm undertone in South America SBO cashmarket, CBT soya complex provided hardly any lead for the vegetable oilsmarket until the last day of the month. The palm oil market reactedquickly on Monday with futures setting the pace on renewed speculativebuying linked to perceptions that a demand-led bull run would soon be onthe way. In two days CPO futures chalked up gains of up to 88 ringgit withthe February contract hitting an intraday high of 1,185 ringgit or sixringgit short of last month's high posted on November 23. The upwardmomentum fizzled out yesterday on lack of follow through in the cashmarket.World palm oil fundementals for November-December have hardly changed inrecent weeks. But looking beyond end-December into March/April next yearthe fundementals for palm oil and other major edible oils willincreasingly favour producers-exporters. The risk-reward ratio alsofavours traders with long positions and consumers who extend their forwardcoverage. China holds the trump card as to whether CPO futures would testthis year's high of 1,315 ringgit recorded on August 8. Our final Novemberestimates will be released on December 11 ahead of the MPOB Report. Thefinal report for this year is scheduled on Friday ahead of the longEid-Fitr holidays. MDEX will be closed for three days Monday-Wednesday,December 17-19.(The opinions expressed in this article represent the views of the authoronly. They should not be seen as necessarily reflecting the views ofReuters)
28753. 07/12/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Malaysian plantation stocks such as SimeDarby rose on Tuesday as investors bet a surge in palm oil prices willmake the sector one of the fastest growing in 2002. The Kuala LumpurPlantations Index rose as much as 1.24 percent to 1.586.57, its highestsince mid-September, taking its gain since early October to more than 12percent as palm oil prices have surged.For 2001, the index of 40 stocks boasts a 15.8 percent gain comparedwith the benchmark Composite Index's 5.5 percent decline.Malaysian crude palm oil (CPO) futures have soared by over a third inthe past two months, boosted by stronger-than-expected demand from keybuyers India, China and Pakistan as worries about high stockpiles haveeased.Participants in the country's commodity and stock markets are upbeatabout prospects for palm oil prices for the coming year."We continue to be positive that the CPO prices will not fall to itsprevious low and thus we are maintaining our average price forecast forfiscal year 2002 at 1,150 ringgit per tonne, a 32 percent increaseyear-on-year," CIMB Research said in a report.The benchmark third-month February futures contract was up 14 ringgitat 1,176 ringgit ($306.84) per tonne at 0357 GMT, extending a 55 ringgitgain on Monday.Palm oil traders are even more bullish.Dorab Mistry, a leading Indian trader, told Reuters on Monday that CPOfutures will "definitely" soar to a four-month high of 1,300 ringgit bythe first quarter of 2002.And if China raises its import quota of palm oil as expected to 2.4million tonnes in 2002, from 1.4 million this year, prices could hit 1,600ringgit, Mistry said.
28754. 05/12/2001
   
SAO PAULO, 12/4/2001 (Dow Jones)- The Brazilian government will releasethis month one billion reals ($1=BRR2.49) in financing for the agriculturesector, an official at federally run Banco do Brasil said Monday.By the new year, Banco do Brasil intends to have made available BRR6.7billion in credit for farmers since the end of July.That total should swell to BRR10.5 billion by the end of June 2002, saidRicardo Conceicao, head of the bank's rural debt department.Brazil's government has earmarked about BRR14.7 billion for agriculturecredits for the 2001-02 season, up 30% on the BRR11.3 billion in financingprovided in 2000-01.However, authorities have said total financing this season could grow toBRR16.6 billion as more funds become available.By increasing funding for the agriculture sector, the government hopes toboost the country's grains and oilseeds output to more than 100 millionmetric tons.Brazil is currently wrapping up its 2000-01 grains and oilseeds crop,which is seen coming in at a record 99.2 million tons, up 19.2% on lastseason's output of 83.25 million tons, according to the National FoodSupply Agency, or Conab.Initial forecasts peg next season's crop at an unprecedented 100.3 milliontons.Of total financing for the 2001-02 crop, BRR11.4 billion will be providedat a fixed rate of 8.75% a year, while the remaining BRR3.3 billion willbe issued at a variable rate of interest, depending on the source of thefunds.While the bulk of the financing is for grains, oilseed and root vegetablesfarming, about BRR700 million is also included for the 2002-03 coffeecrop.
28755. 05/12/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Malaysia's crude palm oil futures are setto rebound to four-month highs at 1,300 ringgit or $342 a tonne in thefirst quarter of 2002 on tight soyoil supplies and steady demand frommajor buyers such as India, a leading Indian trader said."CPO index will definitely go to 1,300 ringgit and remain there. It shouldgo there very quickly," Dorab Mistry, director of Godrej InternationalLtd, told Reuters in an interview at the weekend.Malaysia's crude palm oil futures touched 1,613 ringgit ($424.47) a tonne(third-month basis) in May 9, 1999. By midday on Monday, benchmarkthird-month February contract firmed 28 ringgit to 1,125 ($296.1) tonne.Volume was slow at 959 lots.Another bullish factor will be China, which is expected to import 2.4million tonnes of palm oil in 2002 at low tariffs under atariff-rate-quota system following its entry to the World TradeOrganisation (WTO), Mistry said.China's palm oil imports quotas stood at 1.4 million tonnes this year. Itbought 1.02 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia in 2000, up from800,135 tonnes in 1999."They will utilise the palm oil quota first. In that case if the Chinesebegin to buy palm oil, we could go to 1,600 ($421.11) ringgit," saidMistry, who was in Malaysia for an industry talk.Mistry said China was likely to use its soyoil import quotas when prices,now at premiums of around $20-$30/tonne to palmoil, softened in April withthe start of South American soybean crop."Between now and the South American season which starts in April, palm oilhas very little competition. But (it) will remain the case if palm oilremains at $20-$30 discount to bean oil FOB," he added.
28756. 05/12/2001
   
KUANTAN, Tuesday, December 4, 2001 (The Star) - Pahang will gazetteanother 100,396ha of land as forest reserve to add to the 2.1 millionhectares already gazetted in an effort to provide more tree cover.Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said the government wanted more areasto be protected under the various environmental laws.“The government is concerned with the depletion of forest reserves and toshow our seriousness to safeguard the environment, the government willcontinue with the policy in the years to come.“In the effort to provide more tree cover, the government has included thecreation of palm oil and rubber plantations throughout the state.“These trees are as good as forest trees to provide the greening as partof the government’s strategy,” Adnan said recently.He said Pahang still stands as one of the states with the most tree cover,adding that about 57.12% of the state was covered with forest andplantations.He said that the government would continue with the sustainable forestmanagement as stipulated by the National Forestry Council.He said that under the Eighth Malaysian Plan, the government would onlyfell 10,700 trees as decided by the council.“We are in the midst of providing incentives for the private sector toventure into such plantations on a commercial basis,” he added.To improve logging techniques, Adnan said the government would imposelogging methods that cause minimal environmental damage.He said the time had come for loggers to shift to other logging methods toreduce the environmental damage.
28757. 05/12/2001
   
USA, (The Express) December 01, 2001 - PRESSURE for an end tocontroversial large-scale trials of GM crops intensified yesterday afterclaims that a field of GM "weeds" had been discovered.The oilseed rape covering at least 15 acres was found at a site usedearlier this year in one of the Government's GM trials.The programme is designed to test the environmental impact of the powerfulherbicides used with modified crops.The plants, in a field near Grantham, Lincolnshire, may have grown fromseeds spilled when the crop was harvested - and a large proportion are nowin flower thanks to a mild autumn.This has fuelled fears that they could cross-pollinate with andcontaminate nearby conventional oilseed rape and wild relatives.The Government last night ordered an inquiry into the claims. Unwanted GMplants would have to be destroyed.Campaigners Friends of the Earth yesterday called on the Government toprosecute the biotech company involved, Aventis.FoE spokesman Pete Riley said: "The biotech industry has gone too far, toofast and is now out of control."It's time the Government said enough is enough and called an immediatehalt to this dangerous experiment."Aventis last night insisted it had done nothing wrong. A spokesman said itwas allowed "to encourage any seeds dropped to germinate so we can go inlater and destroy them" .
28758. 05/12/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- Siemens AG, which has stamped its markbuilding large-scale power generation projects using petroleum, coal andhydro, wants to share its oil palm biomass expertise to produce energy inMalaysia, says a company official.
28759. 05/12/2001
   
Kuala Lumpur, (New Straits Times )11/30/2001 - NINETEEN countries in WestAsia are important markets for Malaysian palm oil, Deputy PrimaryIndustries Minister Datuk Anifah Aman said.He said among the countries are Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq,Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman and Tunisia.He said between 1996 and 2000, 5.33 million tonnes of palm oil had beenexported to these destinations compared with 4.63 million tonnes to Europeand 0.65 million tonnes to the United States.Epypt is the highest importer among the West Asian countries with 400,000tonnes a year followed by Turkey (160,000 tonnes) and Saudi Arabia(140,000 tonnes).Answering a question by Jamilah Ibrahim, he said palm oil prices had risenfrom RM700 to RM800 per tonne early this year to about RM1,000 per tonnenow.
28760. 30/11/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The following are factors likely toaffect the performance of Malaysian palm oil futures on Wednesday:* Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soyoil futures settled down 0.07 to0.20 cent per lb on Tuesday, with December down 0.20 cent at 16.09 andJanuary down 0.16 cent at 16.26 cents.* One technical analyst in Kuala Lumpur pegged key support at 1,120ringgit in Malaysia's crude palm oil futures."It is crucial for the market to hold above 1,120 ringgit from todayonwards. Many technical indicators are already forming a negativepattern," the analyst said."If the market can break the resistance levels of 1,170 and 1,191 andinstead trade below 1,120, the downside risk will increase," she said.Malaysian crude palm oil ended mostly lower on Tuesday, but withbenchmark February rebounding on technicals and talk the government hasselected firms to be allowed to export CPO without duty.Third-month February futures was down one ringgit at 1,142 ringgit($300.53) a tonne. Volume was heavy at 2,318 lots.Malaysia said earlier this month it would allow duty-free export of 1.3million tonnes of crude palm oil in 2002 to boost the market and helpreduce stocks.This year, the government allowed seven companies to export one milliontonnes of CPO without duty. It said firms which had used up their quotafor 2001 could apply for a new one and would be given permission toutilise next year's allocation starting in December.Malaysia imposes an export tax on CPO on a graduated scale starting at10 percent on prices above 600 ringgit in order to protect itsrefiners.
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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 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533