21.03.2019 (Free Malaysia Today) - KUALA LUMPUR: The price of crude palm oil (CPO) has seen an increase in the first two months of the year, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said the introduction of the B10 biodiesel had a positive impact on CPO prices in January and February.
“The average CPO has gone up to RM2,037 a tonne in January, and RM2,122.60 in February, compared with the price in December, which was only at RM1,794.50 a tonne,” she said during question time today.
Kok also noted an upward trend in the export of palm oil in the first two months of the year, increasing 10.5% compared with the same period last year.
“Exports to India increased 65%, China went up 62%, Mozambique 93.5%, Nigeria 2.3%, South Korea 46.3% and the United States 20.3%. This goes to show that efforts made by the ministry have had a positive impact,” she said.
Kok was replying to a question from Ronald Kiandee (PH-Beluran), who had asked on the progress of palm oil being used as a biofuel, and whether this was merely to give hope to palm oil plantation workers or was it running away from the plunging prices of palm oil.
To this, the Seputeh MP said the use of the B10 biodiesel would help burn some 710,000 tonnes of palm oil this year alone.
Earlier, Yusof Abd Wahab (GPS-Tanjung Manis) proposed that the ministry appoint wholesalers through open tender to buy directly from smallholders in rural areas. He also said the chosen smallholders with the highest price quoted could be incentivised by the government.
“This will indirectly help the smallholders, and encourage them to plant again and stabilise the price of the commodity,” he said.
To this, Kok said the ministry had already allocated RM1 million for the setting up of more cooperatives.
“We have given RM100,000 to Koperasi Penanam Sawit Mampan as working capital. We want to encourage more cooperatives to buy from smallholders and eliminate the middlemen who are exploiting smallholders,” she added.