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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

19/05/2004

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Bernama

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

M'sia Able To Sustain High Palm Oil Prices Because
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- Growing demand for palm oil will enableMalaysia to sustain high prices for the commodity, Plantation Industriesand Commodities minister, Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said Tuesday.

"We have great demand, especially from China, India, Pakistan, West Asiaand the European Union," he said.

"Now we are able to diversify and produce versatile products," he toldreporters after the official opening of the international conference onPests and Diseases of Importance to the Oil Palm Industry, here Tuesday.

The Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Malaysian Palm Oil PromotionCouncil (MPOPC) are studying the possibility of exporting palm oil to morecountries.

Chin said in export, palm oil was the world's undisputed leader with 47.7percent of the global market, and soybean second at 22 percent.

The total world oils and fats trade was 44.2 million tonnes.

He said currently palm oil prices were facing some technical correction,however the world demand for the commodity was still very strong.

"We will sell our palm oil products to as many countries as we can," hesaid.

Citing Africa, he said it would be the potential market for the futureespecially when the countries there become more prosperous.

Chin said consumption of palm oil was in line with the prosperity of acountry.

"The more prosperous a country the more healthy oil like palm oil will beconsumed," he said adding that Africa would one day become prosperous.

Currently, the domestic consumption of a Malaysian is 20kg per year,Africa ranging from 5kg to 12kg, while the United States doubled that ofMalaysian consumers.

Being the biggest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world and wherethe commodity generates RM27.7 billion in export earnings and supports thelivelihood of over one million people, he said Malaysia placed greatimportance to the continued viability and sustainability of the palm oilindustry.

"Malaysia, given its limited land resources, will have no alternative butto strive hard to overcome new challenges to seek greater," he said.

In terms of planted areas, Chin said Malaysia would increase the number ofacreage of palm oil plantations to 5.0 million hectares from the current3.8 million hectares in the years ahead.

Earlier Chin said apart from productivity improvement, there had been muchemphasis lately on pests and disease management.

"This is because pests and diseases of the palm oil have recentlythreatened to reduce crop yields and palm oil production," he said addingthat pests and diseases prevention would be given high priority on hisministry's research and development agenda.

He said the MPOB continued to put high emphasis on its research programmesto overcome the problems caused by pests and diseases.

Chin said the on-going attack of basal stem rot diseases or "Ganoderma" onpalm oil was an excellent example of the serious loss due to the diseasein Malaysia.

He said more that 50 percent of the palm oil areas in Peninsular Malaysiawere affected with "Ganoderma."

A 30 percent to 70 percent of disease incidence can cause losses to be ashigh as 25 to 45 percent reduction in fresh fruit bunches yield which istranslated into millions of revenue losses.

Therefore, he urged the industry players to place more emphasis on theirR&D.

He said MPOB had invested RM100 million in R&D, while the industry spentRM50 million.

Chin said big plantations companies were encouraged to carry out their ownR&D.

Commenting on the conference organised by MPOB, Chin said he was pleasedthat Malaysia was hosting this conference for the first time for thediscussion on palm oil crop pests and diseases as well as measures topromote global cooperation in instituting quarantine shields.

He added that the government, through his ministry would continue to workwith the local palm oil industry to take precautionary steps to avoidattacks by or outbreak of diseases of the palm oil.

Chin said that it was important for the world palm oil growing countriesto assess and review their national quarantine procedures and identifyareas that require harmonisation in line with the latest knowledge on cropprotection.

-- BERNAMA

$SIG$Form:INetSendTo: .$StorageTo: .RecipientGroupsExpanded: palmnews_group$Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 5.0.1b (Intl) 30 September 1999$MessageID: INetFrom: rodzi@commserv.mpob.gov.myPostedDate: 19-05-2004 03:16:28 PMRecipients: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,