February 20 2004 - MALAYSIAN palm oil industry can increase the sales ofthe commodity by adding value to the product rather than selling it inbulk.
Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said trading thecommodity in bulk will mean Malaysia’s palm oil will have to compete withthose from other producing countries, which could lead to a loss in marketshare.
We should gradually move away from selling in bulk and switch to packed orconsumer-branded forms in order to stay ahead and build brand loyaltyamong consumers, he said.
He was speaking to reporters after launching a marketing dialogue jointlyorganised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) andMalaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in Subang Jaya yesterday.
Also present were MPOPC chairman Datuk Lee Oi Hian, MPOB director-generalDatuk Dr Yusof Basiron and US-based medical writer Robert E. Kowalski.
There are about 20 palm oil producing countries, of which Malaysia,Indonesia and Nigeria, account for more than 80 per cent of the globalproduction.
Crude palm oil (CPO) output is expected to increase to 14 million tonnesthis year while export earnings from the comodity and its related productsare projected to reach RM30 billion.
Dr Lim had said last week that if CPO prices remain at the current levelsof between RM1,800 and RM1,900 a tonne, Malaysia can achieve the RM30billion export target, adding that CPO prices could even go higher, atRM2,000 a tonne, any time soon.
Last year, Malaysia produced 13.35 million tonnes of CPO, accounting forabout half of the global output with export earnings totaling RM27.73billion.
On the US market, Kowalski said the country presents a huge potentialmarket for palm oil products, adding that Malaysia should not regard it asa bonus market.
Malaysian palm oil is currently exported to more than 120 countries. Chinais the biggest buyer, following by European Union countries, India andPakistan.