KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- The concentration of most palm oilexports to five countries warrants attention because any significantshortfalls in imports by one of them could have a negative impact on theMalaysian palm oil industry, Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Seri DrLim Keng Yaik said.
"So Malaysian palm oil exporters cannot merely rely on a few markets butshould aggressively open new markets whilst at the same time, strive toconsolidate Malaysia's position in the existing market," he said at thePalm Oil Refiners Association Malaysia (PORAM) 28th anniversary dinnerheld here.
Exports of palm oil are highly dependent on countries like China, India,European Union (EU), Pakistan and Egypt and Dr Lim said any shortfallwould have an adverse impact as the country was still having a surplusstock situation of about a million tonnes of palm oil.
Between January to August, 2003, palm oil exports rose 16.0 percent to7.99 million tonnes, of which China accounted for 1.626 million tonnes(20.4 percent of total exports), India 1.121 million tonnes (14.1percent), EU 1.013 million tonnes (12.7 percent), Pakistan 738,143 tonnes(9.3 percent) and Egypt 385,084 tonnes (4.9 percent).
Production during the said period grew by 16.3 percent to 8.68 milliontonnes due to expansion in matured area and improved yield.
As the high monthly production entered the last quarter, Dr Lim expectsthe current year's output to exceed that of 2002, with crude palm oil(CPO) production reaching 13 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, the competitive prices of palm oil compared to other vegetableoils had induced a greater intake of Malaysian palm oil.
Stocks at end-August closed at 1.01 million tonnes against 1.09 million inthe same period of last year while total export earnings rose to RM16.9billion against RM11.7 billion in the same period of last year, due to thehigher prices.