PUTRAJAYA, Aug 25 (Bernama) -- Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri DrLim Keng Yaik is confident that the prices of crude palm oil will remainat current favourable levels towards end of the year.
Dr Lim said he was satisfied with the current strong demand and healthystocks for palm oils although the country has reached the highestproduction month.
"Prices are still maintained, and I think it should not be a problem (tomaintain the high prices), because the market demand is very good, and weare reaching almost at the end of the high production month," he said.
Dr Lim was speaking to reporters after officiating the MPOB InternationalPalm Oil Congress (PIPOC). The five-day congress started today.
At present, crude palm oil (CPO) prices are hovering between RM1,350 andRM1,450 per tonne.
He added that he will not worry about the expectations of higherproduction as long as Malaysia was successful in increasing the usage ofpalm oil and getting new markets.
Asked on production and stocks, Dr Lim said the country was undeterred bythe projection of a slightly higher production for 2003 as exports wereexpected to remain higher for the whole year.
The minister put the production for the whole year at 12.5 million tonnes,contrary to the 13.5 million tonnes expected by the industry.
"We believe that this year would be a good year for export. We expectexports to reach to about 12 million tonnes for the whole year," he said.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Lim also cautioned the industry not to be lulledinto a false sense of security and complacency over the high prices ofpalm oil.
"We must be ready to take pre-emptive action at the first sign of anyunfavourable price trends," he said.