KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Indonesia have proposed ajoint trade mission to China and India to seek better access to the palmoil markets of these two major export markets.
Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik together withIndonesia's Trade and Industry Minister Rini Soewandi are planning themission in view of the problems the two countries have been facing ingaining greater access for their exports there.
Malaysia and Indonesia are the world's leading palm oil producers.
Dr Lim said the Indonesian minister had suggested that the trip be made toboth India and China to work out the market access problem.
He said this after opening the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange's annual palm& lauric oils conference and exhibition in Seri Kembangan near here today.
Dr Lim said China and India both needed to import five million tonnes ofedible oil each this year.
China, which has been admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO)recently has yet to honour its import quota for palm oil.
Going by commitments made by the WTO, China is supposed to allow theimport of 2.4 million tonnes of palm oil this year.
Lim said China has so far not announced the release of its quota.
He said the delay in the announcement, which was supposed to have beenmade on March 5 had resulted in a bearish sentiment in the market.
Even then, China could cap the quota to not much more than 1.4 million.
This is because 800,000 tonnes of the proposed 2.4 million tonnes havebeen capped solely for state-owned entreprises, and only 10 percent of thequota could be utilised until further notice.
"We are confident that demand in China is well over 2.4 million and yet wecan't get access to the market," he said.
"We hope that China will honour her WTO promises. Otherwise, China'srecent WTO accession will be utterly meaningless for the edible oiltrade," he said.
India, on the other hand, has imposed a discriminatory duty regime on palmoil imports, Lim said.
India imposed an import tariff of 65 percent for crude palm oil but forsoyoil the tariff was 45 percent, he said. -- BERNAMA