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News 31551 to News 31560 of about 32006 news within page 3156
31551. 29/10/2001
Monday, October 29, 2001 (The Star) - ALL parties involved in the oil palmindustry need to overcome problems of declining palm oil extraction rate(OER) amid competition from other countries, said Primary IndustriesMinister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.He said if a party involved in the industry took a lackadaisical attitude,this would affect the oil palm industry's revenue. As such, he hoped allparties involved would give serious attention to achieving the OER targetof 25%.Dr Lim said this in his speech at the Oil Palm Industry and Malaysian PalmOil Board (MPOB) Awards ceremony 2001 on Friday.He said that looking at the average percentage of OER for mills inPeninsular Malaysia, only four mills had succeeded in achieving theaverage of more than 20%, while 36 others registered OER of an average of19% and above and 204 more still at the 19% level.Dr Lim said the decline was due to inefficient management, especially indetermining that only quality oil palm was sent to the mills.As such, he said, all plantations and small-scale entrepreneurs shouldtighten the quality of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) by harvesting only thosethat were really ripe.“There is also a need to implement a proper grading of the fruits acceptedat the mills,’’ he said. — Bernama
31552. 29/10/2001
29 October 2001 (Business Times) - TENAGA Nasional Bhd wants to reduce itsdependence on gas fuel and increase consumption of coal, says chairmanDatuk Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.“The Government is giving Tenaga a 50 per cent subsidy on gas but coal isnow about the same price as gas. Naturally Tenaga should consider usingmore coal in case the subsidies are reduced or removed later,” he toldBusiness Times.Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Leo Moggie has saidgas should be priced around RM7.68 per million metric British thermal unit(mmbtu).The open market price for gas fuel is currently between RM13 and RM14 permmbtu, which means Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is giving a discountof about 50 per cent to power generators.Local research house MIDF Sisma said gas-powered plants account for 81.1per cent of Tenaga’s total generation capacity, with coal a mere 8.6 percent, hydro 8.3 per cent, and oil 2 per cent.“This is why Tenaga is pushing for a more diversified fuel mix. It isdangerous to rely so heavily on a single fuel, a supply disruption inwhich would affect overall power production,” it said.Sectoral analysts said Tenaga could more than double its coal consumptionby 2010 with MIDF Sisma projecting that the fuel’s share would rise to 20per cent and gas’ fall to 59 per cent.The industry as a whole is also expected to see a boost in coal usage withthe commencement in 2006-07 of two coal- powered independent powerproducers (IPPs), namely SKS Ventures and Jimmah Power. Their combinedoutput is estimated at 3,500 megawatts (MW).The country’s total capacity currently stands at about 12,000MW.In addition, analysts are saying hydro-power will play a decidedly moreprominent role upon completion of the Bakun project. MIDF Sisma isforecasting a 20 per cent contribution from hydro by the end of thedecade.Jamaludin said Tenaga has not been informed of any decision by theGovernment regarding an increase in gas prices.Under an agreement with Petronas which expired end-2000, gas is sold toTenaga at a fixed price of RM6.40 per mmbtu.Tenaga has continued to pay at this price.Analysts said the Government may not make a decision for a while yet givenunder the current economic circumstances.“Electricity affects everyone, any increase in gas prices will affectelectricity tariffs and add to the inflationary pressure.”“The Government will probably wait for signs of an economic recovery,maybe towards the end of the year,” said an analyst with a local researchhouse.Meanwhile, Jamaludin said Tenaga will continue to work closely with theMalaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) on the project to use palm oil as biofuelto generate electricity.Palm oil is already being burned at a boiler plant in Prai and adiesel-fuel station in Sabah.MPOB director general Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron confirmed when contacted byBusiness Times that the biofuel project is ongoing.“We have a trigger price (calculated according to a formula) (todetermine) when to burn palm oil to help prop up the commodity’s price.The lower the price the more we burn,” he said.
31553. 26/10/2001
Jakarta, Oct 23 (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Iran will set up a joint ventureto build and run a crude palm oil (CPO) refinery in the Central Asiancountry to meet its demand for edible oil, Trade and Industry MinisterRini MS Soewandi said here Tuesday.Scheduled to be constructed between March 2002 and 2003, the refinerywould produce CPO to meet Irian's domestic demand for the commodity whichranged between 300,000 and 1 million tons a year, she said.The minister spoke to the press after the conclusion of the sixth meetingof the Indonesia-Iran Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperationwhich produced a series of agreements.The Iranian delegation to the meeting was headed by Post, Telegraph andTelephone Minister Seyyed Ahmad Mo'tamedi.Indonesia, Rini said, would deliver the CPO to Iran where it would beprocessed into edible oil and the commodity would also be sold tocountries near Iran.Indonesia had also agreed to sell its steel products on counter-tradeterms but Iran had yet to decide what goods it would supply to Indonesiain return.Rini said, the joint commission had agreed on cooperation to holdtrainings in the oil and gas sector, agriculture, animal husbandry,fishery and trainings in banking, tourism and education sector."Cooperation in post, telecommunication, and transportation will includeinformation technology, common stamps, and maintenance of Iran's airplanesby Garuda Indonesia," Rini said.In addition, the chambers of commerce and industry from both countries hadagreed to establish promotion centers in Jakarta and Tehran.The Joint Commission was scheduled to hold its seventh session in December2002 in Tehran to follow up on previous accords.Rini said, the joint commission was important for Indonesia amid itssluggish exports to main destination countries such as the United States,the European Union and Japan.As those countries were facing an economic slowdown, Indonesia needed toanticipate its negative impact, Rini said."One way for it is increasing economic and trade cooperation withnon-traditional partner countries," the minister said.According to data from the Trade and Industy Ministry, total bilateralIndonesia-Iran trade during the past five years (1996-2000) has been onthe decline.In 1997, bilateral trade dropped by 26.08 percent to US$535.21 million,from US$552.45 million in 1996.Bilateral trade showed afurther decline and reached US$221.86 million in1998, US$137.85 million in 1999 and was slightly up at US$240.23 millionin 2000.
31554. 25/10/2001
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- Export of palm oil to Pakistan and WestAsian region will continue as the government is willing to provideassistance to exporters in tackling the shipping disruptions following theSept 11 attacks on the United States, said Primary Industries Minister,Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.
31555. 25/10/2001
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil extended its rally onWednesday on expectations that the government will subsidise risinginsurance costs for oils shipments to Pakistan and the Gulf.Insurance premiums spiked after the U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan.Malaysian Primary Industries Minister Lim Keng Yaik said on Tuesdayinsurance surcharges for a tonne of palm oil to the war-risk areas hadrisen $1-$5 and exporters were told of the exact difference only 48 hoursbefore their cargo reached port.Lim said he planned to ask Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's cabinet,which meets every Wednesday, to subsidise the higher premiums if it could.News of Lim's proposal came an hour before the market closed on Tuesdayand pushed the benchmark third-month January contract up 18 ringgit.The contract was up another 14 ringgit at 947 ringgit ($249.21) a tonne atmidday on Wednesday. Volume was moderate at 911 tonnes.Sentiment was also helped by an overnight rise in U.S. soyoil futures,whose prices usually move in step with palm oil."But it had more to do with the insurance subsidy. People think theremight be some news on it soon," said a trader.Lim said on Tuesday that he expected Mahathir's cabinet to make a decisionon his proposal by next week.He said about 2.5 million tonnes, or 25 percent of Malaysia's palm oilexports, head to Pakistan and the Middle East.Dealers said market thinking was that there would be more exports to thewar-risk areas in the event of a subsidy, although the fundamentals ofsupply and demand would still rule.Trading in physical palm oil followed the trend set by the futures market.Crude palm oil for October was bid/asked at 860/870 ringgit a tonne in thesouthern region. The contract was traded at 855-860.November (south) was at 875/885 and traded at 870 to 875.The central region market for October was heard 865/875 and traded at 860to 865.November (central) was bid/asked at 880/885. No business was reported.Among refined products, November RBD palm oil was offered at $247.50 atonne and December at $252.50.Offers for November RBD olein were at $255 and December at $262.50.November RBD palm stearin was offered at $240 a tonne while November palmfatty acid distillate was offered at $212.50.
31556. 25/10/2001
24 October 2001 (BusinessTimes) - THE Government may consider subsidisinginsurance costs for shipments of palm oil to Pakistan and West Asianregion due to the increase in premiums following US strikes onAfghanistan.
31557. 25/10/2001
Wednesday, October 24, 2001 (The Star) - OLEOCHEMICALS manufacturerSouthern Acids (M) Bhd, which expects a decline in profit from itsmainstay business this year, is confident of turning around its healthcaredivision in the current year ending April 2002.According to its chairman Datuk Low Mong Hua, the loss-making healthcaredivision has shown favourable results in the 1st quarter of this year,earning about RM500,000.“We expect the division to get back into the black this year,’’ Low toldreporters after the company AGM in Klang yesterday.Low said, however, that the profit from the healthcare division this yearwould be marginal. The division suffered a loss of RM3.53mil last year.Southern Acids started the healthcare division with the setting up of SriKota Medical Centre (SKMC) in Klang in 1999.The medical centre, which recently recorded full occupancy, had started aneye laser centre on its premises under Centre for Sight Sdn Bhd six monthsago.On the group’s forecast of a decline in demand for oleochemical productsthis year against a sterling performance last year, Low said that theprojection was based on the general slowdown of the US economy.“Maybe it’s a little too early to make any forecast, we don’t know whatwill happen in the US next,’’ he said.The oleochemical division ac-hieved a pre-tax profit of RM-50.49mil in theyear ended April 30, 2001.On the progress of the group’s memorandum of understanding withIndonesia-based PT Pekebun Nusantara XIII, Low said that Southern Acidswas still finalising the terms and conditions for the proposed jointventure to build and manage a palm oil refinery.“We don’t expect the project to take off this year,’’ he said.On when the group would launch its Bandar Sawit township project, Low saidthe group had yet to overcome certain technical problems with theauthorities and the company was also not eager to embark on the project inthe immediate term due to the sluggish property market.He said the group planned to wait for the right time before launching the644.37-acre project located near Bukit Kemuning in Shah Alam.
31558. 23/10/2001
23 October 2001 (Business Times) - THE tax incentives proposed forresource-based industries including rubber and oil palm in the Budget 2002are expected to cause little impact on local plantation companies as themove will only benefit firms that plan to reinvest for expansion.According to analysts, the incentives are also more directed towards firmsinvolved in the downstream activities, such as oil palm refiners andrubber glove manufacturers, rather than plantation companies per se(except for those that own such facilities).Most of the analysts, however, still maintain an overweight rating for thesector which they view as “defensive and stable” amid the present economicslowdown.They also expect prices of crude palm oil (CPO) to strengthen towards theend of 2001 and early next year as the fundamentals are still strong.“The incentives announced during the Budget will not really affectplantation companies that much as I do not foresee many of themreinvesting in Malaysia,” an analyst from Arab-Malaysian Securities toldBusiness Times yesterday.Though many firms are interested to invest further in the country, theirplans have been hampered by the lack of sufficient, fertile landbankdomestically, she said.“If you look at the recent acquisitions in the palm oil industry, theywere largely done overseas, particularly in Indonesia,” she added.An analyst from Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), Ahmad Shariff, said plantationcompanies with manufacturing and refining facilities would benefit fromthe tax incentives announced by the Government last Friday.“But the impact is not going to be immediate; it would only happen whenthe companies start to reinvest,” he said.On a more general view, Ahmad said plantation is still a “very good,defensive sector” although there were slight worries about the situationin Afghanistan that might disrupt CPO shipments to West Asia, particularlyto Pakistan and India.“The fundamentals still point out to better prices of CPO,” he said.Ahmad also said that some recovery in CPO prices are likely to be seentowards the end of this year and early 2002, with the commodity’s priceexpected to average at RM1,100 per tonne for the whole of next year.An analyst from a local research firm said their forecast CPO price for2001 is at RM868 per tonne, with IOI Corp Bhd and PPB Oil Palms Bhd beingtheir favoured counters.“We like them because of their (low) PE, good growth and stability inincome,” she said.SSB’s Ahmad said IOI Corp is still one of the better plantation companiesas the group has more young oil palm trees which could produce higheryields compared to the others.On the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) yesterday, IOI Corp closed foursen lower at RM3.08 while PPB Oil Palms eased four sen to RM1.80.The KLSE’s plantation sub-index also fell 8.56 points to 1,407.78, in linewith the lower Composite Index which dropped 5.93 points to 609.09.Out of the 39 companies which made up the plantation sub-index only threeended higher, while 17 closed softer and 19 ended unchanged.In the spot CPO market, Malaysia’s October South CPO closed unchanged atRM850 a tonne.In the Budget unveiled last week, the Government has proposed to grant taxincentives for companies in the rubber, oil palm and wood based industriesthat reinvest for expansion purposes in a move to increase domesticinvestment in resource based industries.Among others, relevant companies stand to enjoy pioneer status with taxexemption of up to 85 per cent of statutory income for a period of 5years, or an investment tax allowance of up to 80 per cent within a periodof 5 years.
31559. 23/10/2001
MEDAN, Indonesia, Oct 19 Asia Pulse - Demand for crude palm oil (CPO) ininternational markets is stable but the price is declining, producerssaid.Derom Bangun, chairman of the Indonesian palm oil producers (Gapki) saidCPO price declined from US$235 early October to US$226 per ton this week.Bangun said the price fall was caused not by the U.S.-Afghan conflict butby a larger supply of CPO from producers to the world market.In addition, the world's economic slowdown has dampened demand for CPO andits derivatives, he added.He said Indonesia's exports to India, the largest market for the country'sCPO, are stable.
31560. 23/10/2001
MATI, Davao Oriental-10/13/2001 (Philippine Daily) - The InternationalCopra Export Corp., which is one of the country's biggest coconut crudeoil exporters, said it is considering a mass layoff of its workers unlessthe price of copra, which has been falling in the last few years, does notimprove.Interco, which maintains three plants in Mindanao including one here, saidit is losing an average of P500 million a year since the crisis in thecoconut industry started."Definitely, we will be forced to cut significantly our workforce shouldthe downtrend continue in the next two years," Michael Ling, Intercopurchasing manager, said.Interco, he said, used to earn P1 billion per year.Ling said the crisis gripping the coconut industry is hardly addressedbecause "the government's intervention (to solve the crisis) is notenough."Interco is Davao Oriental's remaining big private employer after the DavaoTimber Corp. shut down its operations in the early 1980s. It currentlyemploys at least 150 people here.Another reason cited by Interco for the layoff is the unabated cutting ofcoconut trees, which resulted in a reduced supply of nuts."The government is helpless in stopping the massive cutting of coconuttrees. If this trend will continue in the next two years, we will reallybe forced to retrench our workers," Ling said.But coconut producers said they have no more choice left but to converttheir farms either into ricefields or mango plantations because of thevery low prices of copra.Even Mayor Francisco Rabat admitted he is diversifying his 400-hectarefarm while waiting for the coconut industry to recover."Diversify (the farm) so you can be helped. If the coconut will not helpyou, the other (crops) will. I am now very lucky with my pomelo," Rabatsaid.On the claims of Interco, Rabat said that "the oil mills are neveraffected (by the crisis) because they just buy copra, process it and sellit.""They always make money. It is the coconut producers who lose moneybecause right now the income of copra just goes to the laborers," he said.From a high of P20 per kilo until 1998, prices of copra plummeted to a lowof P4 per kilo. The reason cited for the sharp decrease was the worldmarket's shift to the use of palm oil."The world market prices of copra is very low because the other oilvegetable products are very substantial in production like the palm oil inMalaysia. They released an average of 8 million tons a year to the worldmarket and Indonesia, 5 million tons. How do you expect the coconutindustry to compete with that," Rabat said.Jonelito Vicente, officer in charge of the Philippine Coconut Authorityhere, said he expected the annual output of the coconut industry tofurther decrease in the coming years because the PCA is poised to stop itsfree fertilizers program because of lack of funds.He, however, denied there was massive cutting of coconut trees here.Vicente said there was even an increase in the area planted to coconut.Davao Oriental became the country's largest coconut producer when itsannual output reached 216,710 metric tons last year. But the PCA here saidthe figure is 40 percent lower than the same period in 1999. FerdinandZuasola, PDI Mindanao Bureau
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