MPOB expects CPO price to breach RM2,500 this year

By BERNAMA / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) expects the average price of crude palm oil (CPO) to rise above RM2,500 per tonne this year against RM2,250 per tonne in 2018.

Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said the performance of the Malaysian palm oil industry is also expected to improve this year with CPO production projected at more than 20 million tonnes compared to 2018’s 19.5 million tonnes.

“The country’s palm oil industry experienced a bleak situation in 2018 following the decline in production and CPO prices,” he said in his welcoming speech at the Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar 2019 on Wednesday.

Themed, “Palm Oil Driving Economic Sustenance”, the seminar is an annual forum organised by the MPOB for industry players to interact and share the latest developments.

Eight papers will be presented on the performance and prospects of the Malaysian palm oil industry.

According to Mohd Bakke, palm oil products have garnered a positive reputation as a trans fat-free alternative for the food industry in the US.

“The share of Malaysian palm oil imported into Pakistan has improved from 20% to 25% as more palm olein is being used as frying oil.

“Commercial oil palm cultivation started over 100 years ago and the subsequent growth of the whole supply chain has played a significant role and contributed to the socio-economic development of the country, while fulfilling global demand for vegetable oils,”
he said.

He also said palm oil was in fact the most consumed vegetable oil in the world at 70.21 million tonnes last year and constituted 30.9% of the total global oils and fat consumption.

Mohd Bakke said as such, Malaysia must strive to further enhance the performance of the country’s palm oil industry and ensure a sustainable supply of palm oil to feed the world.

“With the MPOB continuing to play a pivotal role in developing and enhancing the palm
oil industry, the board has developed many new technologies, for example palm-based Tibetan butter tea, palm-based milk tablets and palm-formulated mashed potatoes and palm-based frozen Chinese pancakes.

“These products target new and niche markets. MPOB’s regional offices will continue to work with authorities and industry players overseas to increase the uptake of palm oil usage in both the food and non-food sectors,” he added.

To expand into mature markets such as Europe and the US, Mohd Bakke said MPOB will focus on innovative value- added products, such as palm phytonutrients and oleochemical derivatives to enhance the value of palm products and de-commoditise palm oil.

He said MPOB will organise Palm Oil Health and Nutrition and Palm Oil Food Uses seminars in China this year, to help bridge the knowledge gap about Malaysian palm oil
with users in that country. — Bernama