Palm oil export earnings in 2020 highest in 4 years

India was the largest importer of Malaysian palm oil with 2.7m tonnes, followed by China, the Netherlands and Pakistan


MALAYSIA’S export earnings from palm oil and palm oil products amounted to RM72.8 billion last year, the highest since 2017, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

“The palm oil industry has been the fourth-largest sector that contributes to the economy for the past 15 to 18 years. The status symbolises its importance to a developing country such as Malaysia.

“To date, about 450,000 smallholders and their families in Malaysia are depending on the domestic palm oil industry,” he said at the launch of the “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan” virtual campaign yesterday.

India was the largest importer of Malaysian palm oil with 2.75 million tonnes, followed by China with 2.73 million tonnes.

The Netherlands and Pakistan remained as the third- and fourth-largest importers of the edible oil and its products with 1.7 million tonnes and one million tonnes respectively.

Mohd Khairuddin said the palm oil industry is also playing a significant role in the efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Soaps and detergents, which are the main mediums in killing the coronavirus, have palm oil as their ingredients.

Items such as hand sanitisers, which contain alcohol, are also made up of palm oil. The variety of palm usage has opened up opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers to leverage the oil during challenging times, he said.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry virtually launched the “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan” campaign to promote the edible oil among Malaysians and raise awareness on its benefits and the contribution of the palm oil industry to the country.

“This campaign will focus on the role of the palm oil industry to Malaysia’s socioeconomic, food industry, health and pharmaceuti- cals, as well as the environment.

“The campaign includes promotions and competitions throughout 2021 to attract people from all ages to get to know the industry better,” Mohd Khairuddin said in his speech.

The ministry has also launched a new online platform,, to enable the people to have better access to credible information on palm oil.

“We hope through this campaign and the new online platform, accurate information on the palm oil industry, as well as the health benefits of palm oil could be widely accessible”, Mohd Khairuddin said.

Read our previous report here

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