by ASILA JALIL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE government will leverage on the escalating prices of crude palm oil (CPO) to increase the country’s market share of palm oil in the global market.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said the move is part of the ministry’s preparations amid the uncertainties arising from the current geopolitical situation globally.
The minister has held meetings with numerous players in the agri-commodity industry such as Egypt, India and Bangladesh over the increase in prices for the commodity.
“The increased revenue from the spikes in demand for palm oil will greatly help the country, which is still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“MPIC along with the relevant agencies will continue to guarantee the future of smallholders and all Malaysian palm oil industry players,” she said in a statement today.
She noted CPO prices topped RM8,000 a tonne for the first time on Tuesday as consumers rushed to source the oil amid the shortfall in sunflower oil caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
March CPO futures contract recently jumped RM712 to RM8,63 a tonne, while April contracts rose RM663 to RM7,435. The benchmark May contracts gained RM463 to RM6,762.
According to Zuraida, research has indicated that punic buying by consumers to cover the temporary shortfall in edible oil supplies from Ukraine may continue until the situation improves.
She also reminds players to take advantage of the “good times” income to upgrade their living quarters and other facilities for the future.
“As for the smallholders, I urge them to enhance their management and take this opportunity to focus on their savings,” she added.
Ukraine is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil with a market share of 47% of global exports, while Russia’s share in the global exports stands at 29.9%.
These two countries accounted for 60% of the global sunflower oil production in 2020 and 2021.
Sunflower oil is the world’s third-most traded vegetable oil, after palm and soybean oil.
Meanwhile, Zuraida also assures Malaysians that there is sufficient supply of government-subsidised cooking oil for the nation.
“We anticipated the rising cost locally and elsewhere. We understand there are concerns, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, particularly among the B40 group.
“But rest assured there is sufficient supply to meet the needs of everyone in the country. This is the government’s commitment to all Malaysians in line with the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia,” she added.