by BERNAMA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) will take advantage of the shortage of global edible oil amid the political tension in Europe to promote Malaysian palm oil, paving the way for the commodity to regain its market share especially in the European Union (EU).
MPIC Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24 this year has significantly affected the global vegetable oil supplies as the uncertainty over the Black Sea exports have resulted in higher vegetable/edible oil prices.
“The Russian-Ukraine conflict has led to shortages of sunflower oil and rapeseed oil with both countries accounting for 80% of global exports.
“MPIC believes that the Black Sea tension will benefit Malaysian palm oil exports as many European countries with high dependency on sunflower oil, have now shifted their demand to palm oil,” she said in a statement today.
Zuraida said Ukraine and Russia are entering the critical month for sunflower planting which should have started in April, hence, the prolonged war could hamper the planting season.
Ukraine’s and Russia’s sunflower oil exports account for 10% of global vegetable oil exports, and market analysts are presently anticipating an increase in palm oil demand from the EU region in the near term, given lower quantity of soybean exports from Brazil, Paraguay, Russia and Ukraine as well as reduced sunflower from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Coupled with the latest move by neighbouring Indonesia, which is the world’s largest palm oil exporter, to widen the scope of its export ban on raw materials for cooking oil to include crude and refined palm oil, global vegetable oil prices are likely to remain high in the first half of 2022, the minister said.
“This is why I believe it is timely now for palm oil to regain its confidence from European buyers given the publicity the commodity received in the past,” she said.
Zuraida said she has instructed relevant agencies under MPIC, such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to undertake aggressive efforts and campaigns not just for our commodity to fill the global market gaps in the interim. These agencies, in collaboration with MPIC, will have to ensure that Malaysian palm oil remains a top choice in global markets in the long run, particularly those where the consumers have been exposed to vicious propaganda in the past.
She called on the agencies to step up efforts to counter adverse propaganda which undermines palm oil’s credibility and for the country to showcase the numerous health benefits the golden oil has to offer.