Malaysia expects lower palm oil output in 2012
PARIS, Sept 15 – Malaysia’s palm oil production for 2012 is expected to decrease to 18.4 million tonnes from 18.9 million tonnes last year.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has forecast a lower output this year due to, among others, labour shortage in plantation industry.
“Production of palm oil will usually peak during the second half of the year as it is the best time for harvesting, but for this year the full year production is expected to be lower compared with last year,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Dompok, together with Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor, its chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron and MPOB director-general Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May, are currently on an eight-day palm oil promotion mission to France and Romania.
According to MPOB, palm oil production from January to June, 2012 reached 8.2 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, Dompok said the Malaysian government together with the industry are still considering measures to enhance competitiveness.
He said protecting the interests of small growers would be a key concern in the government’s response towards the new tax structure announced by Indonesia last year.
“What we are looking at is how the local industry can receive assistance while undergoing this phase without hurting smallholders, and the plantation sector at large.
“We will try to accelerate the downstream sector to be much more competitive,” he said.
Malaysia has increased its quota of tax-free palm oil exports for this year to five million tonnes from three million tonnes previously as part of measures to address Indonesia’ incentivisation of its downstream sector through the imposition of export tax on crude palm oil exports, which is currenty at 15 per cent.
Malaysia and Indonesia are the world’s leading palm oil suppliers. – Bernama