MPOC: Malaysia must explore other high-potential palm oil markets

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has urged palm oil industry players to strategically shift towards exploring other high-potential markets for palm oil exports.

MPOC chief executive officer, Belvinder Sron, said in a statement that this call to diversify comes as Malaysia's palm oil industry needs to adapt to evolving global regulations and market preferences.

"It is necessary to explore new and burgeoning markets. The palm oil industry must expand its footprint in regions such as East and West Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East while intensifying efforts to bolster palm oil consumption in existing importing countries.

"Diversifying into these markets would help mitigate the risks of overdependence on a single market and enhance the resilience of Malaysia's palm oil industry," she said at the National Palm Oil Conference 2023 (NPOC23).

On the European Union (EU) market, Sron emphasised the importance of positioning Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) as a recognised compliance pathway for the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

She highlighted that this recognition could open the doors to the EU market for Malaysian palm oil producers and further enhance the industry's reputation as a sustainable and deforestation-free choice as well as ensure Malaysian palm oil smallholders continue to have access to global markets.

"The EU, as the third-largest destination for palm oil exports and consumption last year, holds significant economic importance for Malaysia's palm oil sector.

"In light of this, the potential repercussions of discontinuing palm oil exports to the EU, especially on current and future joint ventures between Malaysian companies and European counterparts," she said.

Hence, Sron said that meeting EUDR standards entails complying with regulatory benchmarks and fulfilling due diligence requirements by ensuring MSPO standards align with the EUDR's regulatory requirements, prohibiting deforestation after 2019 and mandating compliance with all relevant laws.

She added that by positioning MSPO as a reliable certification scheme, Malaysia could ensure its palm oil is well-prepared to meet these stringent due diligence requirements, thus securing access to the European market. – Bernama

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