PORT DICKSON: The Primary Industries Ministry has taken various efforts to expand the palm oil market overseas, including holding monthly delegation visits to countries identified as potential buyers of the commodity.
Its secretary general Datuk Dr Tan Yew Chong said currently Minister Teresa Kok was leading the commodity and palm oil promotion delegation to several countries in Europe.
At the end of this month, she will head to China to promote palm oil and other Malaysian commodities.
"Various activities are being implemented to expand our markets especially to China, India and West Asia.
"Every month we will have delegations. This month the Minister will be flying into several European countries, leading delegations to promote palm oil and commodities in the market.
"In the next two weeks, she will go to China to expand on the activities of promoting palm oil," he said after launching the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification (MSPO) briefing and a dialogue session with smallholding farmers here today.
Also present were Chuah state assemblyman Michael Yek Diew Ching and Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Integration Research and Development Research Centre director Dr Ramlee Moslim.
Tan acknowledged the current low pricing of palm oil but assured it was a short-term issue as commodity prices constantly fluctuate.
"This is not the first time, and it is just for a short term because the pricing of this commodity in the global market is uncertain.
“So we need to look at the supply and demand. Many initiatives are being implemented as seen in the recent signing of agreements with Malaysian exporters to ship additional palm oil to China.
“Every time we have promotional activity, we will find ways to increase the sale of palm oil and commodity products," he said.
"Investors are also emphasising on downstream development to explore better product development, as we are only using 15 per cent of each palm tree. There is 85 per cent still unused.
"We need to explore this opportunity. From 15 per cent we can earn RM67.5 billion in export earnings. If we add another 15 per cent than the revenue will be doubled," he said.
Tan highlighted the government also mandated all oil palm planters to have their estates MSPO certified by January 2020 to enable Malaysia's palm oil to be accepted in the EU.
"A portion of our palm oil now needs to comply with the EU’s demands as they will only buy oil and palm products that are certified as sustainably-produced," he said.