(Stock image for illustration purposes only) The government’s move to suspend export tax on crude palm oil for a three-month period has strengthened its market price as well as helped to reduce the stockpiles of the commodity, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. Pix by Mohd Azreen Jamaluddin

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s move to suspend export tax on crude palm oil for a three-month period has strengthened its market price as well as helped to reduce the stockpiles of the commodity, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur said the move had led to an increase in the average price of crude palm oil (CPO) since it was implemented.

In January, the price of CPO increased by 3.3 per cent to RM2,486.50 per tonne, compared to RM2,408 in December last year.

"On Jan 31, a month after its implementation, the final stock registered a decline of 6.7 per cent to 2.55 million tonnes.

"Of the total, CPO’s final stock has decreased by 5.7 per cent or 95.481 tonnes to 1.57 tonnes, while the final stock of processed palm oil has decreased by 8.4 per cent or 88.932 tonnes to 0.97 tonnes.

"The decline was in line with an increase by 85.815 tonnes in palm oil export in January to 1.51 million tonnes compared to 1.43 tonnes in December last year.

"The full effect of the move is expected by month end," he said in reply to Datuk Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan (BN-Parit) during question-and-answer session today.

Zaim had asked to what extent the government’s move to implement CPO exports without export duties has successfully reduced palm oil stocks and strengthened palm oil market prices.

Datu Nasrun said prior to the implementation of the scheme, from Jan 8 to April 7, the final stock of palm oil was 2.73 million tonnes as of Dec 31.

Answering additional questions from Zaim who had asked on other measures taken by the ministry to strengthen the palm oil market and improve its quality, Datu Nasrun said the government has been actively exploring new markets to address the declining demand, particularly from European countries.

He said the government had identified countries with market potential for palm oil, including China, Iran and the Philippines.

* Reports by MOHD ANWAR PATHO ROHMAN, NOR AIN MOHAMED RADHI, LUQMAN ARIF ABDUL KARIM and AHMAD SUHAEL ADNAN

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