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KUCHING, March 4: The government will use the escalating prices of crude palm oil (CPO) as an opportunity to increase the country’s market share of palm oil in the global market.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said over the last few days, she met with numerous players in the agri-commodity industry over the rising prices.
“These include industry players from other countries as well, such as Egypt, India, and Bangladesh. This is part of the MPIC’s preparations in the face of uncertainties arising from the current geopolitical situation in the world,” she said in a statement today.
CPO prices topped RM8,000 a tonne for the first time on Tuesday (March 1) as consumers rushed to source the oil amid the shortfall in sunflower oil caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
March CPO futures contract recently jumped RM712 to RM8,163 a tonne, while April contracts rose RM663 to RM7,435. The benchmark May contracts gained RM463 to RM6,762.
Research indicated that panic buying by consumers to cover the temporary shortfall in edible oil supplies from Ukraine is likely to continue until the situation improves.
Ukraine is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, with a market share of 47 per cent of global exports. In comparison, Russia’s share in global exports stands at 29.9 per cent, and these two countries account for 60 per cent of the worldwide sunflower oil production in 2020 and 2021.
Zuraida pointed out that the increased revenue from the spikes in demand for palm oil will significantly help the country, which is still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said MPIC and the relevant agencies would continue to guarantee the future of smallholders and all Malaysian palm oil industry players.
She also reminded industry players to take advantage of the “good times” income to upgrade their living quarters and other facilities for the future.
“As for the smallholders, I urge them to enhance their management and take this opportunity to focus on their savings,” she added.
Meanwhile, on the supply of government-subsidised cooking oil to meet local demands, Zuraida assured the public that there was adequate supply and no cause for concern.
“We anticipated the rising cost locally and elsewhere. So we understand concerns, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, particularly among the B40 group.
“But rest assured there is sufficient supply to meet the needs of everyone in the country. This is the government’s commitment to all Malaysians in line with the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia,” she stressed. ― DayakDaily