Tuesday January 15, 2013

MPOB expects CPO production to increase to 19 million tonnes this year

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) expects Crude Palm Oil (CPO) production to increase to 18.9 million tonnes for this year from 18.79 million tonnes last year.

MPOB director-general Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May said the board was expecting Malaysia’s CPO price to be firm in 2013 due to increasing demand from major importing countries.

“We are expecting a recovery in fresh fruit bunches (FFB) yield coupled with an increase in new mature areas will likely to boost the production,” she said during her presentation on performance of the Malaysian palm oil industry in 2012 and prospects for 2013.

She said the restructuring of Malaysian CPO export tax would raise Malaysian competitiveness in the palm oil downstream sector.

MPOB head of trade development unit N. Balu said Malaysia was hoping to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey by the end of this year to reduce import tariffs on selected palm oil products.

“Turkey has been identified as the gateway to European market and the FTA will play a vital role for Malaysia’s palm products to enter that market,” he told reporters after presenting his paper on FTA update and prospects for palm products at the palm oil economic review and outlook seminar here yesterday.

“The current tariffs impose on selected palm oil products entering the Turkey market average 31.2%, and through the FTA, we are trying to reduce as much as possible,” he said.

He told StarBiz two FTAs were still under negotiations - between Malaysia and European Union (EU) and the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).

“Malaysian palm oil exporters would benefit from FTA through preferential treatment and market access. Exporters would also enjoy cost savings from elimination or reduction of import tariffs in partner country and from mutual recognition agreements, trade facilitating Customs procedures and removal of stringent regulations,” he said.

Malaysia has been involved in the successful completion of six six bilateral and six regional FTAs.

The bilateral FTAs signed are those with Japan, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, Chile and Australia repectively.

He said that Malaysia is also party to Asean Free Trade Agreement, Asean-Japan Close Economic Partnership Agreement, Asean Korea Free Trade Agreement, Asean-China Free Trade Agreement, Asean–Australia and New Zealand Free Trade.

“Most of the concluded FTAs have thus far resulted in yielding comparative advantage to the Malaysian palm oil industry, particularly in increased export volume of palm products,” he said. He also said FTAs play a significant role to Malaysia as exports of Malaysian palm products to India has shown a significant increase after a FTA.

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