Malaysia’s commodity crop export tops RM140 billion

January 12, 2018

rubber-exportsMalaysia’s commodity crop exports for last year are expected to surpass RM140 billion as the average palm oil and rubber pricing was slightly higher than in 2016.

“In the first 10 months of last year, we earned RM116.8 billion in exports,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

Last year, palm oil prices averaged RM2,815 per tonne compared with RM2,653 per tonne in 2016, he said in an interview with NST Business yesterday.

“This year, we estimate prices of between RM2,600 and RM2,700 (per tonne),” said Mah.

Malaysia’s plantation-based commodities comprise palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa, tobacco and pepper.

Apart from manufacturing and tourism, plantation commodities are also a major contributor to the economy.

Mah said the plantation industry’s value-add to Malaysia’s economy was quite significant, given that it did not incur that much imports as in the electronics and electrical sector.

The combined planted area in Malaysia comprising palm oil, rubber, cocoa, pepper, kenaf and sago is 6.9 million hectares, which accounted for 21 % of the country’s landmass.

In 2016, Mah said, commodity crops contributed RM121.99 billion to exports, or almost 11 % of Malaysia’s gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, on his 18 months leading the ministry, Mah said it had been a fulfilling and yet a challenging journey.

“I’m stepping into 2018 with complete conviction in serving our national interests. I am encouraged that our best days, as a country, have yet to be lived. I am convinced the best days of our commodity crops have yet to come.

“I believe it is important for Malaysians to be aware of the challenges we face in the government so that they can better appreciate our efforts to tackle these challenges,” he said.

Mah noted that global trade politics were akin to crop apartheid as the European Union (EU) Parliament had taken steps to raise trade barriers.

This has lead to the ultimate breach of the EU’s World Trade Organisation commitments, effectively jeopardising the Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

“We will continue to engage our critics and if there is a need to take protective and retaliatory action, we will do so without hesitation,” said the minister.

“I have also engaged my colleagues in Indonesia and via the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries. We will ensure our response to this unjustified anti-palm oil campaign is structured and systematic,” he added.

While deforestation and loss of biodiversity has been used as a war cry by EU-based environmental activists to attack the global palm oil industry, Mah said Malaysia and Indonesia governments must continue in their fights to uphold the truth and serve the interests of their people.

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International Rubber Prices
(as of 15, May 2018)

Monthly The prices shown above do not include VAT @4% on purchase and expenses towards packing, transportation, warehousing  and other incidentals


Source: India Rubber Board

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