The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) will continue to work on stabilising oil palm and rubber prices, while helping to ease the financial burden of agri-commodities smallholders.
To this end, Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the MPIC has taken several steps which include diversifying palm oil products, especially downstream products such as oleochemicals, specialised products, biofuel and finished products.
In a written reply in Dewan Rakyat today, he said the ministry has also intensified product reform efforts so that more palm oil finished products could be produced for specific markets.
The minister said this in response to Noorita Sual’s (PH-TENOM) question on the steps taken by the ministry to raise the prices of rubber and oil palm, as well as on the assistance programmes for smallholders.
“The ministry is always committed in exploring new markets to further increase exports of crude palm oil (CPO).
“This includes countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Montenegro, Mauritania, Congo, Madagascar, Kenya, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Libya, Haiti, Jamaica and the Caribbean islands,” he said.
Additionally, he said Marshall Islands, Nicaragua and Venezuela have resumed importing palm oil between January and August 2020, importing a total of 67 tonnes worth RM217,280.
“The last time Marshall Islands imported Malaysian palm oil was in 2011, while Nicaragua and Venezuela had last imported in 2016,” he said.
As for the rubber sector, Mohd Khairuddin said the government has increased rubber utilisation domestically to strengthen rubber prices in the medium and long-term.
He said this includes using rubber in road construction and production of new and value-added rubber-based products such as seismic bearings and rubber gloves.
“Malaysia has started exporting natural rubber to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the past three years, in addition to other products such as rubber gloves and shoes.
“From January to September 2020, Malaysia exported RM287.9 million worth of natural rubber and rubber product exports to the UAE -- an 11.6 per cent year-on-year increase from 2019,” he added.