Malaysia's palm oil export value to the global market would be affected if Malaysia no longer export the commodity and other palm-based products to the European Union (EU) as the region is the country's second-largest palm oil market after China, said the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (KPPK).
Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the country's export of palm oil to the EU amounted to 2.8 million tonnes.
“Out of this total, the export value of palm oil and palm-based products to the EU in the first nine months of this year amounted to RM8.5 billion compared with RM8 billion in the same period in 2019,” he said during his winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, Mohd Khairuddin said the government was always striving to increase the export value of palm oil and palm-based products by exploring new markets which are net importers of oils and fats.
“The market demand for palm oil was encouraging over the past few years.
“The new markets are Central Asia — Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgystan; Europe — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, and Montenegro; Africa — Mauritania, Congo, Madagascar, and Kenya; Middle East and West Asia — Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, and Libya; and America — Haiti, Jamaica and the Caribbean,” he said.
In a related development, Mohd Khairuddin said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) through Budget 2021 had announced an allocation of RM20 million to address the anti-palm oil campaign.
“KPPK believes the lower allocation is in line with cost savings from overseas mission and physical engagement sessions which could not be undertaken due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
"Towards that end, the ministry will continue to carry out promotional efforts to increase the marketability of palm products virtually and through government-to-government cooperation.
“I am confident that with the allocation, we will be able to implement an advocacy strategy that is capable of addressing the concerns expressed,” he said.