SDP expects no drop in palm oil imports from India
Published on: Friday, May 24, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP), the world’s largest palm oil plantation company by planted area, does not foresee India reducing palm oil imports from Malaysia despite a report saying it might trim some overseas orders.

Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer (Upstream) Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said Malaysia and India have had a long established market relations so that even if India did cut orders, Malaysia would still have a competitive edge compared to other exporters.

He said there is a duty differential imposed between Malaysia and Indonesia, and Malaysia always has a good advantage.

“India always plays with the (order) cut-down and duty structure. I won’t blame them because they have vegetable oil producers of their own.

“It (the change in duty structure) happens all the time. They may do this for the next six month but for the six months after, they will change it. It is normal for India,” he told reporters after the launch of SDP’s new initiative, Crosscheck, here on Thursday.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that India would grow soybeans on more land in the 2019 crop year, which could trim costly palm oil imports from Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina and Indonesia.

India, the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer, imports most of its palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Asked on whether SDP had received any order reduction from India, Mohamad Helmy said: “No, we have not.”

About 60 to 70 per cent of SDP’s palm oil exports from Malaysia go to India, he said.

Earlier during the ceremony, Executive Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said Crosscheck is an open access online tool that allows everyone to trace sources of SDP’s palm oil supply down to the mill level.

This latest effort represents a major step for the company in creating a deforestation-free supply chain, he said at the ceremony.

As a leading producer of sustainable palm oil, SDP shares the concern that the rapid rate of deforestation has become an urgent challenge that calls for a meaningful response from various stakeholders, Mohd Bakke said.

“Tracking supply back to its source will make it possible to identify where problems may exist so that people can raise the alert for action to be taken.

“Crosscheck makes this possible for the very first time and it is an important step towards the full traceability of our supply chain,” he said.

Crosscheck allows users to cut through the complexity of SDP’s current supply chain involving a large number of players, with a network of refineries sourcing from hundreds of mills, supplied from thousands of plantations and hundreds of thousands of smallholders.

According to Mohd Bakke, anyone who is concerned about preserving the world’s forests can use this tool to check whether palm oil is being sourced from high-risk areas.

This, he said, includes consumers who want to know that the products they buy are not contributing to deforestation, buyers who want to ensure that their brands are not linked to deforestation, investors who want assurance that their financing is not associated with deforestation, and conversation groups who want evidence that the industry is taking meaningful action. – Bernama


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