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Oil palm plantations to operate as normal
Published on: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
By: Bernama
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Workers stand near palm oil fruits inside a palm oil factory in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur. (Image: Reuters/Samsul Said)
Kuala Lumpur: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (KPPK) has given an assurance that oil palm plantations will be given permission to operate as usual during the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0. 

Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said this was important to ensure that palm oil production was not interrupted and the country could continue its commodity exports to the rest of the world.

“We have gone through the MCO 1.0 phase in March 2020 and today we have been through it for almost one year. Of course, we have learned the best way for us to manage the plantations more prudently.

“Besides that, workers in oil palm plantations have always practised social distancing and their jobs require them to distance themselves. Hence, the spread of Covid-19 can be avoided,” he told a press conference in conjunction with the Palm Oil Economic Review & Outlook (R&O) Monday.

Mohd Khairuddin said his ministry was optimistic that the palm oil trade performance would be better this year due to the positive forecast of the country’s economy, as well as productivity, which is expected to increase due to good agricultural practices that formed the basis of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MPSO) certification scheme.

He said as at Dec 31, 2020, a total of 5.2 million hectares or 88.25 per cent of the 5.9 million hectares under oil palm cultivation in Malaysia have obtained the MSPO certificates.

A total of 434 mills or 96.02 per cent of the 452 palm oil mills have also obtained the MSPO certificates.

Meanwhile, he said Malaysia has decided to file legal action with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the European Union’s (EU) restrictions on palm oil-based biofuel.

Meanwhile,  Malaysia’s crude palm oil (CPO) stocks slumped 19.2 per cent to 583,761 tonnes in December 2020 from the 722,451 tonnes in November, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said.

Processed palm oil stocks shrank by 18.85 per cent month-on-month (m-o-m) to 681,120 tonnes during the month compared with 839,307 tonnes in the preceding month, the board said in its monthly report on the palm oil industry performance for December 2020.

During the month under review, CPO production slid 10.59 per cent m-o-m to 1.33 million tonnes from 1.49 million tonnes previously, while palm kernel output was 11.41 per cent lower at 310,204 tonnes from 350,144 tonnes in November 2020.

“Palm oil exports gained 24.66 per cent to 1.62 million tonnes in December 2020 versus 1.3 million tonnes in the previous month, while oleochemical exports slipped by 5.91 per cent to 246,844 tonnes from 262,392 tonnes previously,” it said.

Meanwhile, biodiesel exports in the month under review jumped 111.34 per cent to 42,913 tonnes compared with 20,305 tonnes in November 2020, while palm kernel oil exports added 58.64 per cent to 145,551 tonnes from 91,747 tonnes in the preceding month.

Exports of palm kernel cake decreased 22.75 per cent to 168,208 tonnes in December 2020 from 217,753 tonnes in November 2020. 



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