KUALA LUMPUR: China has increased its intake of Malaysian palm oil exports by 500,000 tonnes to 1.62 million tonnes valued at US$890 million, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said.
Kok is optimistic of a higher take up by Chinese companies for Malaysian palm oil and its related products.
China extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said the kingdom was looking at buying more palm oil and palm oil-related products from the country.
“There is no ceiling to Malaysia’s palm oil export to China. I hope more Chinese consumers will take up Malaysian products,” Tian said at the opening the Malaysia-China Palm Oil Business Forum today.
“The demand by the huge Chinese market is a statement and we will be to export more to the Chinese market. We are also engaged with Malaysian partners in an R&D exercise on biofuel and good outcome is expected,” he added.
Kok and Tian also witnessed the signing of four purchase intent documents for the export of the 1.62 million tonnes of palm oil between three Chinese companies and four Malaysian companies.
The Chinese importers are Yihai Kerry (Shanghai) International Trade Co Ltd, Yizheng Fangshub Industry Ltd Co and Yantai Tianmao Edible Ltd Co.
Last year, Malaysia exported 3.07 million tonnes of palm oil and palm products with a total value of RM8.38 billion to China. This was 7.3 per cent more than 2.86 million tonnes of palm oil sold at RM9.39 billion in 2017.
China is Malaysia’s second biggest importer of palm oil and palm-oil based products in 2018 with the export of Malaysian palm biodiesel to China increasing significantly from 140 tonnes (RM5.0 million) in 2017 to 41,450 tonnes (RM113 million) in 2018.
The increase in palm oil imports by China especially during mid-2018 was fuelled by the trade tension between United States and China. China had imposed higher import tax on soybean that subsequently lowered soybean import.
Meanwhile, Kok said the goverment was committed to implementing Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification which will become mandatory from January 1, 2020.
“Malaysia will ensure that at the beginning of 2020, all palm oil exports to the global markets are from a sustainable source. This will differenciate Malaysian palm oil as a product not only of high qualuty but also sustanably produced.
“Malaysia’s competitivenes has provided opportunities for the private sector to redefine its business approaches, form partnerships and strategic alliances ans to discover new avenues for expanding trade in the palm oil business.
“There are opportunities to explore investments in the palm oil industry in value-added downstream activities such as oleo chemicals, pharmaceuticals, processed food, specialty products and even consumer products,” she added.