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Ensuring global demand for palm oil vital for Mala
calendar17-08-2001 | linkNULL | Share This Post:

AS the top global producer and supplier of more than half of the world'spalm oil, Malaysia needs to ensure that global demand for the commoditycontinues to grow.According to Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) chief executiveofficer Datuk Haron Siraj, one of the main tasks of the council was toeducate consumers on the goodness of palm oil.“We must also inform people that mills which process palm oil do not causepollution and damage to the environment," Haron said during the Palm oiltrade awareness programme (Potap) for 25 representatives from the Africanand East European regions, held in Petaling Jaya last week.Haron said the council’s aim was to see Malaysia maintaining its existingpalm oil market and exploring new areas such as in Africa and Europe.One of the Potap participants, Foodline sales director Vladislav Remish,said his company, one of the largest food ingredients distributors inRussia, had initiated plans to deal directly with Malaysia to obtainsupplies of palm oil-based products."We have to reduce our dependence on our traditional third party palm oilsuppliers and make a strategic move to establish a direct link with theproducers," he said.Remish said that from this year onward, Foodline would increase its directpalm oil-based supply procurement from Malaysia to 70% from 30%previously. He estimated direct trade between Foodline and Malaysianproducers at US$10mil to US$15mil annually.Foodline, which trades oils and fats, beverages, meat, sauces andstarches, gets most of its palm oil-based products such as refined,bleached and deodorised (RBD) palm oil, shortening and other specialtyproducts through established European trade houses.According to Remish, many third party palm oil suppliers have added valueand increased the prices of their goods after refining these goods.He added, however, that many palm oil producing countries now have thetechnology to add value or refine crude products to the quality of thethird party trading houses.Another participant, Zambia's High Protein Foods Ltd managing directorMohamed Salim Dawoodjee, said that his country's awareness of palm oil hadbeen increasing gradually since the oil was introduced about five yearsago."Although I have been importing Malaysian palm oil and refining them intocooking oil for some time, I have not consumed palm oil until six monthsago," he said.According to Salim, the consumption of palm oil was once viewed negativelyin Zambia but the perception is changing slowly. His company, based inLusaka, refines about 1,000 tonnes of Malaysian crude palm oil a month.Salim also said the unfavourable import tariff imposed by the Zambiangovernment had placed palm oil at a disadvantage compared with otherimported vegetable oils."Although palm oil is cheaper than other vegetable oils in the worldmarket, the import tariff has reduced palm oil's price advantage inZambia," he said.Potap was organised by the MPOPC to expose the participants to Malaysianpalm oil industry and trade. During the five-day programme, theparticipants attended briefings by officials of the Primary IndustriesMinistry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Palm Oil Association,Malaysian Oleochemical Manufacturer Group and the Palm Oil RefinersAssociation of Malaysia.They also visited United Plantation Bhd's Jendarata estate in Teluk Intan,Perak, and the Felda Bulkers Sdn Bhd storage facilities at Port Klang.Monday, August 13, 2001The Star