KUALA LUMPUR (May 23): Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd’s (KL:SOP) net profit surged 80% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first quarter, thanks to higher sales and lower production costs.

Net profit for the three months ended March 31, 2024 (1QFY2024) was RM79.46 million compared to RM44.17 million over the same period a year earlier, Sarawak Oil Palms said in an exchange filing.

Revenue rose 9.8% y-o-y to RM1.33 billion from RM1.21 billion on higher volume, it said.

“The group is taking effective steps to improve its production through an aggressive recovery programme, including cost control and replanting programme,” Sarawak Oil Palms said. The industry will continue to face challenges in view of global economic conditions and softening of commodity prices, it flagged.

Average realised prices per ton for palm oil products stood at RM3,913 versus RM3,973 in 1QFY2023, while that of palm kernel products was 3.9% lower at RM2,267 versus RM2,359 in 1QFY2023.

Sarawak Oil Palms said the group’s performance will continue to be driven by the cyclical fresh fruit bunches production, global world edible oil price movement, as well as supply chain effects on fertilisers, chemicals and fuel prices which will affect production costs.

Shares in Sarawak Oil Palms ended four sen or 1.33% lower at RM2.96, valuing the planter at RM2.64 billion.


Sumber : The Edge Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: TSH Resources Bhd" width="18" height="18" />’s prospects remain promising, supported by steady crude palm oil (CPO) prices this year.

The plantation company – whose core net profit rose to RM22.7mil for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024 (1Q24) from RM3.6mil in 1Q23 – expects CPO prices to hold at current levels of RM3,500 to RM4,000.

This is on softer expectations of soybean crop production, it said.

Citing TSH management, TA Research said the company was cautiously optimistic about its 2024 financial performance, with CPO prices expected to be sustained at current levels due to the floods in southern Brazil.

The floods had tempered expectations for a strong soybean crop production.

“We anticipate that the movement of palm oil prices in the coming months will be influenced by both palm oil production in key producing countries (Malaysia and Indonesia) and weather patterns in the primary soybean-growing regions of Brazil and Argentina,” the brokerage said.

TA Research upgraded its call on TSH to a “buy” from a “sell” to reflect the increased upside potential and more promising outlook.

It also raised its target price for the counter to RM1.37, from RM1.14 previously, based on 18 times price-earnings ratio, after rolling forward the valuation base year to 2025.

Meanwhile, Kenanga Research maintained its “outperform” call on TSH, with an unchanged target price of RM1.30 based on 0.8 times price-to-book value.

The brokerage said TSH’s earnings were likely to remain firm over 2024-2025 on relatively steady CPO prices while production cost eases.

“CPO prices are expected to stay range bound, between RM3,500 and RM4,000 per tonne over 2024-2025.

“This is as global edible oil demand is expected to grow at 3% to 4% year-on-year, while the supply outlook may struggle to match.

“Thus, inventory is expected to stay flat or even dip slightly in 2024 and possibly into mid-2025,” Kenanga Research said.

“Input costs such as fertiliser and fuel have been easing since mid-2022 but could be bottoming of late.

“However, palm kernel prices could be picking up, helping to reduce CPO cost pressures than a year ago,” it added.

Kenanga Research said TSH would likely plant 8,000 to 10,000ha or expand its planted oil palm area by 20% to 25% over the next two to three years.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research reiterated its “hold” call on TSH, with an unchanged target price of RM1.07.

“While we like TSH for its favourable age profile (average age of around 13 years) and improving balance sheet (net gearing of 0.01 times as at end-March 2024), further upside is capped by the absence of an earnings growth catalyst,” the brokerage explained.

It noted TSH was cautiously optimistic on its 2024 performance, which would be driven by stable CPO prices.

MIDF Research, which has maintained its “neutral” stance on TSH, has kept its target price for the counter at RM1.18.

“While TSH operates primarily as a pure upstream player with a strong correlation to CPO price movements, its share price does not necessarily reflect significant fluctuations.

“This is unless there are notable developments capable of influencing CPO prices above the RM4,500-per-tonne resistance level,” it explained.


Sumber : The Star

KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian minister’s proposal to send orang utans as gifts to countries that buy its palm oil in a bid to show “commitment to biodiversity conservation” has been panned by environmentalists and wildlife groups, who said the government should focus on deforestation.

Instead of shipping the endangered apes to trading partners like India, China and the European Union, the Malaysian government should do more to show its palm oil is produced sustainably, they said.

The “orang utan diplomacy” proposal from Plantation and Commodities Minister Johari Abdul Ghani comes on the heels of a landmark EU regulation requiring companies selling deforestation-linked goods in Europe to prove that these products are not derived from deforested lands or linked to forest degradation.

“In adopting orang utan diplomacy, we aim to demonstrate Malaysia’s unwavering commitment to biodiversity conservation,” he said in a post on his X account last week, likening the strategy to China’s “panda diplomacy” as a form of soft power.

“It would be a... strategy, where we will gift orangutans to trading partners and foster foreign relations, especially with major importing nations like the European Union, India and China,” he said.

Gifting orang utans to countries that buy Malaysia’s palm oil is a terrible idea, said conservationists and wildlife experts, adding that palm-oil cultivation has been one of the biggest factors behind the apes’ dwindling numbers.

“It’s nonsense and the minister knows it,” said Ms Michelle Desilets, executive director of Britain-based Orangutan Land Trust. “West Malaysia has no say over orang utans which live only in Sarawak and Sabah,” in addition to Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, she said in response to Datuk Seri Johari’s proposal.

The Borneo orang utan and the Sumatra orang utan are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is believed that 100 years ago there were probably more than 230,000 orang utans in total, but the Borneo orang utan’s population is thought to be about 104,700, while the Sumatra orang utan is thought to number about 7,500, according to conservation group WWF.

More can be done to ease concerns about the environmental impact of palm-oil production, conservationists said.

While Malaysia has made strides in ensuring its palm oil is sustainably produced, Ms Desilets said the industry is still a significant driver of deforestation.

“Real diplomacy can be shown by ensuring the global buyers that Malaysian palm oil is indeed sustainable and deforestation-free, and also that they are serious about the conservation of orang utans in situ,” she told The Straits Times.

Malaysia is the second-biggest producer of palm oil in the world, after Indonesia. The export of Malaysia’s palm oil and palm-oil based products is projected to be worth about RM110 billion (S$31.5 billion) in 2024, said Bursa Malaysia chairman Wahid Omar at an industry conference in March.

The two South-east Asian countries account for around 85 per cent of the world’s palm oil products, which can be found in everything from pizza and ice cream to lipstick and shampoo.

Global demand for palm oil has been blamed for driving deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, and harming wildlife habitats there.

Last year, the EU approved an import ban on commodities linked to deforestation, a move that Malaysia has criticised as discriminatory.

Importers will have until the end of 2024 to comply with the new EU ruling, which came into force in June 2023.

Wildlife organisations urged the Malaysian government to consider other ways to show its commitment to biodiversity and protecting the great apes, such as by preserving the forests where they live.

WWF-Malaysia, for one, noted that orang utans are slow breeders and taking female simians out of the country to a strange and unnatural environment may adversely impact the orang utan population.

“The conservation of orang utans is best achieved by ensuring the protection and conservation of their natural habitats, and no further forest conversion into oil palm plantations allowed,” it said in a statement to ST.

Malaysia should improve the connectivity of fragmented orang utan habitats and this can be done by getting oil palm plantations to set aside wildlife corridors that are safe for orang utans, WWF-Malaysia added.

Datuk John Payne, chief executive of the Borneo Rhino Alliance, agreed that the orang utans should remain in their natural habitat, but welcomed new ideas on saving the endangered apes. 

“One possible way to approach orang utan diplomacy that would not raise awkward criticism might be to garner support from the Malaysian palm oil-buying nations to collaborate with the Malaysian oil palm growers in sustaining that wild population in situ, where they are,” Dr Payne said.

There is a well-established wild orang utan population living and reproducing in the mixed oil-palm and forest landscape in eastern Sabah between Sandakan and Lahad Datu, he added.

Datuk Darrel Webber, former CEO of the Malaysia-based Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which was set up to develop and implement global standards for certified sustainable palm oil, said there are ready examples to look to for a softer approach involving orang utans and making the case for sustainable palm oil.

World-class zoos like those in Singapore, London and Auckland run regular campaigns to raise awareness about the orang utans and to highlight the value of choosing products made with sustainable palm oil to help protect the rainforests, thus making a positive impact on the environment, he said.  

“I would humbly suggest that the minister approach these sorts of organisations (zoos), which enjoy a high degree of trust among their countrymen, to help with the diplomatic aims he seeks,” Mr Webber said.

Plantation and Commodities Minister Johari did not respond to ST’s request for comments on the matter.

Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said that Datuk John Payne was executive director of the Borneo Orangutan Rescue Alliance. This is incorrect. It should be chief executive officer of the Borneo Rhino Alliance. We are sorry for the error.


Sumber : The Straits Times

SOME 4.94 million ha, or 87.4%, of the palm oil plantations in Malaysia, and 407 of the 446 palm oil mills have been certified under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard as of April this year.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said 151,152 smallholders, covering 542,215 ha (66%), have also obtained certification during the same period.

This represents the collective efforts of the government and industry players over the past decade to enhance the sustainability standards of the industry, according to his speech which was read by his Deputy secretary general (strategic planning and management) Abdul Hadi Omar at the MSPO 10th anniversary celebration and Aidilfitri celebration today.

In addition, the certification has received various recognitions and has signed several memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with stakeholders in key purchasing countries like Japan, China, India, Mongolia and the Philippines.

“A significant MOU was also signed with the Halal Development Centre to promote Malaysian palm oil in the global halal market,” he shared.

Moreover, he said during bilateral discussions with the European Union (EU) on the EU Deforestation-free Regulation and MSPO, positive feedback was received regarding Malaysia’s efforts to reduce deforestation rates.

“The EU has significantly acknowledged Malaysia’s dedication to sustainable commodity production,” he added.

The ministry also announced the rebranding of the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) to MSPO to strengthen the certification scheme’s global standing as a top-quality sustainable palm oil certification scheme.

Johari also unveiled a comprehensive Strategic MSPO Action Plan for 2024 to 2026 to enhance the promotion of the MSPO, focusing on 57 strategic initiatives grouped under three key strategies:

Establishing a solid and reliable certification scheme, enforcing industry compliance while enriching the MSPO certification and broadening the scheme’s recognition and acceptance globally.

“This plan marks a significant step in our commitment to elevating the MSPO to new heights of global excellence and acceptance,” he said.

These efforts are part of ongoing improvements to the MSPO, including traceability, deforestation-free products, legitimate land ownership, and fair labour practices.

The minister repeatedly stressed the need for MSPO to actively engage in local and international forums discussing sustainability or the cooking oil industry and to involve stakeholders in effective engagement sessions.

Lastly, Johari affirmed the importance of placing the MSPO logo on all certified palm oil products to enhance the certification’s reliability and counteract negative perceptions of the industry.

He expressed confidence in Malaysia’s ability to produce high-quality palm oil with premium value while maintaining competitive standards globally.


Sumber : The Malaysian Reserve

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has reaffirmed its commitment toward the production of sustainable palm oil in the state by next year under a framework set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

It said it was on track to implement the Jurisdictional Approach Piloting Framework set by RSPO, currently the most recognised international certification for the production of sustainable palm oil.

Sabah’s efforts since 2015 were recognised at the RSPO’s annual conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The state achieved the first step of the four-step process last year.

This initiative is known as the Jurisdictional Approach to Sustainable Palm Oil (Jaspo).

A workshop was convened earlier this month to discuss the implementation of the second step.

Sabah Natural Resources Office secretary Sernam Singh said the next two years would entail the complete development and adoption of the framework.

“It will require a careful and unique approach to suit necessary solutions for complex issues in the state, ranging from labour issues to protection of high conservation value areas.

“Setting up mechanisms to achieve this will prepare Sabah for full compliance of national and international sustainability standards, including the European Union Deforestation Regulation,” he said

Sabah’s Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Frederick Kugan said a landscape-based sustainability approach for the palm oil industry had been a groundbreaking journey as Sabah had shown its commitment and the ability to adapt to new challenges.

“The knowledge we have gained in the process is invaluable and will benefit not just Sabah’s palm oil industry but also other sectors and regions embarking on similar pursuits,” he added.

Sabah produces 24% of Malaysia’s production of crude palm oil and around 6% of global production.


Sumber : The Star