PETALING JAYA: Plantation and commodities minister Johari Ghani has called on the European Union (EU) to end its “arbitrary and unjustifiable discrimination” against palm oil.

“After all, palm oil is the most productive oilseed crop of all,” he said in a comment published in the EU’s The Parliament Magazine yesterday.

Johari said palm oil currently yields an average of 3.31 metric tonnes per hectare (MT/ha), significantly higher than soybean (O.43 MT/ha), rapeseed (0.78 MT/ha) and sunflower (0.76 MT/ha).

“This means it uses less land, less fertliser and fewer other inputs,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s palm oil is capable of competing strongly in a fair market by offering lower prices and assuring global consumers a high quality.

The minister also called on the EU to act fairly in the enforcement of its strict environmental and sustainability laws and targets.

Acknowledging the need to support global efforts to protect the environment, Johari reaffirmed Malaysia’s commitment to attaining its Net Zero targets and all associated environmental goals.

“We will maintain a minimum 50% of our land as forest area (the global average is 31%); new mandatory certification laws have been introduced such as the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard; and a serious commitment is in place for an energy transition plan to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050,” he wrote.

However, Johari said Malaysia’s success in attaining those targets are also dependent on the actions of its trading partners.

The EU must reciprocate by showing fairness and lending the appropriate support during a “difficult transition period” given the country’s status as a developing nation, he said.

Johari said Malaysians have taken big strides towards better protection of the environment, but are also concerned for the security and the prosperity of their families and communities.

“For many people, those (environmental) advances are relatively new, and relatively fragile,” he observed.

For that reason, Johari said the country must be allowed to meet its economic targets so that all Malaysians can be assured of their social and financial wellbeing.

The minister said the EU has a huge role to play in this regard.

Although the MSPO ensures that Malaysia is well-positioned to fulfil EU environmental traceability requirements, Johari said regard must also be had for the 450,000 small farmers engaged in oil palm cultivation.

“They do not have the technological sophistication demanded by EU rules, and need more time and flexibility.

“If the EU wishes to bring developing countries with them on the Net Zero journey, it should not deny small farmers the ability to put food on the table for their families and communities,” he said.

Johari also called on the EU to accord due respect and recognition for the progress Malaysia has achieved to date.

“The EU could support Malaysia by recognising the value that MSPO brings, as well as the value that Malaysia provides to the world by protecting 50% of land as a permanent forest area,” he wrote.

The minister said Malaysia’s commitment to protecting tropical ecosystems, biodiversity and CO2 sequestration are “efforts worthy of support and recognition”.


Sumber : Free Malaysia Today

THE Malaysian government is serious in resolving the issues surrounding the palm oil industry in the country, said Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

The issues, particularly environmental and social issues, could affect the RM102 billion export potential when the country produces between 18.5 tonnes and 18.6 tonnes of crude palm oil.

This would go back to both the federal and state governments which are benefitting from the industry in terms of tax collection, almost one million people who are employed by the industry and 450,000 smallholders throughout the country.

“You know we are facing a big issue now in the world. You never see it last time but in the past 15 years people are talking about environment everywhere you go.

“If we can’t address the issue of environment we will be affected. That is why the government is to audit (under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme),” he said when opening Sarawak Oil Palms’ (SOP) Refinery and Fractionation Plant 2 at the Kidurong Industrial Estate Area Phase 2 here today.

Johari said Malaysia should not be penalised if the country had been found to be not in compliance with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) principles and criteria.

“I have always stressed to the European Union’s representatives whenever I have the opportunity to talk to them that if they are upset with issues in Malaysia, they should work with us closely on how to make a country like us a benchmark to the world on edible oil.

“Because for every hectare of land that we use, we can produce 3.3 million tonnes of edible oil compared to soy oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil that can only produce less than one tonne per hectare of edible oil,” he said.

He added that Malaysia is willing to sit down with the representatives and discuss on how to improve and become an example for the world in edible oil production.

He said palm oil production is an important industry in Malaysia which could boost the country’s economy through its upstream and downstream activities. — BERNAMA / pic AFP


Sumber : The Malaysian Reserve

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Agriculture and Commodities (KPK) targets timber industry exports to reach RM28 billion by 2030.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said in 2023, Malaysia's timber industry contributed RM21.8 billion to the country's export revenue.

He added that the export value of timber and timber-based products declined by 13.3 per cent in 2023 compared with the previous year, while the quantity also declined by 4.2 per cent during the same period.

"The decline in exports has several reasons, one of which is the uncertain economic situation in the United States (US), resulting in reduced demand. Our exports used to be nearly 40 per cent  ( of products produced) involving the furniture and timber industry going to America, so when that (reduced demand) happens, our exports are slightly affected. Additionally, issues and challenges such as geopolitical tensions, trade protection policies by importing countries, negative perceptions, and competition with timber-exporting countries worldwide also affected exports last year," he told reporters after the Excellent Service Award Ceremony (APC 2023) by Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebration 2024 here today.

A total of 36 MTIB personnel received the MTIB Excellent Service Award 2023 as a token of appreciation for their contributions to ensuring that Malaysia's wood industry remains at the forefront.

During the same event, Johari also launched the MTIB's Cyber Security Policy (PKS) to replace the Information and Communications Technology Security Policy (DKICT) that has been in use since 2007.

The policy outlines regulations and explains the roles of all parties involved in line with the needs of information security management in the vast cyberspace, as well as the increasing risks and threats.

Commenting on the policy, Johari said it serves as a security measure to ensure efficient cyber security management.

He noted that cybersecurity is crucial because every agency, including MTIB, has a comprehensive database to determine cess, duties, and taxes.

"So if we don't have strong cyber security, it can disrupt the operations of any company or agency when data is hacked by any hacker. "Nowadays, hackers worldwide aren't just focusing on banks; although banks are challenging to hack due to their investment in expensive firewalls, other sectors are now targeted. "Therefore, companies like MTIB, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), and Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (LGM) must ensure their cybersecurity is top-notch. "Data breaches could severely disrupt the operations of these agencies," he said.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Titiwangsa MP Johari Ghani has urged the developer behind the proposed redevelopment of Kampung Sungai Baru, which has been on hold for six years, to hand the land over to the government if it is unable to continue with the project.

Johari said the project has seen no development even though 95% of the residents have been relocated.

The plantation industries and commodities minister said he had discussed the matter with the developer several times, but the company had given him various excuses.

“I suggest that if you are unable to carry out the project, surrender the land to the government, and we can find other developers or government agencies that are more able,” he told reporters after a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house organised by his ministry today.

Johari said the project has to resume immediately for the sake of the residents who willingly sacrificed their houses for it.

He said the Kampung Sungai Baru area had been left neglected and unmanaged as the project had been postponed for too long.

“The people have moved, the buildings are empty, the place has become like a centre for people to take drugs. We can even see rats,” he said.

Last November, Johari had said that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had given an order that the project should no longer be delayed.


Sumber : Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Crude palm oil (CPO) price is expected to start tapering off when the commodity's seasonal output recovery takes place. 

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB) noted that the CPO price had averaged at RM4,062 per tonne year-to-date. 

Nevertheless, HLIB has maintained its CPO price assumptions for 2024 and 2025 at RM4,000 per tonne and RM3,800 per tonne. 

"Palm oil stockpiles are expected to resume an uptrend from April this year, as production will likely remain on an uptrend due to seasonality. 

"Meanwhile, exports are expected to weaken due to the absence of festive-driven demand and palm oil's weak price competitiveness against other competing oils," it said in a note. 

At the time of writing, HLIB said the discount of palm oil to soy oil had narrowed to US$89 per tonne, down from the six-month average of US$245 per tonne. 

As such, the investment bank maintained a "Neutral" stance on the sector, given the absence of notable demand catalyst.  

HLIB's top picks are IOI Corp Bhd with a "Buy" call and target price of RM4.66, while Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd with a "Buy" call and target price of RM2.06. 

Palm oil stock level fell for the fifth consecutive month, by 10.7 per cent month-on-month (MoM) to 1.72 million tonnes in March 2024, the lowest since May 2023. 

This is as seasonally strong exports demand more than offset higher output. 

The stockpile came in lower than 1.76 million tonnes estimated in a Bloomberg survey, due mainly to stronger-than-expected exports. 

Meanwhile, palm oil production resumed its uptrend (for the first time since Oct 2023), rising by 10.6 per cent MoM to 1.39 million tonnes in March 2024. 

Cumulatively, first quarter of 2024 (1Q24) production increased by 3.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to 1.05 million tonnes, with fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield and oil extraction rate (OER) rising to 3.5 tonnes per hectare and 19.66 per cent respectively. 

This is up from 3.35 tonnes per hectare and 19.52 per cent compared to the same period last year.  

This improvement is attributed mainly to the enhanced availability of labour, according to HLIB's assessment. 

Meanwhile, HLIB noted that exports recovered for the first time since October 2023, rising by 28.6 per cent MoM to 1.32 million tonnes in March 2024, boosted by stronger demand ahead of Ramadan and Eid ad-Fitr festivals.  

During March 2024, the sharp increase in exports was driven mainly by higher exports to India, Africa and Asia Oceania, according to Intertek Services.  

Cumulatively, 1Q24 exports declined marginally by 1.6 per cent YoY to 3.69 million tonnes, due mainly to lower exports to China. 

Intertek Services also indicated that Malaysia's palm oil shipment increased by 12.7 per cent MoM to 431,200 tonnes during the first 10 days of Apr 2024, led mainly by higher exports to Asia Oceania, European Union, and India. 

Echoing similar views, CIMB Securities anticipates palm oil supplies will remain tight in April due to fewer working days and a reduced workforce during the Hari Raya holidays.  

This, combined with higher usage of palm oil for biodiesel purposes in Indonesia is likely to keep palm oil export supplies tight until April 2024.  

"We project palm oil stocks to fall by 13 per cent MoM in April 24. 

"We are of the view that palm oil stocks could bottom out in April before rising in May due to the seasonal rise in palm oil supply and stiff competition from other edible oil substitutes (currently traded at a discount to palm oil).  

"However, competition with sunflower oil from the Black Sea region could ease slightly in the near term due to higher shipment costs to transport them to Asia owing to the threat of Houthi attacks," it added. 

CIMB also said in the second half of 2024 (2H24), palm oil supply could fall short of expectations due to the lower rainfall observed in some parts of the palm oil region since late Jan and the outbreak of sooty mold and mealybugs in Sabah palm oil plantations. 

This can cause up to 30 per cent decline in FFB yields for the affected area.  

It also said the anticipated transition from El Niño to La Niña (with a 60-80 per cent chance of development in 2H24) and the capacity to recruit foreign workers amid a current shortage of 40,000 workers will be crucial factors to monitor in the latter half of 2024. 

CIMB has maintained its average crude palm oil CPO price forecast for 2024 of RM3,900 per tonne.


Sumber : New Straits Times