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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

(The Star) Commodities expected to fetch higher prices this year

PUTRAJAYA: The country’s commodities, particularly palm oil, are expected to enjoy higher prices in 2017, with the increase in export revenue set to reach up to 8%.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the average price of crude palm oil (CPO) for this year would range between RM2,700 and RM2,800 per tonne, slightly higher than the average RM2,653 per tonne last year.
Rubber prices for the first three months of the year are expected to be around RM8 per kilo, double the price recorded during the same period in 2016.
“Despite challenges and uncertainty in the global economy, exports of our commodities rose 3.2% last year, securing RM110.6bil as of November.
“We believe we can maintain the upward trend record because we are exploring new potential markets to sell our commodities, not only palm oil and rubber, but also other products including furniture,” he said after addressing the ministry staff.
Malaysia is eyeing Africa, Iran and southern countries in Europe, with Africa’s potential being tremendous, given its high population growth rate and with more nations now practising free market.
Mah said his ministry would continue to tap the Indian and Chinese markets, adding that among the outcome of the Prime Minister’s visit to China last year was a further boost in trade, including the export of oil palm products.
“This will certainly have a positive impact not only on our economy, but also on the livelihood of about a million smallholders,” he said.
On rubber, the minister said the price of the commodity went up following lower output in Thailand due to floods, as well as stronger demand from China.
“The decision by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia under the international tripartite rubber council to limit rubber export has also helped boost the price,” said Mah.
Last year, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, which together produce around 70% of the world’s rubber, announced plans to cut rubber exports by 615,000 tonnes for six months to boost the commodity’s price. The move came as rubber prices depressed amid excess supply.

The average price for SMR20 for 2016 was RM5.64 per kg, but the price shot up to RM8.36 per kg in December.