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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

(The Star) No more ‘crude’ palm oil

PETALING JAYA: There are plans to do away with the term “crude” to describe palm oil and the prized commodity will instead be promoted as a Malaysian premier brand, said Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said the word was not an apt description of the nation’s largest net export commodity.

“There is no reason why it must be called crude palm oil.

“The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will refer to the commodity as Malaysian palm oil in future,” he said when launching the 13th National Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) Seminar yesterday.

While acknowledging that palm oil may be facing unwarranted attacks from several quarters, particularly from the European Union, he noted that the commodity held vast potential and has generated billions of ringgit for the nation.

“Figures don’t lie and the palm oil industry is doing well. Palm oil exports have increased by nearly 31% between January and May this year, compared to the same period last year,” he said.

He said the total commodity exports, which include palm oil, rubber, cocoa and pepper, increased by 27% for the same period and is expected to reach RM130bil this year.

Mah said he will be leading a two-day economic and promotion mission to the Philippines today to promote the export of palm oil and rubber products to the Asean nation.

He said Malaysia exported RM2.46bil worth of palm oil, rubber and related products to the Philippines last year, while exports totalled RM1.983bil for the first five months of this year.

Mah said used palm oil kernel can be turned into animal feed and help the poultry industry reduce the import of corn, costing some RM2bil a year.

ISP has some 17,235 registered members and its publication is circulated in 45 countries.