Palm oil inventory lowest since January 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's September palm oil inventory at 1.55 million tonnes was the lowest recorded since January 2011, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur.

He said the nation's average palm oil inventory for the January to September period also declined to 1.82 million tonnes from 2.15 million tonnes in the same period last year.

"As a result of this obvious fall in palm oil inventory, crude palm oil (CPO) prices have shown an upward trend in the market," he said at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Liang Teck Meng (Gerakan-Simpang Renggam) on the latest CPO stock and the steps taken by the ministry to address the issue of falling palm oil prices.

Datu Nasrun said the CPO price was at RM2,862 a tonne in September 2016 compared to RM2,591.50 a tonne in August 2016 while the average CPO price for the January to September period was RM2,556 a tonne, up from RM2,150.50 a tonne in the same period last year.

He said although CPO prices are at a stable level, the government is constantly taking various steps to ensure any drop in oil palm prices would not adversely affect consumers and the industry.

These measures include implementing the B10 programme (a petroleum diesel blend comprising 10% palm methyl ester) in the transport sector to further boost demand for palm oil.

He said the government also provides a RM100 million oil palm replanting incentive scheme beginning Oct 1, 2015 in order to reduce oil palm fruit production and help lower the palm oil inventory.

The government is also stepping up research and development efforts in new palm oil-based products such as tocotrienol and red palm oil for commercialisation by the industry besides strengthening the existing export markets and penetrating new markets through technical and trade promotion missions abroad, he said.

"Malaysia and Indonesia are also collaborating on the establishment of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to develop and strengthen the palm oil industry," he said, adding the ministry is also looking at short- and long-term measures to stabilise palm oil prices. — Bernama