PETALING JAYA: Iran edible oil market offers great potential for Malaysian palm oil and palm oil-based products export, according to Plantation Industries and Commodities minister, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She highlighted the Islamic republic is the eighth top importer of Malaysian palm oil in 2021, with an increase of 26% from 321,106 tonnes in 2020 to 404,320 tonnes.
In regards to the opportunities between the two countries, Zuraida urged the private sector to redefine the business approaches to form partnerships and strategic alliances to explore new avenues for expanding the edible oil and palm oil business in Iran.
“The global reopening of economic sectors following the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted
in strong demand for Malaysian palm oil, including in Iran,“ she said in an address to the Malaysia-Iran Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar in Tehran, Iran, yesterday.
On the whole, palm oil exports contributed to RM102 billion in revenue last year, marking a 40% increase from RM73 billion in 2020.
The minister elaborated India remained as the top destination for Malaysian palm oil, importing more than 3.5 million tonnes.
Other prominent destinations for Malaysian palm oil include China, the Netherlands, Turkey, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Overall, the country’s palm oil accounted for 24% of global palm oil production and 31% of world exports in 2021.
Despite the impressive performance, she pointed out the industry is not without challenges.
“Limitations among others in the form of non-tariff barriers including market access, discriminatory trade practices and negative perception have recently escalated against the Malaysian palm oil industry that offers a better competitive advantage over other edible oils,” said Zuraida.
“We will continue with our effort to disseminate accurate facts and information to counter the anti-palm oil campaigners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to disprove the allegations of deforestation associated with the Malaysian palm oil industry.”