NANJING, China, Oct 23 — There is still room to grow Malaysia’s palm oil export to China given the continuous increase in demand and consumption, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said the additional 25 percent import tax imposed by China on US soybean oil had resulted in reduced imports which created a reduction in the supply of edible oils while creating opportunities to increase Malaysian palm oil exports.
Malaysia’s palm oil exports to China rose 9.3 percent to 1.81 million tonnes for January to August 2018 period, compared with 1.65 million tonnes exported during the same period in 2017.
“Based on current performance, the export of palm oil derivatives to China is poised to equal or even exceed last year’s total,” Kok told reporters after officiating the Malaysia-China Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS) 2018 here today.
In 2017, Malaysia exported 2.87 million tonnes of palm oil and palm oil derivatives worth RM9.42 billion to China. Meanwhile, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) Chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said Malaysian palm oil is important to China as it is used in a wide range of applications.
On the additional 500,000 tonnes of palm oil China is considering to buy from Malaysia announced during Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent visit, Kok said the relevant parties were in discussions and the final decision was expected to be made by early 2019.
“Although palm oil in China is mainly used as cooking oil for both industrial and domestic sectors, there are other areas where the use of palm oil can be expanded further.
“These include use in confectioneries such as chocolates, bakeries, as well as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. I would even go as far as to promote palm oil biodiesel should China decide to set biodiesel mandates in the future,” he said.
Lee added the potential for higher utilisation of palm oil would be tremendous considering China’s rapid industrial and economic development.
POTS 2018 themed “Enhance Trade, Maximise Opportunities through Malaysian Palm Oil” is a one-day event jointly organised by MPOC and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board that has attracted 400 participants from Malaysia and China.