B20 timely during tough times for palm oil industry

Published on 23 Oct 2019. | Source: thestar.com.my

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KUALA LUMPUR: Next year’s implementation of B20 biodiesel for the transportation sector is timely at a time when the country’s palm oil industry is facing trying times, in addition to the European Union’s (EU) ongoing discriminatory acts against the vital commodity, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.

She said cooperation with petroleum companies in the country is, therefore, crucial to kick start the B20 biodiesel programme to upgrade blending depots throughout the country.

"The quicker we implement the programme, the soonest it could help in reducing the country’s stock level (of palm oil)," she said adding that the implementation of B20 biodiesel is expected to boost the demand for palm oil by 500,000 tonnes per annum.

Kok was met by reporters after attending the Malaysian Rubber Board assembly here on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling the 2020 Budget recently said the programme would be implemented by end-2020.

However, as there was no allocation set for the programme, Kok said her ministry is having discussions with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to sort out the matter.

"The discussion is ongoing," she said.

On another matter, the minister urged local companies producing commodity-based products such as pepper and chocolate to come up with attractive packaging to entice more demand.

"Next year we will be facing with the economic downturn, therefore we have to explore more markets and adding more downstream products," she said.

For a period of January-August 2019, the agri-commodity sector recorded a total trade value of RM107.7 billion, while the trade balance was RM56.9 billion.

Exports of commodity products for the period amounted to RM82.4 billion or 12.7 per cent of the country's total export earnings.

The export earning for commodity products during that period stood at RM82.4 billion or 12.7 per cent of the country's total export earnings, a three per cent decrease compared to RM84.9 billion chalked in the same period last year.

The decline in the export value of agri-commodity products was caused by the decrease in exports of major products such as palm oil, palm-based oleochemicals and natural rubber.

Although the value of exports declined, exports of palm products increased by 13.7 per cent to 18.7 million tonnes. - Bernama

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