Middle East continues to be an important export destination for Malaysian Palm oil, says MPOC

30 Jan 2022 12:55pm
The middle east continues to be an important export destination for Malaysian palm oil, says MPOC. - Photo by 123RF
The middle east continues to be an important export destination for Malaysian palm oil, says MPOC. - Photo by 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - With a population base of over 330 million and consumption of 2.34 million tonnes last year, an increase of eight per cent from 2020, the Middle East region will continue to be an important export destination for Malaysia, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said.

Chief executive officer Wan Aishah Wan Hamid said the region has shown consistent growth in consumption of specialty fats and palm oil would benefit from this trend due to its nutritional qualities and functional attributes.

"This region is also set to see a boost in demand due to the global events like Expo 2020 Dubai, FIFA 2022, religious tourism and more,” she told Bernama.

Last year, the export of Malaysian palm oil to the Middle East registered an increase of 8.2 per cent.

The leading importer from this region is Turkey with a volume of 703,588 tonnes followed by Iran with 404,319 tonnes.

These two markets have recorded increases of 19 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Other countries which recorded increases are United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Qatar and Kuwait.

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"The UAE palm oil market is expected to reach US$467.1 million (US$1=RM4.19) by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc,” Wan Aishah said.

She said taking the example of the confectionery products in Turkey, the sector has increased approximately 50 per cent for a period of ten years beginning 2010 and the sector would continue its growth pattern and palm oil consumption.

She added that Turkey is also positioned strategically to explore re-export opportunities to Balkans and Central Asian region.

Meanwhile in Egypt, palm olein is on an upward trend to meet the growing demand in the hotel, restaurant and cafe (HORECA) sector especially after the improvements of tourism which was severely impacted by COVID-19 in the last two years.

The increase of palm olein blending in cooking oil is also another sector of growth in Egypt.

"While businesses continued to enjoy strong demand levels, they also reported a much sharper increase in input prices. The uptick was largely attributed to a rise in fuel and energy costs as well as higher raw material prices.

However, she said business confidence regarding future activity might be challenging ahead, especially to the UAE, due to the Omicron wave.

Nevertheless, she said this would depend on how the Omicron variant impacted worldwide travel and local restrictions

She said businesses also face the prospect of higher inflation after the latest data indicated the fastest rise in purchase costs for nine months due to an increase in energy and raw material prices.

Wan Aishah said this year, the council would strengthen its promotional efforts for global recognition of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) as Malaysia’s sustainability standard.

"A 360-degree marketing and promotional programmes, to ensure visibility and understanding of MSPO, will be undertaken ranging from engagements with key government officials, seminars and talks with trade associations and the HORECA sector as well as roadshows and social media advertising for general consumers.

"This would be a long-term endeavour that will start with our neighbouring countries and the ripple effect will finally be seen on products proudly carrying our MSPO logo, an indication that the sustainability standard has gained international stature,” she said.

She said the MPOC has started promoting MSPO on the MPOC World Expo Dubai online contest website.

Additionally, she said the Malaysian Palm Oil Full of Goodness would be the main theme during the Sustainable Agri-Commodity Week from February 6 to February 12 to support Malaysian palm oil-based product manufacturers who would be marketing their products at LuLu Hypermarket in UAE.

She said being the fourth largest contributor to the Malaysian economy, the palm oil industry would be able to maintain its 2021 performance in 2022 backed by various marketing and promotional efforts to be conducted by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and its agencies.

In 2021, the total exports of Malaysian palm oil and its derivatives stood at 24.26 million tonnes and due to high palm oil prices, total revenue increased by 40 per cent to RM 102.34 billion as compared to 2020. - Bernama.