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Challenges, Opportunities And Latest Price Trend:
Malaysian Palm Oil Industry Performance - First Half 2011
Datuk Dr. Choo Yuen May
Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May is the Director-General of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). She oversees and directs programmes that keep the oil palm industry at the forefront of science and foster economic growth and innovation. She has leveraged on her renowned research and leadership position to take stewardship of six and a half of the 8 entry project points (EPP) for oil palm under the Economic Transformation Program launched recently by the Prime Minister. Datuk Choo is recognized internationally for her pioneering work in the field of palm biodiesel [normal grade palm biodiesel (pour point + 15°C and winter grade palm biodiesel (pour point – 21°C)]. The principal focus of her current research is the development of novel, efficient and green processes for the palm-based industry. These include the Production and evaluation of palm biofuel including first and second generation biofuel and palm aviation fuel and Production of palm phytonutrients. She also works closely on Sustainability and Climate Change, in particular Life Cycle Assessment of Oil Palm and Products. Datuk Choo has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Fellow of the Malaysian Oil Scientists and Technologies Association, Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry and Fellow of the Malaysian Scientific Association. She has authored and co-authored more than 600 scholarly articles, and 50 patents of which 29 have been granted and 21 pending. Several of the patents have been successfully commercialized, the most significant being the biodiesel technologies. Other technologies are those related to extraction of carotenoids, vitamin E and sterols, production of red palm oil and manufacture of palm-based industry solvents and degreaser Datuk Choo has been honoured with more than 126 international and national awards, the most prestigious of which include. The Knight of the International Order of Merit of Inventors awarded by International Federation of Inventors Association ( IFIA ), Most Outstanding Malaysian Women Award in conjunction with the International Women’s Day Celebration 2011, WIPO ( World Intellectual Property Organization ) Gold Medal for Best Women Inventions 1994 and 2003 and Anugerah Karya Inovasi Saintis awarded by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.
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The Malaysian oil palm industry has grown in leaps and bounds. Palm oil’s contribution to overall Malaysia’s commodity export value has increased from 6.0% in 1980 to 35% in 2000. In 2010, its share surpassed half of the country’s commodity exports value with 52.8% or RM59.79 billion of the total RM113.29 billion. The first half of 2011 recorded mixed performance for the Malaysian Oil Palm Industry. High supply availability from increases in Crude Palm Oil production and imports and lower export demand pushed palm oil closing stocks at 2.05 million tonnes in June 2011. Crude Palm Oil and imports increased by 7.7% and 38.0% to 8.5 million tonnes and 767,000 tonnes respectively, while exports of palm oil declined by 4.4% to 7.9 million tonnes. Tight palm oil supply in the first quarter of this year helped sustain palm oil prices above RM3,000 level. Crude palm oil price for the first half of 2011 averaged RM3,463.50, an increase of 35.8% compared to RM2,549.50 for the first half of 2010. This paper will provide an overview of the performance of the Malaysian oil palm industry for the first half of 2011 vis-à-vis the first half of 2010 covering oil palm planted area and productivity by region as well as exports, imports, stocks and price of oil palm products.
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