KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia is seeking to take advantage of the global shortfall in palm oil supplies following an export ban of the product by Indonesia, a Malaysian minister said on Tuesday.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the country is confident that it will be able to fill the gap in global palm oil supply and urged all parties in the sector to coordinate their efforts in order to make use of the opportunity presented.
"Both upstream oil palm growers and downstream oil producers in Malaysia should join hands to reap the benefit of the void following neighboring Indonesia's decision to halt its palm oil exports. As the world's largest producer of palm oil, Indonesia imposed this ban to lower commodity prices and further address its domestic supply shortages," she said in a statement.
"While Malaysia sympathizes with Indonesian palm oil players who will be impacted by significant shift in the demand-supply mechanics in the country, this is the best time for our palm oil players to enhance their innovation capabilities, while exploring possible strategies to meet a spike in demand by palm oil importing countries," she added.
Zuraida also said that in the long term, the country's oil production and export will rise by 30 percent by the year-end, due in part to Malaysia re-opening its international borders and transitioning to an endemic phase since April 1, which will see the country's shortage in labor improve.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced an export ban on palm oil on April 22 as a short-term measure after domestic prices of cooking oil, of which palm oil is a key ingredient, soared in the country, but the decision has further raised global edible oil prices amid inflation due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.