China will not ban M’sian palm oil – Envoy
PUTRAJAYA: China will not impose a ban on Malaysian palm oil and palm-based products, said China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian.
Instead, he said China would import more primary products such as palm oil and rubber-based products from Malaysia in the future.
“We will not set any limit on the import of Malaysian palm oil and related products. There will be no glass ceiling for the import,” he said after paying a courtesy call on Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong at the minister’s office here yesterday.
Malaysia exported palm oil and palm-based products worth RM8.52 billion to China from January to November last year compared to RM7.76 billion over the same period in 2016, an increase of 9.8 per cent.
Bai said China would encourage more Chinese businessmen to invest in the primary industry, especially biomass, in Malaysia.
On China’s biodiesel market, he said the country’s diesel and biodiesel B5 consumption in 2016 was about 165 million tonnes and 8.25 million tonnes, respectively, while its biodiesel production in 2015 was 300,000 tonnes.
“This means, we need to import eight million tonnes of biodiesel. I think this is a good news for palm diesel producers. We hope Malaysia will take up this golden opportunity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mah said China was the second biggest buyer of Malaysia palm oil and palm-based products after the European Union for its biofuel needs.
“China has overtaken India to become the number two top export destination for Malaysian palm oil and palm-based products.
“We expect China will be the biggest importer of our commodity in two years’ time,” he said.
Mah said the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities through the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) was conducting a joint study with China’s Tsinghua University on biodiesel B5.
On the EU palm oil ban, Mah said Malaysia was actively diversifying new markets, including Iran, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan and the Middle East.
“I am heartened to hear that there will be no glass ceiling on export of palm oil to China. For the market as whole, we are now expanding our market. We hope every country will continue to buy our palm oil. We hope the issue (the EU ban) can be solve in a win-win situation,” he said.
On rubber and rubber products, Mah said China had overtaken the United States and the EU to become Malaysia’s top export export destination.
He said Malaysia exported rubber and rubber products worth RM7.45 billion to China from January to November last year, an increase of 76 per cent compared to RM4.23 billion over the same period in 2016. — Bernama