KUALA LUMPUR – The European Union’s (EU) attack on palm oil usage is due to fears that the commodity would dominate the vegetable oils market share in the future, said Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
He said today, palm oil commanded about 60 per cent of the global vegetable oils market share, up from about 10 per cent in the 60s-70s.
“This is all because of the government’s efforts,” he told the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Mah reiterated that the EU’s discriminatory move against palm oil, including a ban on its use in motor fuels starting 2021, was due to the bloc’s concerns that the commodity would dominate over 80 per cent of market share within the next decade.
However, Mah said, proactive action had been taken, including bilateral talks with the ambassadors and head of the EU delegation to Malaysia, and by leading trade missions to the bloc.
The minister said he had also been engaging with his counterparts in Thailand and Indonesia to join forces in combating the discriminatory ban.
“We will ensure that the issue surrounding palm oil is resolved before the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement is concluded,” he added.
Mah said the government would continue to fight for the livelihood of more than 650,000 smallholders in rural areas who would be affected by any ban on palm oil.
Malaysia’s palm oil exports last year amounted to RM77.8 billion, accounting for 8.3 per cent of the total export volume. The export of palm oil and palm oil products to the EU stood at RM11.03 billion in 2016. – BERNAMA