FEPO contract will strengthen derivative offerings, says Zuraida

FEPO contract will strengthen derivative offerings, says Zuraida
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23): Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin has expressed confidence that the newly-launched East Malaysia Crude Palm Oil Futures (FEPO) contract will strengthen the country’s derivative offerings.

She said it will further cement the nation’s position as the global centre for palm oil price discovery.

FEPO, a ringgit-denominated crude palm oil futures contract, was launched on Oct 4.

The minister said Malaysia will continue to export palm oil to markets like China, India, Japan and Central Asia.

“We are working on more aggressive marketing efforts to grow our share,” she said in her opening address at the two-day Future-Proofed Palm Oil Summit and Exhibition 2021 from Tuesday (Nov 23).

The virtual summit aims to discuss strategies and practical approaches to dismantle barriers and revitalise preferences of the palm oil industry.

Zuraida said in order for the country to future-proof the palm oil industry, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities is working closely with the stakeholders, including Indonesia, in taking important steps towards improving practices and sustainability in the palm oil industry while dismantling all the barriers to compete healthily in the international market.

“The ministry and our various agencies have been putting in concerted and protracted efforts to showcase that the Malaysian palm oil industry is a responsible industry and environmentally friendly. Not only that, we are adhering to and meeting various strict national and international standards and requirements,” she said.

As at March 2021, over 86.39% of Malaysia’s total planted area for oil palm had been certified sustainable under the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme with 437 out of 455 oil palm mills in the country being MSPO-compliant.

She said the government is now formulating policies to help smallholders in the country to obtain MSPO certification.

In another note, Zuraida is also very keen on adopting the circular economy in the palm oil industry to increase revenue from oil palm biomass.

“I also encourage oil palm plantations to go into mechanisation and automation to reduce the dependency on labour and increase efficiency, and adopt carbon neutrality practices and energy-efficient technologies to lower carbon footprint in oil palm processing,” she added.