October 16, 2007 (AFP) – The value of Malaysia’s palm oil exports is expected to reach a record of 40 billion ringgit (11.84 billion dollars) this year as prices soar, a report said Wednesday.Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Peter Chin said the forecast had been lifted from an earlier figure of 35 billion ringgit, and compared to 31.81 billion ringgit earned from palm oil exports last year.
“We had initially projected a conservative 10 percent jump in export values for this year,” Chin told the New Straits Times.
“But looking at the figures for the first nine months of this year, we are optimistic and have revised upwards our projections, predicting a 25 percent growth from last year,” he said.
Exports for the first nine months of this year were worth 30.44 billion ringgit, he said.
“This year, palm oil prices have been phenomenal compared with last year. And lately prices are on the uptrend again as we are at the tail end of the peak harvesting season,” he said.
Palm oil prices have been surging as high prices for crude oil cause demand for alternative fuels to soar.
Malaysia and Indonesia account for 85 percent of world production, and Indonesia is on track to claim the mantle of top producer as it expands the area of land it has under plantation.