KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) remains optimistic that Malaysia can meet the gap in global palm oil supply following Indonesia’s export ban on the commodity.

Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said she has remained confident due to several factors, among them the entry of 32,000 foreign workers into the plantation sector in February.

Palm oil production and export are expected to rise by 30 per cent by the end of the year, which will help fill the gap in global exports, she added.

“Malaysia can expand palm oil production because we have reopened our international borders and the process to hire foreign workers has already begun under a special quota.

“During the pandemic, production was low due to a shortage of foreign workers. But now, the workers are back and production will rise, so we are able to meet global demand,” she said at a Ramadan aid event organised by the Institute of Malaysian Plantation and Commodities (IMPAC).

Previously, The Edge reported, citing the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) director-general Datuk Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, that Malaysia may not be able to fill the supply gap to meet global palm oil demand following the Indonesian ban.

“Malaysia may not be able to absorb much of the excess demand given the huge market size left by Indonesia. In addition, Malaysia is still facing an issue with palm oil production due to labour shortage even though the production situation is now improving,” Parveez had told theedgemarkets.com. — Bernama