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AGRICOMMODITY NEWS 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 -- Palm oil industry players are appealing to the Sabah state government to reconsider its decision to close estate and mill operations and allow the state’s smallholders to resume essential and critical operations during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) and Malaysian Estate Owners’ Association (MEOA) said the operations included harvesting, crop evacuation as well as milling.
“We strongly believe that we can better contain the spread by continuing operations rather than curbing them,” they said in a joint statement today.

JAKARTA, March 30 (Jakarta Post/ANN) -- The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) said export volume to China fell by 381,000 tons or 57 percent in January and this had contributed to the sharp fall in the country’s total palm oil exports, which declined by 35.6 percent to 2.39 million tons in January, from 3.72 million tons in December 2019.
"The drastic export decline in January could be because importing countries were still holding on to their stock while waiting for the Indonesia government to implement a 30 percent blended biodiesel [B30] program," the association said in the statement.

PETALING JAYA: Planters with oil palm estates and mills in Tawau, Lahad Datu and Kinabatangan in Sabah became the first casualty of a Covid-19 lockdown within the plantation sector in the country, say analysts.

As a result of some plantation workers being tested positive for the coronavirus, the state government has decided to temporarily suspend the upstream operation in the districts for seven days starting March 25.

It will also temporarily suspend the mills operation in the affected areas for five days starting March 27.

An industry expert told StarBiz that the affected districts constitute about 60% of total CPO production in Sabah.

For an efficient estate, the ratio is 1:24 ha for harvesters, he noted.


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Top Glove Corporation Bhd, the world’s largest glove maker, expects a product shortage as demand from Europe and the United States spikes because of the widening Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is exceeding its capacity.
The company has extended shipping times to cope with the demand surge, executive chairman Lim Wee Chai told Reuters by phone on Friday.
Lim said orders received in the past few weeks, mainly from Europe and the United States, were almost double the company’s production capacity. Top Glove can produce 200 million natural and synthetic rubber gloves a day.

PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd is expecting its profit margin in its second quarter of the financial year ending Aug 31,2020 (FY20) to rise by between 20%-40%.
“Our profits in the second half will definitely be much better than the first half of the year. The average selling price (ASP) has increased, especially from April to June 2020, so in the third quarter we would see a much better profit margin ranging from 20%-30% extra on the improvement of ASPs and increase in capacity which leads to a reduction in fixed costs, ” its founder and chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said during a conference call with reporters, analysts and fund managers yesterday.