Palm exports from Malaysia's biggest producer of the edible oil, Sabah State, will be hit by closure

WION Web Team
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Published: Apr 25, 2020, 05:19 PM(IST)

Petronas resumes domestic projects. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Malaysia is under a March 18-May 12 partial lockdown to contain the virus. Many industries such as palm plantations, however, have been allowed to operate with reduced staffing.

As Malaysia is under a partial lockdown, palm exports from Malaysia's biggest producer of the edible oil, Sabah State, will be hit by a closure of private jetties due to coronavirus-related curbs, an industry body said on Saturday.

The company accounts for about a quarter of the total palm oil produced in Malaysia, which, after Indonesia, is the second biggest producer and exporter of vegetable oil in the world.

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Malaysia initiated a partial lockdown on March 18 and will be continuing it till May 12. There are a total of 5,742 reported positive cases, with 98 deaths and 3,762 recovered patients. The lockdown has affected a lot of businesses.

There are more than 16 jetties that were used to ship fresh fruit bunches, crude palm oils and palm kernels. However, since the April 17 order of partial lockdown, these jetties have been temporarily closed.

"The downstream sector in Sabah which includes the refineries and kernel crushing plants will see their raw materials reduce, thus affecting their production and ability to fulfil the committed supply contracts. "Important of all, they are not able to carry out shipments of finished products for exports to other countries." the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said.

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On the other hand, Petronas, a leading oil and gas company of Malaysia, has said that all its domestic projects have either already resumed or will be resuming soon.

Petronas is striving to minimise the impact to its planned domestic CAPEX programme in the face of the current challenges," the company said in a statement.

"However, we do expect that some projects will be naturally delayed due to the prolonged lockdowns implemented globally and the movement control order in Malaysia, and further disruptions anticipated to the global supply chain."

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