Malaysia oil palm industry faces ‘tough’ year, USDA FAS says

Malaysia oil palm industry faces ‘tough’ year, USDA FAS says
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NEW YORK (Jan 9): “Long-standing labor shortages, lack of mechanization in the collection of fresh fruit bunches, rising operational costs, lower demand from traditional export markets such as China and India, and increasing anti-palm oil campaigns in Europe confront the industry,” USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says in report posted Monday on website.

* Production in 12 months that end Sept. 30 may rise to 21 million tons from 19.5 million a year earlier

* Government replanting program and high-yield seedlings bolster output amid “labor issues”

* Exports may rise to 18 million from 17 million