Palm oil group urges Malaysia to shun trade with France, Norway

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): Malaysia’s Palm Oil Industry Forum “strongly encourages” the government to avoid any trade dealings with France and Norway until issues around their decision to ban palm biofuels are resolved, according to an emailed statement from the secretariat on Thursday.

* NOTE: French National Assembly on Dec. 19 voted to exclude use of palm oil as biodiesel feedstock and end incentives for adding palm oil to diesel as of 2020; on Dec. 3, Norwegian parliament voted to stop its biofuel industry from buying palm oil

** NOTE: Norway’s Palm-Biofuel Ban Will Hurt Malaysia-EU Trade Talks: Kok

** NOTE: Mahathir to Write to France, Norway on Palm Oil Restrictions

* Ban on palm-biofuels will threaten French exports to Malaysia, hurt diplomatic relations between France and Malaysia, and other trade collaborations with the European Free Trade Association

** Forum “fully supports the Malaysian government’s proposed retaliatory trade action against France and Norway”

* France and Norway’s decisions seem to be based on “misguided perception” and generalization that palm oil is linked to deforestation, secretariat says

** Land expansion for soybean plantings grew by 33.91m ha between 2007-2017; for palm, it rose by 8.67m ha

* Forum comprises upstream and downstream participants in industry, including planters, estate owners, millers, refiners

* Members committed to producing sustainable palm oil, it says

** Industry expected to be fully certified through mandatory Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification scheme by 2020