Plantation stocks dip as planters flag losses in earnings by 5-10% from labour shortages

Plantation stocks dip as planters flag losses in earnings by 5-10% from labour shortages
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 7): Plantation stocks on Bursa Malaysia dipped in the mid-morning on Tuesday (June 7) after Malaysian planters flagged losses in earnings by a further 5% to 10% this year, exacerbated by acute labour shortages in the oil palm industry.

At 11.05am, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) had fallen 2.38% or 62 sen to RM25.38, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd dropped 2.44% or 12 sen to RM4.79, United Plantations Bhd shed 0.55% or eight sen to RM14.38, and Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd was down 0.55% or three sen to RM5.43.

In a statement on Monday, the Malaysian Estate Owners' Association said the two oil palm regions in Malaysia where there are massive shortages of labour are Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, which make up 74% of the total oil palm production area in the country.

It said even if there are fresh fruit bunches (FFB) on the trees, they are not being harvested or are not harvested within the specified norm of a 12 to 15 days round.

Some areas are even taking up to 35 to 40 days to render the FFB to be overripe or rotten, it said.

It was reported on May 31 that Indonesia had cancelled a plan to send its citizens to work in oil palm plantations in Malaysia.