Palm oil and rubber can boost ringgit

Source:  Business Times
пальмова олія

Malaysia’s commodities notably palm oil and rubber wield significant potential to boost the weak ringgit through the repatriation of export earnings, said Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

Johari said the overall commodities contribute between RM160 billion and RM200 billion in export receipts or more than five per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.

Undoubtedly, palm oil and rubber play an important role in providing the country with foreign exchange, he said during Bernama TV Ruang Bicara on “Empowering Agricultural Commodities In Facing Global Challenges” on Wednesday.

“Our commodity exports are priced in the US dollar. Given our current exchange rate predicament, if we can bring back the greenback each time we export, it will help cushion the impact on our weak ringgit,” he added.

Last week, the ringgit touched 4.800 against the dollar, the weakest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

The ringgit edged down to 4.76 against the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.75.

On Wednesday, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said the central bank had stepped up engagements with GLICs, GLCs, businesses and investors to encourage continuous inflows in the foreign exchange market.

On the rice issue, Johari said prioritising effective management and improvement of paddy yields can potentially lead to a substantial increase in the local rice production.

He pointed out that just 60 per cent of our paddy is cultivated locally, while the rest is imported. This causes sustainability challenges in the overall national food production.

“For instance, in Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, paddy yields can reach up to six or seven tonnes per hectare. Comparatively, in our northern paddy fields, the yield might only be around four tonnes.

“This two-tonne difference, when scaled up across 800,000 hectares, would equate to 1.6 million tonnes of paddy, translating to over one million tonnes of rice. Currently, we consume around 2.2 million tonnes of rice annually, while producing only 60 per cent domestically,” he said.

The government reportedly is concerned that a lower domestic output will increase reliance on more expensive imports.

It acknowledged the issue but the industry fretted that little had been done to resolve the problem.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Got additional questions?
We will be happy to assist!