Malaysian palm oil exports may set a new record this year, having reached RM30.49 billion (US$10 billion) in the first five months of 2011 on the back of increased demand and higher prices. The all-time record was in 2008, when exports hit RM65 billion ($21.4 billion) and last year’s total was RM62.8 billion ($20.68 billion).

While crude palm oil futures have risen from RM2,700 ($891) per tonne in 2010 to RM3,300 ($1089) today, Malaysia’s output has declined slightly in recent years as Indonesia’s increased. According to this report, shortage of foreign labour availability is one explanation, and Malaysian palm seed producers have complained about excess regulation and quarantine controls on palm planting materials due to the threat of¬†coconut cadang-cadang viroid (CCCVd) disease.

The Department of Agriculture has, however, agreed to lift its restrictions after a series of talks arranged by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). ¬†Indonesia has increased export duties in an attempt to attract investment to downstream activities. These factors, plus bumper harvests in areas like Sarawak this year, should see Malaysian exports push past 2008′s record if output continues at its current rate.

source & article: Business Times