The agri-commodity sector recorded RM169.2 billion in trade value for the first 11 months of last year, up 10.6% against RM153 billion in the same period in 2019.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said up to November 2020, agri-commodity product export earnings amounted to RM133.2 billion, or 15.1% of the country's total export earnings, due to positive growth throughout the 11-month period.
"This was an increase of 13.6% over the RM117.2 billion recorded in the preceding year’s corresponding period.
"The improvement was due to an increase in the price of the main agri-commodity, the average price of crude palm oil, as well as significant demand for rubber-based products,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Khairuddin said palm-based products, which represented the biggest contributor at 48.6% of total agri-commodity exports, registered a 4.8% growth in exports to RM64.8 billion.
However, he said, the volume of palm-based product exports declined by 10.7% to 23.9 million tonnes.
“The 100% export duty exemption from July 1 to Dec 31, 2020, announced by the government on June 5 last year spurred global demand for palm oil and palm-based products.
“In addition, the 5% import duty reduction under the Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) starting Jan 1, 2020, rejuvenated Malaysia's palm oil exports to India," he said.
Meanwhile, the export value of rubber products, which contributed 32% to total agri-commodity product exports, jumped 50.5% to RM42.6 billion during the same period, driven by latex-based products especially rubber gloves that recorded a whopping 92.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth to RM30.6 billion from RM15.9 billion previously.
The export volume of rubber gloves also showed an increase of 28% to 914,000 tonnes against 714,000 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2019, he said.
As for timber-based products, he said they contributed 14.9% to exports of commodity goods but their export value slipped 3.3% to RM19.8 billion.
"Cocoa product exports also recorded a decline to RM5.6 billion, down 6% y-o-y. Pepper products experienced a similar situation, decreasing by 18.5% from RM109 million in the same period in 2019," he said.
Among the main agri-commodity product export markets was the US, which witnessed a 46.9% surge in export value to RM21.8 billion with rubber gloves recording the largest percentage rise of 73.6% to RM10.2 billion.