THE production of palm oil has become a more lucrative source of income than rubber in Malaysia, reports the Financial Times.
The decline in the fortunes of rubber follows a US decision to sell off stockpiles of rubber. This has knocked the world price back 30%.
Malaysia said natural rubber and rubber product export earnings rose 34.7% to M$4.33bn (£660m) in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 1997. But the value of palm oil exports increased 68.3% to M$8.62bn.
Malaysia is pulling out of the International Natural Rubber Organisation (Inro) in protest at its failure to support prices.
- Boom for Malaysian plantations, FWi, 19 August, 1998
- Palm oil holds good for Malaysia, FWi, 12 June, 1998
- Financial Times 08/09/98 page 38