Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 10 (2) September 2010 p. 23-28

Regional Comparative Advantage and Competitiveness of Malaysian Palm Oil Products

Behrooz Hassanpour and Mohd Mansor Ismail
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This article examines the competitiveness of Malaysian palm oil products compared to other industrial plantation products (cocoa products, coconut, tea and pepper) in selected ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) and in China by using the revealed comparative advantage (RCA) and the revealed symmetric comparative advantage (RSCA) indices. The export data for seven groups of products based on the standard commodity categories as defined in the harmonized tariff system (HTS) at the four-digit level were employed. The results indicate that Malaysia has a comparative advantage in six products: palm oil (HS 1511), coconut (copra) and palm kernel oil (HS 1513), cocoa butter (HS 1804), cocoa powder (HS 1805), cocoa paste (HS 1803) and pepper (HS 0904), but a comparative disadvantage in tea (HS 0902). Based on the competitiveness position, Indonesia ranked first while Malaysia ranked second in oil palm products.

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