Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 12 (2) September 2012 p. 22-35

The Economic Impact of the North-east Monsoon and La Niña on Oil Palm Production in Malaysia

Ayat K Ab Rahman*; Ramli Abdullah* and Faizah Mohd Shariff
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


La Niña, which occurs during the north-east monsoon season, normally brings higher rainfall than during normal weather in Malaysia. This study shows that La Niña had caused flooding in some oil palm planted areas in the past. The floods in effect disrupted harvesting and collecting activities and fresh fruit bunches (FFB) on the oil palm left overripe or become rotten. Crude palm oil (CPO) production declined and reduced income of oil palm growers. The potential losses of FFB by oil palm estates during La Niña in 2010 and 2011 were estimated to be about 239 181 t and 224 776 t respectively. In term of potential income losses, they were estimated at RM 155.10 million and RM 168.22 million during the two years. One of the reasons for the increase in the cost of FFB production was the damage of infield roads during floods. Hence, floods affected estates had spent RM 25.80 million and RM 26.48 million to repair the roads in 2010 and 2011 respectively. This study also showed that CPO production depends negatively with a dummy variable used to proxy La Niña. In the absence of La Niña, CPO production in 2010 should have been around 17.60 million tonnes when the actual CPO production during the year registered at only 16.99 million tonnes. The total potential CPO production loss was estimated to decline by 3.5% and 2.2%, as compared to production without La Niña in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

About Post Author


* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
P. O. Box 10620,
50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Email: ayat@mpob.gov.my