Fertilizer

Diversify Your Oil Palm Plantation: 5 Things to Plant Besides Oil Palm

In recent years, the price of palm oil has been rather volatile and unstable. This is due mainly to the sharp drop in demand, caused by efforts from the European Union to ban palm oil-derived biofuels.

The Malaysian authorities have therefore been encouraging oil palm planters, especially smallholders, to diversify their crops.

Crop diversification is beneficial in many ways. For starters, they help offset and compensate any losses you may experience due to the instability of palm oil. They’re also good for the environment as different crops help maintain a better balance in soil nutrition and ecology.

Here are some crops and other enterprises you can consider incorporating into your plantation:

1.Durians

Malaysian Durians have garnered quite a good reputation overseas, and it is known for its good quality and taste. Malaysian durian species such as Musang King, D24 and Black Thorn are in high demand, especially in China.

China imports about 300,000 tons of durian each year. However, as of 2019, Malaysia only exports about 17,000 tons of durian there. There is definitely room for Malaysian growers to fulfill the high demand in China. Durians here can fetch a high price, whereby 300g of the fruit can sell for as high as RM180.

2.Pineapples

Pineapples may seem like a pretty unremarkable fruit. However, they’re being dubbed the new source of wealth for Malaysia because of increased demand for this fruit. Again, the main importer of Malaysian pineapples is China.

The Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board ( MPIB) expects that demand for these fruits will increase from RM155 million a year in 2017 to RM320 a year in 2020. Malaysian growers have been told to step up their game and meet the high demand.

  1. Bamboo

Many people do not know that bamboo actually fetches a high price in the market. There are more than a thousand bamboo species in Southeast Asia, and they are mostly used in construction and in the fabrication of bamboo furniture. One very tough and hardy bamboo species is the Betong bamboo, whereby one stalk can sell for up to RM200.

  1. Vanilla

Vanilla has a very high demand, and dried vanilla pods in Malaysia can sell for up to RM2000 per kg. However, cultivating the vanilla plant is challenging and requires a lot of dedication and commitment. Vanilla does not produce its pods until about 4-5 years after planting. However, when done right, the returns are enormous.

If you do decide to venture into vanilla planting, it is advisable to consult and work closely with vanilla farmers who already have a successful plantation.

  1. Stingless Bee Honey or Kelulut Honey

Although Kelulut bees are not really a crop or plant, they are truly worth considering. The demand for Kelulut Honey is on the rise in recent years. This is due to the medicinal values of the honey and the fact that it can be cultivated easily.

As long as there are flowering plants somewhere on your plantation, you can easily erect wooden honeycomb boxes. There are more than 30 species of stingless bees in Malaysia, and they all produce honey. The bees don’t need to be fed. All you have to do is provide them with water, flowering plants and a bit of damar resin from trees ( such as rubber, jackfruit, “cempedak”, etc) within a 2km radius.

After that, each honeycomb can sell for between RM300-RM500 each. This enterprise uses your plantation’s natural resources that are already there.


Image credit: Marufish@Flickr

Diversifying your oil palm plantation doesn’t mean neglecting your palm trees. Instead, you can ensure that your plantation enjoys a more sustainable future. Your income will be able to stabilize more too when you don’t depend solely on one crop.

Companies Offering Innovative Solutions

With the advancement of technology and innovation from companies, several companies have created innovative solutions that help manage manure while providing benefits to the agricultural sector. Discussed below are some examples of companies and their contribution.

CowPots

This company produces and distributes biodegradable and nutrients rich plant pot. These pots are made from the manure produced by the family’s dairy farm.

CHONEX

CHONEX utilizes black soldier fly larvae to convert chicken manure into organic fertilizer. Other than that, CHONEX also produces high protein poultry and aquaculture feed from manure.

N2 Applied

The technology developed by N2 Applied enables farmers to add nitrogen from the air to manure and convert the ammonia contained in the manure into ammonium nitrate. This creates a valuable organic fertilizer for plants.

Phinite

In turning manure into high value organic fertilizer and bioenergy fuel, Phinite has built a dewatering system using constructed wetlands.

Stuffing Activity via Vessel Max Kudo V N009 dated 3 September 2019

Some of Everchem’s business activity includes witnessing the stuffing of our product into the container before the container is being loaded into the vessel.

This time around we witnessed our Boric Acid is being stuffed on 3rd September 2019. Before it is being stuffed into the container, we make sure to clean each of the bags.

Vessel Max Kudo V.N009 is estimated to depart from Port Klang on 6th September 2019 and arriving Ho Chi Minh on 10th September 2019.

The quantity of stuffing is 20 MT/800bags. Each of the bags weighs 25kg. One of our personnel was present during the whole period.

At the norm, the stuffing activity is done at Port Klang. We will normally do our routine checks by making sure there is no shortage and to make sure that the stuffing process is done in an orderly manner.

At Everchem, we strive to give the best service to our client, hence frequent visit to this activity will be done from time to time to make sure the best quality and quantity of products ordered being delivered to our client.

 

 

Facts of Fertilizer

Fact 1: Fertilizers ensure that the soil is not depleted

Fertilizer act as nutrient providers to the soil for plants to grow healthily. Fertilizer ensures that the nutrients in the soil do not deplete when the plants are harvested. When plants are harvested, they take along the nutrients that the plants have absorbed from the soil during development. Therefore, it is essential for the nutrients to be replenished so that other plants can be grown on the same soil. Applying fertilizer to the soil helps to restore the needed nutrients.

Fact 2: Fertilizers are made of natural elements

Some important nutrients essential to the soil and plants include nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate. Nitrogen can be obtained from the air. One of the most common processes to produce fertilizer is the Haber process which utilizes air and hydrogen to produce nitrogen. Potassium can be obtained from old sea and lake beds and also known as sodium chloride, similar to table salt.

Fact 3: Fertilizers do not alter the plants we eat

Using fertilizer in agriculture and edible plants do not affect or change the DNA of the crops. Fertilizer helps to improve the plant’s growth and quality. The nutrients added are based on the property of the soil. The right amount, type and frequency of fertilizing can give a great impact on the health of the crops.

Looking Back at the World Fertilizer Trends of 2018

As we know, fertilizer usage and prices fluctuate, due to various global factors. These factors include economic elements, as well as climate, food prices, agricultural productivity and more.

The usage of fertilizers all over the world is always on an upward trend. This is due to the fact that agriculture is always expanding to meet the needs of the growing world population.

Which crops used the most fertilizers?

Good weather worldwide during 2016 and 2017 drove the production of grains to record high amounts. Grains like rice, wheat, corn and more are the main source of carbohydrates and energy to people across the globe. Therefore the grain-growing sector is the top consumer of fertilizers.

In summary, the top 6 crops using fertilizers are wheat, coarse grains, rice, total cereals, sugar and oil crops. The oil crops here include oil palm and soybean, among others.

What was demand like in 2018?

The demand for 2018 and subsequent years were predicted to increase. Indeed, the demand for fertilizers increased to about 200 500 000 tons towards the end of 2018. The demand in 2018 was actually more vigorous than previous years and grew more rapidly too.

This increase in demand was driven by the affordable prices of grains and other agricultural produce, which drove their production higher to meet growing demand. The growth in demand was highest for Potassium, which increased 1.8% year on year. This was followed by Phosphorus and Nitrogen which increased by 0.9% and 0.5% respectively.

Around the world, the highest increase in fertilizer demand was in East Asia and Africa, whereas demand in South Asia remained stable and unchanged. There was a slight drop in the demand in West Asia.

Fertilizer Supply in 2018

Fertilizer demand trends are balanced out by their supply trends. In 2018, the rate of fertilizer production surpassed demand. This is called balancing out the demand and in 2018, Nitrogen out-supplied demand by 9.8%, Phosphate by 8.5% and potash by 32.8%.

Although supply outstripped demand, sales of fertilizers actually increased by 1.4% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

A shift to eco-friendly soil health

2018 was also the year that the FAO started their ‘Save and Grow’ campaign as part of its vision to build sustainable agricultural practices. Through this campaign, they encouraged farmers to explore alternative ways to restore soil health and nutrients, including using crop rotation and recycling of organic waste as natural fertilizers.

This program did not truly affect the prices of fertilizers, which remained largely stable in 2018.

Fertilizer price trends in 2018

Most of the fertilizers surveyed in 2018 had either stable prices that changed very little or increased slightly as the year progressed.

Anhydrous ammonia was priced at USD512 per ton in August 2018 and decreased to USD496 by September 2018. Diammonium Phosphate or DAP was USD488 per ton in August 2018 and USD 506 in September 2018.

In general, the prices of fertilizer products were generally higher than the prices of fertilizers in 2017 by about 5% or less.

Outlook for 2019

Prices of fertilizers are expected to rise by USD 5-15 per acre, depending on the type of crop and location in the world. However, this prediction may change and fertilizer production costs depend heavily on Brent Crude Oil prices, which are currently rather unstable.

How is the weather related to crop yield

In extreme weather nowadays, with extreme rains and drought, plantations face trouble in maintaining their optimum health conditions. Different parts of the world face different weather. Below are some countries which face agricultural problems due to weather.

India

India is one of the biggest producers of sugar. The lack of rainfall this year has caused the yield of sugar cane to drop to its lowest level in the past three years. Other than that, the weather has also threatened oilseed crop production. This has affected the exports of edible oils, including palm oil.

Indonesia and Malaysia

**Credit: Elena Ermakova @ Shutterstock

Being the world’s top palm oil producers, the drought has impacted the production of oil palm in these countries. On Jawa Island, the rice production is threatened by the dry weather. The export industry could be affected highly by the drought in the areas. Some parts of the island face 60 long days without rain.

Thailand

As one of the largest rubber growers in the globe, as well as one of the largest exporters of sugar and rice, the drought in certain areas in Thailand is causing a drop in exports. The authorities have cut down the export of rice and sugar. As a counter to this problem, cloud-seeding planes have been deployed around the agricultural areas to encourage fake rain to reduce drought.

Discharging activity via Vessel MV Giang Hai 09 dated 13 July 2019

For the second time this year, Everchem’s team had the change to witness the discharging of Vessel name MV Giang Hai 09 at Penang Port dated 13 July 2019. The vessel arrives at the Penang Port at 11:00 am and completed the discharging activity by 2:30 pm all Malaysian Time. The quantity of the shipment is 4,050MT. Two of our personnel were present during the whole period.

At norm the discharging activity of our fertilizers mainly MAP from China is done at Penang Port. We will normally do our routine checks by making sure there is no shortage and to make sure that the discharging process is done in an orderly manner.

At Everchem, we strive to give the best service to our client, hence frequent visit to this activity will be done from time to time to make sure the best quality and quantity of products ordered being delivered to our client.

 

Aeroponic plantation

In this ever revolutionary world, new technology is developed in a short period of time. In terms of agriculture, many new ways of plantation are developed. One of the ways is aeroponics plantation.

What is aeroponic plantation?

Aeroponic is a recently developed form of technology where plants are grown in an environment with air or mist. In this method, soil or an aggregate medium is not used.

How does it work?

The plants are suspended in a closed or partially closed environment. The dangling roots of the plants are sprayed with a nutrient-rich liquid. This liquid provided all the vital nutrients to the plants. The leaves extend above a support structure and are exposed to light that is either installed above the plants or in semi-closed structures, the plants absorb natural light from the sun.

Caring for aeroponic plants

Aeroponic plants are protected by keeping pests away. Since some plants are not fully protected from the outside environment and thus can be attacked by pests, regular schedules of pesticide application are followed. In a closed environment, however, there is a low risk of the plants being attacked by pests.

Advantages

  1. Space-saving
  2. Easy to care for as the plants are safe from outside pests

Disadvantages

  1. Proper skills are needed to ensure adequate nutrients reach the plants
  2. Costly as the installation and maintenance is expensive

What Factors Influence The Prices Of Fertilizers Worldwide?

If you are a farmer, plantation owner or investor in agriculture, you will know that the agriculture industry relies heavily on fertilizers. However, the price of fertilizers can be rather volatile and unstable. This can seriously affect the cost of running a plantation as well as profit margins.

If you’re in the agriculture industry, it’s important to know what drives and influences the prices of fertilizers, whether they’re NPK, Urea, Ammonia based or others.

1.Fertilizer Demand

Harvest seasons, an increase in plantations, economic activities, currency rates, consumption patterns and more will cause the need for palm oil to increase. When that happens, the demand for fertilizers also increases.

When there’s a high demand for fertilizers, the prices of fertilizers will increase. In the same way, if the supply for fertilizers decreases, and the demand increases, the prices will go up too. In recent years, there has been a spike in demand for fertilizers, especially among emerging economies.

2. Availability of Raw Materials

In the fertilizer industry, the price and availability of raw materials are known as input cost. The main raw materials in the fertilizer industry are from mining. This includes factors such as industry trends, mining costs, weather and other macroeconomic elements. Raw material prices also differ from place to place, due to things like cheaper labour and machinery costs.

Logically speaking, the higher the input costs for fertilizers, the more expensive the fertilizers will be. One good example is natural gas, which is the raw material needed to produce Ammonia. Natural gas is usually found with petrol and its price has been steadily increasing over the past decade due to a decrease in global supply.

3. Transportation Costs

Major fertilizer producers in the world tend to import their raw materials. For example, in the US, Ammonia is imported from Trinidad and Tobago and this accounts for up to 30% of production costs.

There is a global supply chain happening in the world today and therefore, an increase in things like fuel or petrol prices will cause transportation costs to increase, and thereby also increase the cost of producing fertilizers.

4. Higher Revenue Margins

There are seasons when fertilizer producers, especially the larger ones, set higher fertilizer prices as they want to bump up their profits. Higher revenue and lower expenses will add value to a company’s stocks, so there are times that companies need to prop up prices to ensure the survivability of their company too.

What can governments do?

Although global fertilizer prices tend to be unstable, plantation owners don’t need to be overly concerned as governments will still protect agricultural costs. In Malaysia, there are several policies that will help farmers.

This includes a program where smallholders are given fertilizer subsidies, fertilizer aid and government-funded fertilizer producers that produce cheaper fertilizers.

In the long run, however, it is up to planters to plan their costs properly and take into consideration the unstable nature of global fertilizer prices in order for the business to be sustainable.

Malaysian palm oil price up on expectation of better export data

The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.2% at 2,047 ringgit ($491) per tonne at the close.

The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.2% at 2,047 ringgit ($491) per tonne at the close.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 1% on Wednesday as traders bet upcoming export data would overshoot forecasts.

The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.2% at 2,047 ringgit ($491) per tonne at the close.

Cargo surveyors and an independent inspection company had over Saturday and Monday reported more than 15% falls in exports for the June 1-15 period.

“The export rumour for June 1-20 period shows better numbers than in the earlier period,” a futures trader based in Kuala Lumpur said.

In other related oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract was last up 0.5%.

The September soy oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 1.2% and the Dalian September palm oil contract was also down 0.2%.

Palm oil prices are affected by movements in related edible oils, with which it competes for global market share. – Reuters

Reference: By The Star OnLine – June, 20, 2019 @ 7:02am

Credit: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/06/20/palm-up-on-expectation-of-better-export-data/#cxrecs_s