May 4, 2020 / 12:14 PM / in a month

Malaysia cancels its largest palm oil conference due to coronavirus

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Reuters) - Malaysia has cancelled its biggest palm oil conference for the first time in 31 years after initially postponing it to June due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference and Exhibition or POC2020, was initially scheduled for March 2-4 and typically draws thousands of industry players from more than 50 countries.

“We have made this difficult decision to cancel POC2020 out of concern for the health and safety of all our participants, as well as to adhere to the government’s advice to avoid mass gatherings,” the POC2020 Secretariat said on its website.

Malaysian health authorities on Monday reported 55 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 6,353 cases as the government eased curbs on movement after a six-week partial lockdown.

The authorities have allowed most businesses to reopen in an effort to restart the economy, but large gatherings including conferences are stil prohibited.

Reporting by Mei Mei Chu, editing by Louise Heavens

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