Thursday, October 21

Palm oil production drops most in eight years


KUCHING: Malaysian palm oil output fell the most in eight years according to official data by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) yesterday, a decline bigger than expected which signified greater impact from the recent floods.

Crude palm oil (CPO) production in December 2014 tumbled 22.04 per cent to 1.36 million metric tonnes against 1.75 million tonnes the previous month, the biggest drop since December 2006, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Palm oil stocks eased 11.55 per cent to 2.01 million tonnes at end-December 2014 against the 2.27 million tonnes recorded the previous month, MPOB said in a statement yesterday.

CPO stocks declined 23.61 per cent to 995,529 million tonnes, while that for processed palm oil grew 4.61 per cent to 1.02 million tonnes for the month under review.

Palm oil futures surged to a six-month high last week on concerns that the worst floods in decades in Peninsular Malaysia hurt harvesting, intensifying the impact of a seasonal decrease in output in the world’s most-used edible oil.

CIMB’s regional head of plantations and deputy head of research Ivy Ng told The Borneo Post her views that this was a ‘natural event’ as the inventory figure is broadly in line with the research houses and markets forecast.

“We don’t expect this event to be a key driver for CPO price or share prices of palm oil players in the near term,” she said in response to queries via email.

“With regards to the flood, our view is that players impacted by the floods may post weaker earnings as the rise in selling prices for CPO may not sufficient to offset the drop in output due to the flood.”

Output in the three east coast states on Peninsular Malaysia hit by floods – Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang – fell 28 per cent in December from a year earlier, according to MPOB.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department anticipates isolated rains and thunderstorms are predicted over parts of Sabah and Sarawak until January 18.

Meanwhile, MPOB also said palm kernel stocks fell 20.55 per cent to 131,263 tonnes, while crude palm kernel oil lost 10.55 per cent to 162,234 tonnes.

Processed palm kernel oil stocks improved 5.51 per cent to 140,759 tonnes in December, while that for palm kernel cake stocks was 7.19 per cent lower at 350,855 tonnes, it added.

“Palm kernel production was down 21.64 per cent to 337,242 tonnes, while crude palm kernel oil output was 18.83 per cent lower at 175,030 tonnes and palm kernel cake production dropped 19.26 per cent to 192,823 tonnes.

“Palm oil exports rose 0.43 per cent to 1.52 million tonnes in December against 1.51 million tonnes in November 2014. Biodiesel exports depreciated 97.30 per cent to 614 tonnes.

“CPO imports in December slid 0.40 per cent to 52,872 tonnes, while that of processed palm oil inched down 18.26 per cent to 37,481 tonnes.”