Malaysia's Palm Oil Stocks Drop to 10-Month Low, Boosting Futures
Malaysia's Palm Oil Stocks Drop to 10-Month Low, Boosting Futures

Malaysia's Palm Oil Stocks Drop to 10-Month Low, Boosting Futures

  • 17-Apr-2024 4:58 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Malaysia's Palm Oil stocks at the end of March plummeted to their lowest level in 10 months, driven by a surge in exports that overshadowed a modest rebound in production, the industry regulator announced on Monday. The decline in Malaysia's Palm Oil stocks, a significant player in the global biofuel industry, is poised to buoy benchmark futures which recently soared to a one-year high.

According to data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Malaysia, the world's second-largest Palm Oil producer after Indonesia, witnessed a staggering 10.68% drop in Palm Oil stocks at the end of March, totaling nearly approx. 1.7 million metric tons, marking its lowest level since May.

The MPOB report highlighted a notable about 10.57% increase in crude Palm Oil (CPO) production, reaching around 1.39 million tons, while Palm Oil exports surged by nearly of 28.61% to around 1.32 million tons during the same period. Analysts had previously anticipated March inventories to hover around 1.79 million tons, reflecting a 6.65% decline from the previous month, with output and exports forecasted at 1.38 million tons and 1.23 million tons, respectively.

In response to the report, several researchers from the vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group expressed optimistic sentiments, asserting, "CPO stocks are diminishing rapidly, and they are likely to decrease even further by the end of April." Experts additionally linked the projected decrease in Malaysian output in the first half of April to the observance of Ramadan holidays, emphasizing that exports during this period had exceeded those of the previous month. This trend is anticipated to impact the global supply chain, leading to significant disruptions in supply and demand dynamics and causing prices to rise significantly.

Despite the optimistic outlook, concerns linger over the potential impact of rising soybean oil exports from South America as various regions are expected to enter a harvesting season, witnessing a record harvest for the MY23/24. A trader based in an importing nation primarily in India emphasized that heightened competition from soybean oil, trading at a discount to Palm Oil, could exert further pressure on Palm Oil exports which may consequently cap the latter product’s prices.

Overall, Palm Oil, a crucial component in the global vegetable oils market, is influenced by price movements in related oils as they vie for market share.

The dip in Malaysia's Palm Oil stocks, alongside the intricate dynamics shaping the global vegetable oils landscape, underscores the intricate interplay of factors influencing the biofuel industry worldwide.  Additionally, various analysts according to the Chemanalyst further project a continuous price rise in the upcoming month considerably supported by higher demand from biofuel industries thereby limiting the inventories of Palm Oil for a global market.

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