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News 24991 to News 25000 of about 25514 news within page 2500
24991. 24/11/2001
   
AMSTERDAM, Nov 23 (Reuters) - European palm oil consumers with coveragethrough January are wary of buying more expensive forward positions,mindful of soyoil values amid talk of further price rises, traders said onFriday.Benchmark Malaysian futures rose about eight percent in the past weekand some traders are convinced the market is set for an extended bull run,but consumers were less convinced."There's been a good buying, both from specs and consumers," a Londontrader said, adding that India was a prominent buyer over the past 48hours."The charts look particularly positive on palm oil, everything looksset for another surge," he added.The benchmark Malaysia third-month February palm oil futures closedhigher at 1,182 ringgit a tonne on Friday, not far from key resistance of1,200. The next major target would be the peak of 1,315 ringgit touched onAugust 8, he said.Higher prices would be supported by fundamentals since global palm oiloutput is expected to decline in coming months, especially in Malaysia.October-December world production is due to fall by two percentyear-on-year and by six percent in the first three months of 2002,industry publication Oil World said this week.Another near-term trigger for higher prices could be on Monday whenestimates are due to be released for Malaysian exports during the first 25days of November, traders said.
24992. 24/11/2001
   
BOMBAY, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Edible oil imports by India, the world'slargest buyer, are likely to fall in November-January from last year'slevel despite a decline in stocks, thanks to rising local supplies,traders say.Availability of domestic edible oils is expected to rise following goodwinter oilseed crops, they said."Groundnut oil is available in ample volumes at present," MansukhbhaiPatel, president of the Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade,told Reuters on Thursday.Supplies of other indigenous oils, such as soybean oil and sunfloweroil, are also increasing, he said.Traders forecast India's oil imports at 300,000 to 325,000 tonnes inboth November and December, down from 360,000 tonnes and 331,000 tonnesrespectively in the same months last year.India is expected to import about 75,000 tonnes of soyoil and125,000-150,000 tonnes of crude palm oil both this month and next, theysaid.Edible oil imports are expected to fall to about 400,000 tonnes inJanuary from 538,000 tonnes a year earlier, traders said.India mainly purchases oils from Malaysia, Indonesia and South Americancountries. More than two-thirds of India's oil imports are palm oils, withthe rest accounted by soft oils such as degummed soy oil.
24993. 24/11/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 - MPOB reported CPO production rose 3.7 percent or40,300 tonnes to 1.141 million tonnes in October. The bulk of the increasewas accounted by East Malaysia where production rose 30,500 tonnes or 7.5percent to 437,300 tonnes.Peninsular Malaysia posted a slight increase of 9,800 tonnes or 1.4percent. On an annual basis, production in the country shrank 3.5 percentor 42,100 tonnes. Over 80 percent of the contraction was acounted byPeninsular Malaysia where output fell 4.8 percent.As stated in previous reports, the negative growth in yields andproduction will get worse. This reflected mainly a "correction" from thenear-record high yields registered in the corresponding months of lastyear. For the three month-period ending December we estimate output toregister a contraction of eight percent or 275,000 tonnes. We are alsomaintaining our estimate of an 11.65 million tonnes output, possibly more,for the whole of this year. Seasonally, production in November isestimated to decline nine percent from October.Palm oil offtake recovered vigorously to 1.04 million tonnes inOctober from the abnormally low level of 792,000 tonnes in the precedingmonth. Exports alone recovered 247,000 tonnes to nearly 900,000 tonnes.MPOB's figures show big increases in shipments (in thousand tonnes) to thefollowing countries: Pakistan 103.2 +69.8, European Union (EU) 155.6+63.3, India 141 +57.9, China 175.3 +37.7 and Turkey 35.1 +33.3.Notwithstanding the robust October shipments, combinedSeptember-October exports at 1.55 million tonnes still show a bigcontraction of 245,500 tonnes or 13.7 percent when compared to the sameperiod last year. However, there is a 49 percent probability combinedexports in the last two months of the year will match the year-agofigures.Exports in November alone are tentatively estimated at 935,000 tonnes.Should that be realised, then we can look forward to a year-ending palmoil stock level of not more than 1.14 million tonnes. Such a stock levelmay be considered as manageable in the context of the forthcoming leanproduction period in January-March. It may also be construed as ample interms of stock-usage ratio.Palm oil stocks amounted to 1.34 million tonnes at end October. Thisis 123,400 tonnes more than month earlier but around 70,000 tonnes lowerthan a year ago and significantly below the burdensome near-record highlevel of 1.52 million tonnes at end January this year. More importantly,stocks will start to decline this month. Our tentative estimate shows amoderate drawdown of 40,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes at end November.While the palm oil stocks outlook may appear encouraging, the marketshould not ignore the dismal PKO stocks situation. Continued sluggishofftake in the last four months had resulted in a continuous buildup tonew record high stocks culminating at 353,100 tonnes at end October or23,000 tonnes above our estimate. This constituted 3.28 times offtake.Inclusive of the buildup in stocks of PK, stocks of PK/PKO, oil basis,reached a burdensome new record level of 407,000 tonnes. In terms of bulkstorage tank utilisation, it is worth noting PO and PKO had taken up acombined storage space of 1.69 million tonnes at end October.There is a 50 percent chance stocks of PKO will rise further at theend of this month. In October the price of PKO in the domestic marketaveraged 10 ringgit below the price of CPO. The discount had widened to20-45 ringgit in recent weeks. With demand for PKO by oleochemicals at amaximum, this oil will have to price itself at even wider discounts if itis to see a meaningful and sustained rise in demand in the edible oilssector.CPO futures lost 77-73 ringgit over three trading days to more thanerase the gains chalked up on November 12 following the MPOB report. Thecontract February settled at 1,096 ringgit on Friday, November 16 andbrought losses for the week to 36 ringgit. However, fresh speculativebuying in the last two days enabled the market to rebound as much as 47ringgit with February contract settling at 1,143 ringgit yesterday.
24994. 24/11/2001
   
PALM OIL FUTURES -Feb (3rd mth) 1181, Open/High/Low1170/1191/1170, Prev settlement 1157PALM OIL PHYSICAL -Nov (south) 1130, Prev close 1110 , *sellers' quote
24995. 21/11/2001
   
21 November 2001 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA’S palm oil sector, alreadybuoyed by a host of market-friendly factors, is expected to receive anadded boost as low production months enter.Tradewinds Plantation Services Sdn Bhd executive director Rashidi Omarsaid cyclically, the months of November, December and January are known asthe low-yield periods.“The low yielding months are expected to continue until May next year andonly then will production pick up again,” he told Business Times in KualaLumpur yesterday.Rashidi, however, was unable to specify to what extent the shortage inproduction will be but expects production in December to be lower thanNovember at between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), the country’s palm oilproduction as at October reached 1.14 million tonnes, a 3.66 per centincrease compared with 1.10 million tonnes in September.MPOB will only release November’s production, export and nationalstockpile figures on December 15.Rashidi also said palm oil prices will average at RM1,200 a tonne for thewhole of 2002 compared with a year-to-date average of RM907 a tonne unlessproduction rises.Rashidi, who oversees 60,00ha of oil palm estate mainly in Sabah andSarawak, said following the monsoon season, some oil palm trees inPeninsular Malaysia and Sabah have long since reached its peak crop.In a foreign newswire report yesterday, Indonesian Palm Oil ProducersAssociation chairman Derom Bangun said palm oil prices will rise as muchas 15 per cent by the end of the year as demand for the commodity risesand output drops.He said oil palm yields normally drop by 10 per cent in November and 7 percent in December, while year-end festivities increase demand for thecommodity,Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) chief executive M.R. Chandran agreedwith Derom’s view, saying the low production months ahead will dragproduction down, giving the commodity a boost in prices.“I am optimistic palm oil prices will hover between RM1,200 a tonne toRM1,250 a tonne at least for the first quarter next year because Malaysiahas been producing highly for three consecutive years now since 1999,”said Chandran.He said the MPOA, which groups 96 plantation companies in Malaysia, isalso revising upwards the country’s palm oil production to touch 11.5million tonnes compared with 11.2 million tonnes.Malaysia and Indonesia are the world’s first and second biggest producersof palm oil respectively.According to MPOB, Malaysia exported 8.32 million tonnes in 1996 worthRM9.4 billion and 10.38 million tonnes worth RM12.47 billion last year.According to Oil World magazine, Indonesia produced 6.95 million tonneslast year and is expected to touch 7.35 million tonnes by year-end.Indonesia’s palm oil exports, meanwhile, reached 4.14 million tonnes lastyear and is expected to touch 4.47 million tonnes by year-end.
24996. 21/11/2001
   
18 November 2001 (Business Times) - IN a move intended to reducedependence on foreign labour and increase employment opportunities forlocals, the Government has shortened the validity period of work permitsto three years.It also announced that foreign workers who have been here for three yearsor more are to be sent home. To avoid causing a disruption in production,employers are given a grace period of three months to make the necessarypreparations to send them home.Some employers, though, say the policy change will seriously affect theirhuman resource planning."It is difficult to plan human resource needs when the policy on foreignlabour keeps changing," says Malaysian Employers Federation executivedirector Shamsuddin Bardan.Only 10 to 15 per cent of the workforce of the manufacturing sectorconsists of foreigners, so it is not as badly affected as some othersectors. Nonetheless, there will be problems for many companies, saysFederation of Malaysian Manufacturers vice-president Datuk Paul Low."Normally, foreign workers are employed at the same time. If all have togo home at the same time, there will be interruption in production. Weshould stick to six or seven years. When work permits are coming up forrenewal, the Government should look at it caseby-case on the basis ofneed." Employers also say it is not cost effective to send foreign workershome after just three years because of the heavy expenses in therecruitment process. They feel they should be given the option to keepforeign workers who have a proven capacity for work beyond the threeyearlimit."A lot of cost is involved in medical examinations, transportation andlevies. It is better to send home those that are not so good and retainthe good ones. After three years, we know the good ones," says Shamsuddin.Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive M.R. Chandran says oil palmplantation owners need a longer period to spread out the costs as theyhave to fork out at least RM1,400 for the recruitment of each foreignworker.The recruitment process also takes three to four months while on-the-jobtraining is another seven to eight months. So, foreign workers only beginto contribute to the company in their eighth or ninth month of employment.He says the palm oil industry will have to send 28,300 foreign workershome by the end of next year and sustain a total loss of RM1.05 billion.The MPOA, which represents 96 palm oil companies, is appealing to theGovernment for a year's grace before the new policy is enforced.Housing Developers' Association Malaysia president Datuk Eddy Chen LokLoi, meanwhile, says the industry will become very shorthanded whenforeign workers are sent back as locals are not entering the industry.Foreign workers make up more than 70 per cent of the country's 500,000on-site construction workforce.Chen is also concerned about deterioration in the already poor quality ofworkmanship because foreign workers who have had three years' experiencewill be replaced by those without experience."We are essentially getting farmers to do bricklaying, carpentry, wiringand even plumbing. Quality of workmanship cannot be improved if we replaceexperienced workers with farmers." He says the Government should considerSingapore's example and set up training institutes so that foreign workerscan learn construction techniques in their home country before they areallowed to enter the country."It is cheaper to set up training institutes over there to train them thanto have them learn from scratch on the job when they get here. Now, anyonecan come over. Only people with training or experience should be allowedin." He also feels the Government should be strict about repatriatingforeign workers who are not needed because they are taking jobs away fromMalaysians."Foreign workers are taking over work from locals. They are even goinginto sub-contracting work, where there is a lot of money to be made.That's why they can build big houses and take over Malay reserve land,"Chen adds.Employers also contend that the policy will not benefit unemployed localsas they are generally not interested in the jobs currently held byforeigners. Most of the 700,000 foreign workers perform low-end jobs inthe agricultural, construction, service, furniture, manufacturing and foodsectors."Let's be realistic. Malaysians prefer easier jobs. Foreign workers aremainly in the lower end, heavier kind of jobs. In the plantation industry,for instance, very few locals want to work in the industry," saysShamsuddin.Unionists, however, contend that locals shun employment opportunities incertain sectors because wages are deliberately kept low. They also notethat working conditions in these sectors are very poor."Some companies are deliberately keeping salaries low to encourage a highturnover of locals and convince the authorities to allow foreign workers."Half the workforce of a metal fabricating firm in Bangi is foreign.Locals usually leave after one or two weeks because the starting salary isonly RM400."On the other hand, two neighbouring companies in the same business do nothave any foreign workers. They have no problems getting locals becausethey pay better," says Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-generalG. Rajasekaran.National Union of Plantation Workers national executive secretary A.Navamukundan says employers have to face the realities of the job marketand offer competitive terms if they want to recruit locals.He says plantation owners, in particular, cannot run away from the factthat a stable workforce is vital because the work, especially harvesting,is recurrent. Foreigners and contract workers, he notes, are not going tohelp bring the stability that the industry requires.In the peninsula, foreign workers make up some 45 per cent of theplantation workforce. In Sabah and Sarawak, it is as high as 90 per cent."For too long, the industry has been living by the philosophy ofexploitation of labour for profit. This mindset has got to go. You arelosing your labour to other sectors of the economy," says Navamukundan.He says the Government has a big role to play in improving the welfare ofplantation workers as it is an important sector of the economy and a majornet foreign exchange earner."The industry is an important taxpayer. A little bit of the tax ploughedback into the industry will go a long way towards arresting this rapidout-migration of plantation workers. The Government has held discussionswith NUPW and Mapa but the resources allocated to address the problems andthe political will to deliver it within a specific time frame is somewhatdisappointing."While there have been statements about programmes to improve the qualityof life of plantation workers, especially with regard to home ownership,schools, childcare centres, pre-school education, healthcare services andpublic utilities, very little is actually being done about it," addsNavamukundan.While unionists welcome steps to make available more job opportunities forlocals during the economic downturn, they do not think the move to shortenthe tenure of foreign workers will be of much of help.This is because the Government has also announced that employers whocannot find local replacements can recruit foreign workers from Cambodia,Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand, on a one-toone ratio based on thenumber of workers who are sent back after Jan 1, 2000.A total of 635,251 work permits were issued to foreign workers, includinghousemaids, last year. Of these, 212,763 were fresh applicants. Up to Sept30 this year, another 513,823 were issued. A total of 183,968 were to newapplicants."If you continue issuing fresh working permits for an equal number ofworkers that you are sending back, there is no difference," saysNavamukundan.Non-Metallic Mineral Products Manufacturing Employees' Union presidentAbdullah Abu Bakar says the Human Resources Ministry should take over thefunction of issuing work permits from the Immigration Department.He says the ministry should monitor the situation closely and ensure thatonly employers who have really tried to recruit locals but failed areallowed to hire foreigners.Abdullah says the Industrial Relations Department should also be given thepower to stop companies from retrenching permanent employees while keepingforeign and contract workers.He adds that the Human Resources Ministry must ensure that foreign andcontract workers are terminated before permanent staff can be retrenched.Unionists and employers also feel that the move to shorten the validity ofworking permits is unfair to foreign workers who are already here.They say foreign workers only start making money after working forone-and-a-half years because it takes them that long to recoup the moneythat they had spent to come to Malaysia."The reason they come here is to make money. They sell their land andborrow from relatives to raise money to pay recruitment agents. They maynot find Malaysia a good place to work if they are sent back after threeyears," adds Shamsuddin.Rajasekaran says: "We are against the presence of foreign workers, butonce you have brought them here, you have to be fair to them and theemployers." The Government has been saying for some time now thatlabour-intensive industries should turn to modern technology to reducetheir dependence on foreign labour. Employers, however, emphasise thatsuch a massive and expensive undertaking cannot be done overnight.Low says FMM member companies have been trying to reduce their dependenceon foreign labour over the past five years. Some have been trying tomechanise their production processes while others have shiftedlabour-intensive operations out of the country. Still others have closedthem down completely.Employers also note that workers have to be retrained to handle newtechnologies and that too is an expensive proposition. And, they simplycannot afford to do so during the current economic slowdown.
24997. 20/11/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Tight global soyoil supplies and fallingdomestic edible oil stocks will encourage Indian buyers to increase palmoil imports for the rest of 2001 despite higher taxes, traders said.
24998. 20/11/2001
   
Monday, November 19, 2001 (The Star)CRUDE palm oil futures prices on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange (MDEX)made fresh rally-highs in early trading and reversed direction during theshortened four-day trading week and returned a good portion of their rallygains to close Friday in the negative territory. Strong long liquidationand profit-taking towards late week drove the January contract below theRM1,100 per tonne level.The January futures slipped from a week’s high of RM1,170 to RM1,081 andclosed Friday lower at RM1,085, off RM35 per tonne from a week ago.Based on chart, the January futures ended the week negative and had givenindication that a downward technical correction has started. Violation ofthe uptrend support-line at the RM1,125-RM1,130 levels during Friday’sclose has turned the immediate-term chart picture bearish. Continuation ofthe downward momentum this week should send the market lower for a test ofits immediate chart support at the RM1,070-RM1,065 levels. A successfulbreak below this important chart support would likely pressure the marketlower for a test of its minor chart support at the RM1,040-RM1050 levels.Chart resistance for this week is pegged at the RM1,100-RM1,110 levels.The 12-day exponentially smoothed moving-average price line (ESA) endedthe week negative and closed higher at RM1,082. Based on the ESA-line, theimmediate market has an immediate cycle-support at the RM1,082 level.Breaking of this cycle-support would confirm that a negative cycle hasstarted.Technically the daily stochastics ended the week bearish and indicatedthat a downward correction has begun. The oscillator per cent K closedbelow the oscillator per cent D and finished the week sharply lower at38.46% and 65.40% respectively.The daily Momentum Index turned bearish during Friday’s close andsignalled that a trend-reversal has started. The MI settled the weeksharply lower at 110.00 points.The Moving-Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) triggered the sell signalon Friday and called for more downside trading this week. The MACD endedbelow the trigger-line and finished the week higher in the positiveterritory at 43.34 and 44.16 points respectively.
24999. 20/11/2001
   
20 November 2001 (Business Times) - THE proposed acquisition of UnileverPlc NV’s palm oil refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, by Golden HopePlantations Bhd may not be as straight-forward a deal as hoped, sourcessay.This is because Unilever has received several new bids for the plant frommultinational companies, among them Swiss-based food giant Nestle SA andmultinational commodity trader Cargill.“With the latest development, negotiations may take a little longer thanexpected,” a source told Business Times in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.It has been reported that Golden Hope was expected to conclude anagreement this week to buy the plant from the British-Dutch food andconsumer products giant.The refinery, Unimills, employs 210 workers and is located at Zwijndrechtin the vicinity of the world’s fourth biggest port, Rotterdam.Its price tag is not immediately known but industry observers said asimilar refinery in Malaysia would cost between RM200 million and RM300million to develop, and an oleochemical facility RM400 million to RM500million.“Golden Hope looks to be still having the upper hand in the negotiationsthough... being a palm oil producer. Unilever is stressing the long-termviability of the refinery,” the source said.“Unilever would prefer to sell to a raw producer of palm oil to ensurethat the plant can continue to operate even when times are bad.”As such, the sale price is not quite an issue with Unilever.“In addition, Golden Hope and Unilever have long had a close workingrelationship, including in marketing and brand promotion of Unilever’s 400or so palm oil and palm kernel-based household products,” he said.Unilever itself has palm oil operations in Malaysia, undertaken throughPamol Plantations Sdn Bhd which has a total of 24,291ha under oil palmcultivation in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.It is understood that Golden Hope group chief executive officer, DatukAbdul Wahab Maskan, and the company’s top executives returned to theNetherlands yesterday to resume talks, after only coming back to Malaysiaon Sunday.Meanwhile, Unilever press officer Richard Van Der Eijk said in an e-mailto Business Times that the refinery is being hived off because therefinery has built up a substantial enough business with third parties tomake it a stand-alone operation.“The disposal is also in line with Unilever’s overall growth strategy andfurther development of its 400 leading brands,” he said.Van der Eijk refused to give an indication of the price being negotiatedbut said the refinery has capacity to process about 450,000 tonnes of palmkernel, coconut, soyabean, rapeseed and sunflower oil.He also dismissed suggestions that Unilever is selling the refinerybecause the group is in the red.“We have sales of up to 130 million euros (1 euro = RM3.41) from ourproducts sold in the central and northwesten parts of Europe alone,” hesaid.An analyst said while Golden Hope’s proposed investment may not showimmediate returns, it represents a good long-term venture, which Malaysiancompanies need to pursue to further promote the country’s palm oil sector.“If Malaysia is to make its mark overseas as a palm oil producer, localcompanies must make such investments,” he said.In any case, such projects are not new to Malaysia. Golden Hope is also inthe midst of setting up palm oil operations in Vietnam and China.And United Plantations Bhd has palm oil operations in Mexico, the US andBritain, while Sime Darby Bhd owns a refinery in Egypt and the Kwok Grouphas one in China, the analyst said.Nestle is the world’s biggest food group. It employs 224,541 workers andoperates 479 factories worldwide. Sales totalled 81.4 billion Swiss francs(1 Sfr = RM2.32) last year.In Malaysia, Nestle Malaysia Bhd distributes 640 brands of food products.In terms of turnover and profitability, it is the fourth largest Nestlesubsidiary in Asia Pacific, after Japan, Australia and the Philippines.Cargill is an international trader, processor and distributor ofagricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services.It has operations in 57 countries and a 90,000-strong workforce.
25000. 16/11/2001
   
15 November 2001 (Business Times) - A DEEPAVALI gift to local commodityproducers and smallholders! Malaysia is soon meeting other countries whichproduces rubber, palm oil and timber to ensure more stabilised prices ofthese commodities in the international market.
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ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7803 5544 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533