MPOB Palmnews
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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 The Star
 Lower palm oil output seen in January

Tuesday February 15, 2005 - MALAYSIA'S palm oil output is expected to fallby about 12% to 1.16 million tonnes in January from December, a Reuterspoll of leading plantation firms showed yesterday.

Production in December officially stood at 1.31 million tonnes.

Analysts from five main plantation firms estimated production for Januaryto range from 1.15 million to 1.17 million tonnes.

"The output for December was better than anticipated, but there should bea slowdown from January as we enter into the lean production cycle,"United Plantations Bhd executive director of marketing Martin Bek-Nielsentold Reuters.

There were three public holidays last month, accounting for about 10% ofthe month's working days.

"The weather has also been extremely dry and unforgiving, and that's nottoo good for the crop," he added.

The average estimate for January exports was 1.025 million tonnes, down 9%from December's 1.125 million tonnes.- Reuters