February 25 2004 - MALAYSIA’S crude palm oil (CPO) futures prices cameclose to touching the RM2,000 mark at midday yesterday but lost its steamat the end due to profit-taking activities.
During the 1997-1998 financial crisis, the prices went up to as high asRM2,700.
On the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange Bhd, the benchmark third monthdelivery May 2004 climbed a shade under RM2,000 a tonne at RM1,996 atmidday before closing RM2 lower at RM1,950 from last Friday’s close.
The February and March deliveries, meanwhile, closed at RM1,959 andRM1,957 respectively. However, both contracts briefly touched the RM2,001and RM2,003 levels during yesterday’s trading.
Similarly, the CPO physical market also hit the RM2,005 level beforeclosing unchanged at RM1,980 from last Friday’s February South close.
United Plantations Bhd Martin Bek-Nielsen executive director of financeand marketing said it is just a matter of time before CPO prices hit thethe magical RM2,000 a tonne mark.
CPO prices still have room to increase because the commodity is the world’s cheapest edible oil right now. China, Pakistan and Turkey are set tomake bigger purchases as the warm weather comes in, Bek-Nielsen toldBusiness Times in a phone interview.
He said CPO is also between US$115 and US$120 (US$1 = RM3.80) cheaper thansoyabean oil.
I expect CPO prices to hit the RM2,000 mark by the end of this month, headded.
Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik had said last weekthat palm oil prices were expected to hit the RM2,000 mark anytime.
Meanwhile, the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Plantation Index of theMalaysia Securities Exchange Bhd closed 65.68 points higher at 2366.19following gains registered by share prices of listed plantation companieson the bourse.
The index is made up of a basket of 27 companies. Yesterday, there were 25gainers, five losers and seven unchanged with a volume of 22.94 millionshares traded.