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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

05/06/2003

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

reuters

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

India may cut palm oil imports
KUALA LUMPUR (June 04 2003) : India may trim palm oil imports in Juneafter buying close to 600,000 tonnes of the edible oil last month, morethan its normal monthly requirement, regional traders said on Tuesday.

Worries Malaysian palm oil prices would rise further triggered heavycovering last month but Indian importers now realised they had bought morethan enough oil, said traders.

Congestion's occured at the ports as vessels had to wait for days forstorage-tank space, they said. India, the world's largest edible oilconsumer, usually purchases around 400,000 tonnes of palm oil a month frommain producers Malaysia and Indonesia.

"I think India is overbought," said one dealer in Malaysia.

"Shipment bookings to India for June from Malaysia and Indonesia have sofar reached 120,000 tonnes and I don't think they will buy more cargoes.

June exports look bad," he said. Malaysia, the world's largest producer,exported 1.08 million tonnes of palm oil in May compared with 1.01 milliontonnes in April.

But traders said this month's exports might fall to around 800,000 tonnes.Cargo surveyor SGS said China was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oilfor May, taking 236,882 tonnes, followed by India, which bought 161,375tonnes and Pakistan with 87,500 tonnes.

On Tuesday, the benchmark third-month August contract was quoted atringgit 1,410 ringgit ($371.05) a tonne, down nine ringgit.

"We are going to have our own oilseed crop in the next three months. So,you have to lower palm oil prices if you still want to attract consumers,"said one trader in China.-Reuters