KARACHI (January 27 2005): Pakistan's palm oil market saw little buyinginterest in the past week but dealers said on Wednesday that dwindlingcottonseed supplies would boost imports in a few weeks. Weak internationalprices and overbought positions held by big importers were behind theslack buying interest and most traders were waiting for the internationalmarket to hit rock bottom. "There is room for big imports as current(international) prices are very attractive but the market lacks aggressivebuying interest," said Akbar Puri, an importer in Karachi.
Puri said importers were placing orders for March shipments but reports ofhigh palm-oil stocks in Malaysia kept big players on the sidelines, asthey expected prices to fall further.
Malaysian crude palm oil futures were down after data from a cargosurveyor showed a drop in exports for the first 25 days of January from amonth earlier.
Cargo tracker Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) said Malaysia'sexports of oil-palm products for the period from January 1 to 25 stood at836,009 tonnes, down 1.9 percent from the 852,577 tonnes seen for December1 to 25.
Dealers said the Pakistani market was likely to see some good buying inMarch because domestically produced cotton seed oil supplies would beexhausted by end-February.
Pakistan produced around 580,000 tonnes of cottonseed this season, up fromthe previous year's 400,000 on the back of a big cotton crop in 2004/05(April-February).
Domestic cottonseed is one of Pakistan's major sources of vegetable oil.
"The imports and prices both are likely to rise in March when the weddingseason would push demand and cottonseed supply would also come to an end,"another Karachi-based dealer said.
Dealers said traders had more than 70,000 tonnes of edible oil stock tomeet demand until the second week of February.
Pakistan imports about 800,000 tonnes of oilseeds and about 1.3 milliontonnes of edible oil products annually, led by palm oil and palm olein.Its annual demand is 1.9 million tonnes.
Courtesy Business Recorder