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 Low output months a boon to palm oil

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.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533