Malaysia palm oil inventories rise more than expected in January as exports slump

An Indonesian worker handles palm oil seeds at a plantation in Pelalawan, Riau province on Sumatra island. Photo: AFP/Adek Berry. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10, 2021, Reuters. Malaysia’s palm oil inventories rose more than expected in January as exports plunged to a near 14-year low while output continued to decline, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Stockpile MYPOMS-TPO in the world’s second largest producer increased 4.7% to reach 1.32 million tonnes at the end of January from the month prior, rising for the first time in four months. January inventories were expected to rise 1.8% to 1.29 million tonnes, according to a Reuters poll.

Crude palm oil production MYPOMP-CPOTT fell more than expected to its lowest since February 2016.

It slumped 15.5% in January to 1.13 million tonnes, falling for a fourth straight month due to rainy weather and a pandemic-induced labour crunch, and against expectations for smaller 13% fall in the poll.

Palm oil exports MYPOME-PO also slumped more than expected to their lowest since February 2007. Exports plunged 42.3% to 947,395 tonnes, data from the industry regulator showed, against expectations for a 35% fall in the poll.

“It’s a bearish situation – exports are much lower versus estimates at 1.13-1.17 million tonnes, production is 4% above the Malaysian Palm Oil Association’s estimate,” said Marcello Cultrera, institutional sales manager and broker at Phillip Futures in Kuala Lumpur.

Inventory stocks are also 7% above most surveys, he added.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Kim Coghill and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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