Malaysia Feb-end palm oil inventories fall less than expected as exports shrink

India is reported to have imposed curbs on refined palm oil of any origin to help domestic refiners. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 10, 2022, Reuters. Malaysia’s palm oil inventories at the end of February were down much less than market expectations, while exports declined, industry regulator data showed on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Stockpiles in the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil fell 2.12% from January to 1.52 million tonnes, its lowest level in seven months, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data.

“The MPOB report on first sight is slightly bearish as market was trading for a lower stock scenario of 1.29-1.38 million tonnes,” Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

A Reuters survey had pegged inventories to drop 11.4%.

Production, which has been affected by severe labour shortages and flooding, contracted 9.26% to 1.14 million tonnes, a one year low.

February exports had been widely expected to climb, but instead also slid to one-year low. It fell 5.32% to 1.1 million tonnes.

Comparatively, cargo surveyors had estimated exports to rise between 7.2% and 9.6%.

Imports surged two folds to 149,833 tonnes.

“Exports to Middle East seem to have taken a large hit,” said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

Prices will be under pressure, but the contract is still supported by a bullish external markets, he added.

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