Beleggen in Palmolie

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India's January palm oil imports hit three-month low as soyoil shipments rise, say dealers

MUMBAI (Feb 5): India's palm oil imports fell to a three-month low in January, as refiners increased buying of rival soyoil due to negative refining margins for crude palm oil (CPO), five dealers told Reuters on Monday.

Lower purchases by the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils could keep palm oil inventories elevated in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia and weigh on benchmark futures.

January palm oil imports fell 12% from the previous month to 787,000 metric tonnes, estimates from dealers showed. Crude palm oil imports fell 16% to 541,000 tonnes last month, they said.

Palm oil imports were down primarily because of a significant decrease in CPO buying, as refiners saw more negative margins compared to refined bleached deodorized (RBD) palmolein, said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trader and broker GGN Research.

"Soya oil imports increased as prices were highly competitive compared to palm products, and refining margins were in positive territory," he said.

Soyoil imports in January jumped 24% from a month earlier to 190,000 tonnes, but were far below the monthly average imports of 306,000 tonnes seen in the last marketing year ended on Oct 31, dealers estimated.

Imports of soyoil are expected to rise sharply in the coming months, as its premium over palm oil and sunflower oil has decreased, and the oil is now available at par with rival oils, said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage.

Industry body Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) is likely to publish its data on January imports by mid-February.

Sunflower oil imports in January dropped 19% to 211,000 tonnes as the oil became expensive because of higher freight rates following Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, dealers said.

The lower palm oil and sunflower oil imports pulled down India's total edible oil imports to 1.19 million tonnes, down 9.2% from a month earlier, dealers said.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/699837
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Nigeria’s palm oil imports from Malaysia surge by 34% in 2023

NIGERIA – Despite facing currency devaluation and an increase in local production, Nigeria experienced a significant surge of 34% in its imports of Malaysian palm oil in 2023, according to data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

The country imported 304,043 metric tons (MT) of palm oil from Malaysia in 2023, a substantial increase from 227,035 MT in the previous year, indicating an additional 77,008 MT.

This surge in imports comes as a surprise, given the devaluation of the naira and the efforts to boost local palm oil production in Nigeria.

The exchange rate fell to a new low of N1,460 per dollar at the parallel market, leading to expectations of further weakness due to worsening dollar shortages.

Nigeria continues to import palm oil in large quantities from Malaysia, Indonesia, and neighboring West African countries.

The palm oil market in Nigeria is described as substantial and growing, with local producers unable to meet the demands of the food industry and households.

The factors driving palm oil usage in Nigeria include the growing population and international crude palm oil prices.

Despite a 9% growth in palm oil production in Nigeria from 2020/21 to 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2022, local production still falls short of demand.

In 2021, Nigeria consumed two million metric tonnes of palm oil, leaving a deficit of 600,000 metric tonnes. The production deficit has widened over the years, leading to Nigeria being a net importer of palm oil to meet local demand.

The decline in the international price of crude palm oil has contributed to increased imports and smuggling from neighboring West African countries.

Importers in Nigeria, despite facing a 35% import duty, continue to import palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia as demand remains high, and imported palm oil remains cheaper than locally produced palm oil.

The Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON) indicates that 80% of palm oil planted areas are managed by smallholders with low yields, while 20% is managed by commercial estates.

This production gap has contributed to Nigeria’s status as a net importer of palm oil.

Despite the challenges, Malaysia remains a significant supplier, and the recent surge in imports highlights the ongoing demand for palm oil in Nigeria, driven by population growth and economic factors.

https://www.foodbusinessafrica.com/nige ... 4-in-2023/
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India's January palm oil imports drop to three-month low as soyoil imports rise

MUMBAI/BENGALURU (Feb 12): India's palm oil imports in January dropped more than 12% from a month ago to a three-month low, as negative refining margins for crude palm oil (CPO) prompted refiners to switch to rival soyoil, a leading trade body said on Monday.

Lower purchases by the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils could keep palm oil inventories elevated in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia, and weigh on benchmark futures.

Palm oil imports in January fell about 12.4% from the previous month to 782,983 metric tonnes, the Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

Imports of soyoil rose 23.7% to 188,859 tonnes, while those of sunflower oil were down about 15.6% at 220,079 tonnes as the oil became expensive because of higher freight rates following Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, the SEA said.

The lower palm oil and sunflower oil imports pulled down India's total vegetable oil imports by 8.4% to 1.20 million tonnes, it said.

Negative refining margins in palm oil versus positive margins in soyoil have prompted a switch from palm oil to soyoil in recent weeks, said a New Delhi-based dealer with a global trade house.

"In the coming months, palm oil imports could fall further to make room for additional shipments of soyoil, which is cheaper," the dealer said.

Crude palm oil (CPO) imports are being offered at about US$932 a metric tonne, including cost, insurance and freight (CIF), in India for March delivery, while soyoil and sunflower oil are offered around US$919 and US$925 a tonne, respectively, dealers said.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

The rebound in palm oil prices is likely to be capped by abundant supplies of rival soyoil and sunflower oil, "soft" oils that are available at discounts to tropical palm oil for the first time in more than a year, industry officials said last week.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/700636
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Plantation stocks retreat as weak earnings stoke concerns

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): Plantation stocks retreated on Friday as a slew of weaker-than-expected earnings in the sector stoked concerns over further upside in share prices following the recent rally.

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, the latest to announce its results, slipped 1.56% to RM4.43. Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) fell 2.18% to RM22.36 and TA Ann Holdings Bhd declined nearly 4% to RM3.65, both of which have earlier released lower-than-expected quarterly earnings.

The current weakness was likely due to profit-taking, as shares have surged on the back of a rally in crude palm oil futures, said Rakuten Trade analyst Thong Pak Leng. Going forward, however, earnings would only improve if crude palm oil prices rise and stay above RM4,000 per tonne, he noted.

Bursa Malaysia Plantation Index, which tracks 40 stocks in the sector, had earlier hit a 20-month high after racking up nearly 5% gain so far this year.

Prices of the edible oil used in everything from lipstick to soap have climbed about 4% year-to-date, amid supply concerns, as the El Nino weather conditions stress oil palm trees, threatening fruit yield.

Apex Securities head of research Kenneth Leong expects subdued growth in earnings ahead, with palm oil prices hovering between RM3,800 and RM4,000 per tonne.

The benchmark three-month palm oil futures were trading at RM3,822 per tonne on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives.

On Thursday (Feb 22), Sime Darby Plantation reported that its net profit had tumbled more than 64% to RM200 million for the three months ended Dec 31, 2023 (4QFY2023) from RM562 million a year before, weighed by lower average realised prices.

Quarterly revenue decreased 6.88% to RM5.28 billion, from RM5.67 billion recorded for 4QFY2022. For the full year of FY2023, it posted a net profit of RM1.86 billion, 25.24% lower than RM2.49 billion a year earlier. Annual revenue declined 12.37% to RM18.43 billion, from RM21.03 billion previously.

A majority of 10 out of 17 analysts covering Sime Darby Plantation have hold calls on the stock.

Earlier this week, both Batu Kawan Bhd and its 47.74%-owned KLK reported lower earnings for the first quarter of financial year 2024 (1QFY2024), dragged by the losses incurred in the manufacturing and farming segments.

KLK’s net profit dropped 49% year-on-year to RM226.94 million in 1QFY2024, compared to RM443.04 million a year ago. Quarterly revenue contracted 16% to RM5.64 billion from RM6.71 billion.

Both Sime Darby Plantation and KLK expect palm oil prices to stay around current levels this year.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/702101
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United Plantations rises on record earnings, as analyst sees CPO prices averaging at RM4,000/mt in 2024

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27): Perak-based plantation firm United Plantations Bhd's share price rallied further to reach a record high on Tuesday, after the company reported record earnings and dividends for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY2023).

It was the fifth top gainer on Bursa, as the counter climbed as much as 44 sen to a high of RM21.36, before paring some gains to settle at RM21.14 for a net increase of 22 sen or 1.05% after 386,900 shares were done. In contrast, the FBM KLCI was up 0.72%.

The counter has risen over 18% since the start of this year, and more than 28% in the past year.

Apex Securities Bhd, the only research house covering the stock, said the group’s FY2023 net profit beat the research house’s expectations by 133% as it had underestimated the recovery in crop production in 4Q2023, while the improvement in United Plantations’ operating margin was higher than expected.

“For 2024, we anticipate further strengthening of crude palm oil (CPO) prices averaging at RM4,000/mt as CPO production remains stagnant. Palm oil inventory is also expected to fall, fuelled by festive season consumption and heightened biodiesel demand,” said the research house.

Following the better than expected FY2023 results, Apex Securities has revised its FY2024 earnings forecast upwards by 16%. It also upgraded United Plantations to “buy” (from “hold”) and assigned a higher target price of RM23.57 (from RM17.66).

United Plantations’ FY2023 net profit climbed 17.33% to a record high of RM711 million against RM606 million in FY2022, mainly due to higher commodity prices and the group's efforts in optimising yields, with a "commendable performance recorded for the downstream segment".

The group declared a gross special dividend of 40 sen per share and final dividend of 70 sen per share. Total dividend payout in FY2023 jumped to a record high of RM1.90, translating into a gross dividend yield of 9.1%.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/702486
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India likely to buy more soyoil in 2024, reduce palm oil purchases, top dealer says at KL conference

KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): India, the world's biggest vegetable oil importer, is expected to buy larger volumes of soyoil in 2024, while purchases of palm oil are likely to decline, a top dealer said on Monday.

Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage and consultancy firm, said India's soyoil imports will rise to 4.3 million metric tonnes in the 2023/2024 marketing year, from 3.5 million tonnes in 2022/2023.

Palm oil imports will be lower at 9.2 million tonnes in 2023/2024, compared with 10 million tonnes in 2022/2023, Sandeep said on the sidelines of the Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference 2024 here.

Negative refining margins in palm oil versus positive margins in soyoil have prompted a switch from palm oil to soyoil in recent weeks, according to traders.

Lower purchases of palm oil by India could keep inventories elevated in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia, and weigh on benchmark futures.

Sandeep said India's imports of sunflower oil will remain at about three million tonnes for the current marketing year, which would see the country's total vegetable oil imports at 16.5 million tonnes in 2023/2024, unchanged from the previous year.

"Overall, domestic production of vegoils is going to be around 10 million tonnes and imports will be at 16.5 million tonnes. So, total consumption will be around 26.5 million tonnes."

Local supplies of soybean, cottonseed, rice bran and mustard oils were currently keeping a lid on imports by India. However, palm oil imports should rise from May to July, Sandeep said.

The country's palm oil imports are expected at 700,000 tonnes to 750,000 tonnes per month in May, June and July, Sandeep said.

India's palm oil imports in January dropped more than 12% from a month ago to a three-month low of 782,983 tonnes.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/703328
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Indonesia's Gapki sees lower 2024 palm oil exports, possible B40 mandate

KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): Indonesia's 2024 palm oil exports are seen at 29.50 million metric tonnes, down from 30.25 million tonnes last year, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (Gapki) said at an industry conference here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, palm oil output in Indonesia, the world's biggest producer of the edible oil, is expected to rise by 2.26% to 54.4 million tonnes, while domestic consumption is seen higher due to demand for biodiesel feedstock, Gapki official Fadhil Hasan said at the Palm & Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference & Exhibition.

Indonesia's end-2024 palm oil stock is estimated at 5.25 million tonnes.

"There is a possibility of the new incoming government increasing B35 to B40," Fadhil said, referring to Indonesia's mandatory bio-content mix that currently stands at 35% of biodiesel. This could take place in the second half this year, he said.

"One of the programmes by the candidate likely to be elected is intention to raise to B50, but that is maybe after 2025," he added.

Pollsters have said that Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto is the likely winner of the Feb 14 general election. The election committee has until March 20 to verify votes.

Meanwhile, the impact of El Nino dry weather pattern last year has turned out to be insignificant on 2024's production, as it hit mostly Java and southern regions of Sumatra, which are not palm oil producing centres, Fadhil said.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/703667
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India's Feb palm oil imports plunge to nine-month low as sunoil jumps

(March 13): India's palm oil imports plunged to their lowest level in nine months in February, as higher prices prompted buyers to reduce purchases of the tropical oil in favour of rival sunflower oil, a leading trade body said on Wednesday.

Lower purchases by India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could cap a rally in benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures, but will help to reduce sunflower oil inventories in the Black Sea region.

Palm oil imports in February fell about 36% from the previous month to 497,824 metric tonnes, the lowest since May 2023, the Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

"The availability of palm oil for edible oil requirements has come down as the main two producers Malaysia and Indonesia are diverting it for the production of biodiesel. This may result in an increase in prices this year," SEA said.

On the flip side, sunflower oil imports in February jumped about 35% to 297,092 tonnes on lower prices and as shipments originally expected in January arrived in February due to delays caused by Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes, it said.

However, soyoil imports in February slipped 8% from a month ago to 172,936 tonnes and were far below the monthly average imports of 306,000 tonnes in the marketing year ended Oct 31.

That combined with the drop in palm oil imports pulled down India's total edible oil imports in February to the lowest level in nearly two years at 0.97 million tonnes, SEA said.

Vegetable oil stocks in India on March 1 fell 10% from a month ago to 2.38 million tonnes, their lowest in 18 months, due to lower imports in the last few months, SEA data showed.

"With refiners rebuilding stocks and margins improving, we could see higher imports in March," said a New Delhi-based dealer with a global trade house.

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/704444
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IOI Corp's CEO plans to double its production of organic palm oil

CNBC International TV

IOI Corp’s CEO, Lee Yeow Chor, explains why the Malaysian palm oil company decided to grow organic palm and shares the outlook for that segment of the business.


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Palm oil rallies on strong exports and Indonesian policy worry

(March 25): Palm oil snapped a two-day drop on optimism that Malaysian exports will be robust this month, and on concerns that potential Indonesian policy changes could limit supplies from the biggest shipper.

The gains this morning are mainly due to the strength in Malaysia’s export performance this month, according to David Ng, a senior trader at IcebergX Sdn in Kuala Lumpur. After the end of the morning session, Intertek Testing Services reported shipments climbed 14% during March 1-25 from a month earlier, thanks to stronger demand from Africa, India and the Middle East. AmSpec Agri will release data for the same period later Monday.

The market is also waiting for clarity on Indonesia’s plan to tweak its domestic market obligation policy, known as DMO, Ng said. The government is mulling a revision in the policy by linking it to production, instead of exports, Edy Priyono, deputy at the presidential staff office, said in Jakarta on Monday.

The rule currently allows companies to export some palm oil products after supplying certain volumes of cooking oil domestically, but the policy is vulnerable when export demand slows down, Priyono said. Linking the DMO to output will help prevent impact from the global market, he added.

“We’ll especially want to know how much quota is being allocated based on the production,” IcebergX’s Ng said. “With this policy in place, it looks like supply will be pretty much domestic-driven rather than export-oriented, and could mean that supply availability from Indonesia may be restricted going forward in order to safeguard domestic prices.”

https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/705797
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