July 4, 2013 / 4:11 AM / 4 years ago

PREVIEW-Malaysia June palm oil stocks seen at 1-year low

* WHAT: Malaysia's June palm oil stocks, output and exports
data
    * WHEN: July 10, after 0430 GMT

    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, July 4 (Reuters) - Malaysia's end-June palm oil
stocks likely dropped to their lowest in a year as demand for
the edible oil continued to outstrip supply, a Reuters survey of
five plantation companies showed on Thursday.
    Inventory levels may have eased 4.2 percent from a month ago
to 1.74 million tonnes in June, which would be the sixth
straight monthly decline.    
    Output in the world's second largest palm oil producer
likely rose 6 percent in June from the previous month, its
biggest jump so far this year, to 1.47 million tonnes,
suggesting the start of a higher production cycle in the second
half of the year. 
    Production, however, still fell short of the 1.59 million
tonnes of total demand represented by exports and local
consumption.
    Shipments rose 2.7 percent to 1.45 million tonnes in June,
as buyers from India and Pakistan stocked up in preparation for
the Muslim festival of Ramadan in July. 
    China, the world's largest palm oil buyer after India, also
purchased more volumes last month, cargo surveyor data showed.
    The median of the figures provided by the poll respondents
imply domestic consumption in June of around 143,751 tonnes. 
    Malaysia's imports of crude palm oil from top producer
Indonesia most likely gained to 50,000 tonnes in June from
15,815 tonnes in the previous month, according to the poll.    
    
    FACTORS TO WATCH    
    The Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange's palm oil benchmark
futures slipped in June after the U.S. Federal Reserve
signalled it would begin to dial down stimulus this year,
although a weak ringgit and Ramadan demand capped some losses.
    Traders said easing demand post-Ramadan and rising
production in the second half of the year could mean stocks
would start picking up again in July, further depressing prices.
    
    Palm oil prices are set for a sharper-than-expected 15
percent drop this year as the oilseed faces slowing demand in
key markets such as Europe and Asia and increased competition
from rival soyoil, a Reuters poll showed.    
    The recent smog that choked Malaysia and Singapore has put
planters under scrutiny and raised calls to cut reliance on
unsustainable palm oil, which could add pressure on prices.
 
    Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer, set its export
tax for crude palm oil at 10.5 percent for July, up from 9
percent in June, while Malaysia kept its tax rate unchanged for
the fifth month at 4.5 percent.   
 
                     
    Breakdown of July estimates (in tonnes):                  
                        Range                 Median*           
  
  Production      1,400,000 - 1,481,214     1,467,371           
  Exports         1,380,000 - 1,496,433     1,450,000           
 
  Imports            40,000 -  50,000          50,000         
  Closing stocks  1,660,000 - 1,834,544     1,740,000       
 
  * Official stocks of 1,816,380 tonnes for May, plus the above
estimated output and imports give a total June supply of
3,333,751 tonnes. Based on the median of the export and closing
stock estimates, Malaysia's domestic consumption in May would be
143,751 tonnes.
($1 = 3.186 ringgit)

 (Additional reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Miral
Fahmy)

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