Oil Report

Global palm oil output growth seen slowing in 2018 -analyst Fry

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Global palm oil production is expected to rise by 5 million to 6 million tonnes in 2018, slower than last year’s growth of 8 million tonnes, an industry analyst said on Thursday.

“2018 output will be 5-6 million tonnes above the 2017 total, led by Indonesia,” James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMC International, said at an industry conference.

“The 2017 world figure is close to 65 million tonnes, but this includes what are probably unrealistically high figures for countries such as Nigeria, which include very small-scale, low-quality output,” Fry told Reuters before his speech.

Indonesia’s 2018 output at 40 million tonnes and Malaysia’s at more than 21 million tonnes, Fry also told reporters earlier on the sidelines of the conference.

Palm oil production is expected to rise this year as fields continue to recover from the dry weather effects of a 2015 El Nino event. An El Nino weather pattern can impact fruit yields for up to two years.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s largest producers of the edible oil, accounting for nearly 90 percent of global output.

Reporting by Emily Chow; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Tom Hogue