Markets

Palm ends two-day decline as floods raise supply worries

  • Palm oil prices are forecast to average at 2,800 ringgit ($694.96) a tonne this year, its highest since 2012, according to the poll.
Published January 21, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures climbed on Thursday, recovering from a near two-and-a-half-month closing low hit in the previous session, as heavy rains and floods in the top two producing countries stoked concerns over output.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 62 ringgit, or 1.9%, at 3,283 ringgit ($814.64) a tonne.

"Crude palm oil futures snapped two days of steep losses on bargain buying and higher soybean oil close on the Chicago Board of Trade, but mixed Dalian and firmer ringgit were capping gains," said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

Palm oil fell 3.9% in the previous two sessions, settling at its lowest level since Nov. 9 on Wednesday, on worries over declining exports.

Upcoming industry data that is likely to show a fall in production will help sustain prices, Varqa added.

Output in parts of top producers Malaysia and Indonesia has been disrupted as heavy floods and rainfalls delay harvest and crop evacuation.

But industry players and analysts are anticipating production to recover in the second half of the year.

Indonesia's production in 2021 is seen rising 1.8% from the year before to 48.3 million tonnes, while rival Malaysia's production is pegged to rebound by 2.4% to 19.6 million tonnes, a Reuters poll showed.

Palm oil prices are forecast to average at 2,800 ringgit ($694.96) a tonne this year, its highest since 2012, according to the poll.

Dalian's most-active soyoil contract gained 0.6%, while its palm oil contract fell 0.1%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.02%, adding to Wednesday's 2% jump.

Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

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