KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia crude palm oil (CPO) futures price rose to RM5,000 a tonne for the first time on Tuesday after the commodity traded up as much as RM162 before paring gains at the bourse's afternoon break.
As at Tuesday's close, CPO for October 2021 settled at RM4,975 a tonne after being traded between RM4,850 and RM5,000.
In a note a day earlier, CGS-CIMB Securities head of Malaysia research and regional head of agribusiness Ivy Ng Lee Fang said that the average CPO price was up year-on-year (y-o-y) amid concerns over tight edible oil supplies, and that palm oil exports could remain strong in October due to the Diwali festival.
"We project CPO prices remaining firm at RM3,500 to RM4,500 per tonne in October 2021. We maintain our average CPO price forecasts of RM3,700, RM2,900 and RM2,800 per tonne for 2021, 2022 and 2023 [respectively]," she said.
Meanwhile, Ng said Malaysian palm oil stocks likely fell 2.5% month-on-month (m-o-m) in September 2021 amid higher export volume.
"We estimate palm oil exports grew by 39% m-o-m and 0.3% y-o-y in September 2021 to 1.62 million tonnes, likely due to higher exports to India, China and the EU (European Union). The estimated palm oil export volume for September 2021 of 1.62 million tonnes is higher than the historical 10-year average of 1.56 million tonnes for September.
"We suspect the sharp rise in exports could be due partly to the cut in India's import duty on palm oil and the shifting of palm oil imports from Indonesia to Malaysia," said Ng.
Meanwhile, she expects slower m-o-m output due to a labour shortage, with just an estimated 1.6% rise in CPO output to 1.73 million tonnes — lower than the 10-year historical September output trend of 3.3% m-o-m.
The projected CPO output for the month is also 5% lower than the past 10-year average of 1.83 million tonnes for the month of September, and 7% lower y-o-y.
"Our survey revealed that East Malaysia estates posted a sharper m-o-m rise in production in September.
"The lower estimated achievement for September's output against historical production for the same month is a reflection of the severe shortage of foreign workers faced by Malaysian planters, ageing trees due to slow replanting, slower new planting rates and lower fertiliser input due to logistics issues," Ng added.