Malaysia’s palm oil stocks seen to dip 2% in September as higher exports overtook rising supply

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 6): Malaysia’s palm oil stocks are likely to have dipped 2% month-on-month (m-o-m) to 1.67 million tonnes at end-September 2020 as higher exports more than offset rising supply, said CGS-CIMB Research in a note today.

CGS-CIMB analyst Ivy Ng said a survey by CGS-CIMB Futures revealed that Malaysia’s palm oil output probably rose 2.6% m-o-m in September, but export volume increased at a faster rate of 9% m-o-m.

“Tighter inventories, concerns over labour issues in Malaysia and weather concerns may keep crude palm oil (CPO) prices supported in October,” she said.

She projected CPO prices to trade at RM2,400 to RM2,800 per tonne this month.

According to her, the average CPO price rose 3.8% m-o-m and 39% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM2,924 per tonne in September due to concerns over relatively low inventory levels of palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia, and that output could disappoint due to labour issues in Malaysia and weather issues.

“CPO prices could be capped as concerns over tight inventories may ease if production recovers in 4Q (the fourth quarter) for Indonesia, while the B30 mandate may be difficult to be fulfilled beyond 2020 due to a lack of funding,” she said.

She reiterated her "neutral" call for the plantation sector, with Genting Plantations Bhd, Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd and Ta Ann Holdings Bhd as her sector top picks for Malaysia.

Lam Jian Wyn