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Malaysia’s April palm oil stocks seen lower as exports jump

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KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s palm oil

stockpile in April likely inched lower despite production rising

to a six-month high, hampered by robust exports and plummeting

imports, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday.

Inventories were seen declining 0.27% from the month before

to 1.44 million tonnes, according to the median estimate of

seven planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters.

Output in the world’s second-largest producer likely jumped

8.9% from March to 1.55 million tonnes, marking a second

straight month of gain and hitting its highest since October.

“The Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) April data should be

interesting as supply rebounds with East Malaysia now moving

into a stronger production trend,” said Marcello Cultrera,

institutional sales manager and broker at Phillip Futures in

Kuala Lumpur.

Exports likely rose 10% to 1.3 million tonnes, while imports

were seen down 21.4% to 108,000 tonnes.

“Demand in May is likely to be impacted by lower consumption

of edible oils in India, as well as by negative palm oil

processing margins,” Culture said.

Coronavirus infections in India, the world’s biggest palm

oil importer, surged past 20 million on Tuesday, raising demand

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concerns.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will release the official data

on May 10.

Breakdown of February estimates (in tonnes):

Range Median

Production 1,490,000-1,565,689 1,550,000

Exports 1,280,000-1,370,000 1,300,000

Imports 80,000-130,000 108,000

Closing stocks 1,402,000-1,595,970 1,442,000

* Official stocks of 1,445,970 tonnes in March plus the above

estimated output and imports yield a total April supply of

3,103,970 tonnes. Based on the median of exports and closing

stocks estimate, Malaysia’s domestic consumption in April is

estimated to be 361,970 tonnes.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)