The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Palm Oil CIF Rotterdam was EUR 1,124/MT, up 18.4% month-on-month (m-o-m) and 7.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) on the 8th of September, 2022. Despite high stock levels in Indonesia and Malaysia, the rise in the MBP was due to increased buying from both China and India (top palm oil importers), which if continued, could see stock levels come down over the coming weeks.
Malaysia’s palm oil production is likely to increase by 10-15% this month according to estimates submitted by market players to Mintec. This would place stock levels within Malaysia at an estimated 2.03-2.1 million tonnes. If the lower end of this estimate were realised, this would place Malaysian stock at its highest level since April 2020, whilst the upper end would see the highest stocks since June 2019.
However, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA), thousands of tonnes of fruits are been left to rot due to sustained labour shortages in plantations across the country. Despite the COVID-19 related restriction of migrant workers being lifted in February, it has been reported to Mintec that the arrival of workers is happening at a much slower pace than anticipated. This could see production for the 2022/23 MY fall lower than the USDA’s August estimate of 19.8 million tonnes (+8.2% y-o-y), thus posing an upside risk to prices in the coming months. Demand from China would continue to be a watch-out factor, as newly imposed lockdowns could weigh on demand.