MPOC: CPO prices set to pull back to RM3,800-4,000 per tonne in April

KUALA LUMPUR: Crude palm oil (CPO) prices are anticipated to pull back to the RM3,800 to RM4,000 per tonne trading range in April 2024 from the current level of RM4,250 per tonne, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

This is due to the ample supply of soya beans from South America entering the global market from April onwards, as well as the gradual seasonal recovery of palm oil production in Malaysia, it said.

“As the low season for palm oil production concludes in March, palm oil prices may begin to reflect the recovery in production and inventory levels in April and May, potentially capping palm oil prices.

“Additionally, the price premium of palm oil over soft oils continued to widen in March and have surpassed the prices of three major soft oils concurrently since February in the European market,“ it said in a statement today.

According to MPOC, CPO prices are trading at a premium of US$40 to US$95 per tonne (US$1=RM4.72) above soft oils in March 2024, therefore, a recovery in soft oil prices is anticipated in April 2024 to narrow the price spread.

“CPO prices surged to their highest level in 12 months on March 15, 2024, nearly 10% above the February 2023 closing price.

“The strong price trends observed in the first quarter of 2024 are predominantly shaped by the dynamics of deficit supply growth,“ it said.

Moving forward in 2024, MPOC said the global palm oil production is projected to rise minimally by 0.11%, whereas production growth for soya bean oil is expected to increase by 2.88%, rapeseed oil to grow by 3.48%, and sunflower oil to expand by 3.94%.

In terms of inventory, it said Malaysian palm oil stocks continued their downward trend in February 2024, dropping by five per cent to 1.919 million tonnes, marking the lowest level of stock registered since July 2023.

“The reduction in palm oil inventory in February was primarily driven by reduced imports and robust domestic consumption,” it said.

MPOC said it is unlikely that Malaysia's palm oil stocks will experience any growth in March due to robust domestic consumption, particularly during the Ramadan month, while production is not expected to increase until April and beyond. – Bernama