AmInvest Research Reports

Author: AmInvest   |   Latest post: Fri, 27 Nov 2020, 10:59 AM


Plantation - News flow for week 27 Apr – 1 May

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  • The Malay Mail reported that 18 private jetties in the oil palm industry in Sabah, which were closed due to the MCO (movement control order), have been allowed to reopen. Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew said that the government took note of the views from various parties such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, industry players and smallholders affected by the inability to ship out fresh fruit bunches. Liew reminded industry players to take precautionary measures in accordance with the standard operating procedures. She added that the jetties will be closed again if there is a Covid-19 infection.
  • Reuters reported that Malaysia has agreed to accept an EU’s proposal to set two separate limits on the presence of 3MCPD, which is a food contaminant, in edible oils and fats. Malaysia has written to Indonesia that the non-palm vegetable oil producers may push for a lower or stricter level that palm oil companies may not be able to meet. The European Food Safety Authority has proposed imposing one safety level for palm and another level for soft oils such as soybean and canola. Indonesia is pushing for only one level of 3MCPD of 2.5 ppm (contaminants in miligrams per kilo of oil) for all vegetable oils.
  • Bloomberg reported that China’s imports of palm oil in March fell to the lowest level for the month in five years after a shutdown of restaurants hurt demand for cooking oil. China’s palm imports fell by 46% YoY to 220,000 tonnes in March 2020 and 34% YoY to 840,000 tonnes in 1Q2020.
  • Economic Times of India cited industry players as saying that the India government should not issue licences for imports of refined palm oil to protect the local refiners and oilseed growers. The industry said that labour availability for packing and ensuring farmers get minimum support price for mustard should be the focus for now. According to the president of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, India’s monthly demand for palm oil has plunged by 80% during the lockdown due to a drop in institutional sales. As such, the country’s current palm oil demand can easily be met by the domestic refining industry.
  • Reuters reported that China’s March soybean imports from Brazil fell by 24.8% YoY after rains delayed cargoes. China imported 2.1mil tonnes of soybeans from Brazil in March 2020 compared with 2.79mil tonnes in March 2019. Rains in Brazil in late February 2020 held back harvest and exports of the commodity, resulting in low inventories of soybeans and soymeal in China. Looking ahead, global soybean shipments to China in April and the coming months are expected to rise as weather conditions in Brazil ease and cargoes booked from the US under the Phase 1 trade deal start arriving.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that falling energy demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the US ethanol industry. US ethanol production has dropped to a record low of 563,000 barrels per day while domestic inventories reached a record of 27.7mil barrels on 17 April. S&P Global Platts said that the US ethanol companies are losing nearly US$0.20 on each gallon they refine.

Source: AmInvest Research - 4 May 2020

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