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Indonesia March crude palm oil output, exports surge on-year

Indonesia’s crude palm oil production and exports surged in March on-year, while end-stocks remained low, signalling prospects of higher prices in the near future, an official at the country’s palm oil association GAPKI said on Wednesday.

Crude palm oil output stood at 3.71 million tonnes in March, 13.5% higher than the 3.27 million tonnes produced in the year-ago period, and up 20.9% compared with the previous month.

Palm exports, including refined products from the top producer, stood at 3.24 million tonnes in March, up 18.68% from a year ago and 62.8% higher from February.

“Due to tighter stocks … even though output is still increasing, price sentiment will still increase,” GAPKI Chairman Joko Supriyono said at the virtual conference.

Indonesia’s crude palm oil end-stocks stood at 3.2 million tonnes in March, 5.4% lower than a year ago and 20.6% lower than February.

The higher demand was due to unpredictable supplies of its competitor oils, GAPKI said in a separate statement later on Wednesday.

“The uncertainty of planting and the production of oilseeds cause the demand for palm oil to increase because as an annual crop, (palm oil) production is more predictable,” GAPKI Executive Director Mukti Sardjono said.

Indonesia’s domestic consumption of crude palm oil stood at 1.59 million tonnes, increasing 5.3% from a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, it fell 0.6%.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Louise Heavens and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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