KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has raised its global palm oil output, trade and stocks forecasts in its April oilseeds world markets and trade report.
In a report on Tuesday (April 12), global energy and commodity market business intelligence provider Argus Media said the USDA had increased its global palm oil production forecast for the October 2021-September 2022 marketing year to 77.05 million tonnes, up from 75.59 million tonnes in its March report.
It said output reached 73.11 million tonnes during the 2020-21 marketing year, according to USDA data.
USDA said the expected return of migrant workers to relieve Malaysia's plantation labour shortage boosted its Malaysian production projection for 2021-22 to 19 million tonnes, up from the 18.7 million tonnes forecast in March.
Indonesian production for 2021-22 was revised up to 45.5 million tonnes from 44.5 million tonnes in March, with milder climatic conditions forecast for the key Indonesian palm oil growing regions of Kalimantan and South Sumatra.
The USDA sees increased Chinese buying driving an expansion in palm oil trade.
Chinese imports for 2021-22 are forecast to be 7.1 million tonnes from 6.7 million tonnes in the March report, and against 6.82 million tonnes received in 2020-21, as China moves to bolster dwindling vegetable oil stocks through imports with weaker soybean crushing margins.
But higher sales prices and Indonesian export tariffs for palm oil would continue to limit Indian imports compared to the previous year, with a shift in demand towards soft oils in the price-sensitive market.
The USDA kept its Indian palm oil import forecast for 2021-22 flat from March at 7.75 million tonnes in the April report, down from 8.41 million tonnes recorded in 2020-21.
Indonesia, meanwhile, is now expected to end 2021-22 with palm oil stocks at seven million tonnes, up from 6.5 million tonnes in the March USDA forecast and 5.98 million tonnes in 2020-21.
Malaysian ending stocks are forecast to be 1.82 million tonnes, up from the prediction of 1.62 million tonnes in March and at the end of 2020-21.