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Malaysia end-April palm oil stocks at five-month high as exports plunge

FILE PHOTO: Fresh fruit bunches of oil palm tree are are seen inside a wheelbarrow at a palm oil plantation in Kuala Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

FILE PHOTO: Fresh fruit bunches of oil palm tree are are seen inside a wheelbarrow at a palm oil plantation in Kuala Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

KUALA LUMPUR :Malaysia's palm oil stocks at the end of April climbed to a five-month peak on improving production and a deeper-than-expected fall in exports, data from the industry regulator showed on Tuesday.

Inventories in the world's second-largest producer rose 11.48per cent from the previous month to 1.64 million tonnes, up for the first time in six months, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Crude palm oil production expanded 3.6per cent from March to 1.46 million tonnes, its highest since November.

Palm oil exports declined 17.73per cent to 1.05 million tonnes, lower than market expectations.

The plunge in exports reflected the impact of China's continuing COVID-19 restrictions in major cities, and lower shipments to Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh, said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

But in May, Malaysia's exports are expected to skyrocket as a result of top producer Indonesia's ban on shipments of crude and refined grades, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

"There is no clarity when Indonesia will lift its palm oil export ban and market is struggling to digest the lack of demand from the destination markets due to still higher palm oil prices for the nearby [contracts]," he added.

Production, however, is expected to decline due to the Ramadan holidays during the first week of May, Bagani said.

Following is a breakdown of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board figures and Reuters estimates for April (volumes in tonnes) [PALM/POLL]:

April April 2022 March April

2022 poll 2022* 2021

Output 1,462,021 1,480,000 1,411,215 1,528,121

Stocks 1,641,994 1,550,000 1,472,844 1,545,905

Exports 1,054,550 1,195,000 1,281,739 1,346,326

Imports 76,395 95,000 84,871 109,847

*indicates revised figures by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board

(Reporting by Rozanna LatiffEditing by Ed Davies and Kanupriya Kapoor)

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