For the Quarter Ending September 2023
In the North American region, Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) prices exhibited a volatile market trend. Initially, at the onset of the third quarter of 2023, prices experienced an upswing despite moderate import activities and limited supplies from major exporters, notably Malaysia, a significant player in Palm Kernel Oil production. This disruption influenced the overall market trend until April 2023. As the third quarter progressed, prices globally underwent a significant decline due to sluggish regional trade activities and increased inventories in warehouses. Domestically, demand consistently decreased. Despite the Midwest's heatwave and drought potentially impacting Mississippi River levels crucial for US Palm Kernel Oil exports, the USDA maintained its import projection of about 25 million bushels. Similarly, exports remained unchanged for the month. Additionally, the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 120.9 points in September, reflecting a 5.0-point (3.9 percent) decrease from August, driven by lower world prices across palm, soy, and rapeseed oils. International palm oil prices continued to decrease, primarily due to heightened production in major Southeast Asian countries and weakened consumption.
In the APAC region, Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) prices initially surged optimistically in July but subsequently followed an overall declining trend. The initial price surge in the first half of Q3 was attributed to the global economic recovery and increased demand for palm kernel oil in the food, cosmetics, and biofuel industries, resulting in a continuous rise in demand for two consecutive months. Malaysia's consistent production facilities ensured a steady supply of palm kernel oil, maintaining relatively stable higher-end prices. However, adverse weather conditions in Malaysia led to a decrease in the yield of Palm Kernel from the fruit kernel. Additionally, the strengthening of the Malaysian ringgit against the US dollar contributed to increased export prices, rendering goods more expensive. The manufacturing PMI for Malaysia showed a marginal increase in July 2023, climbing from its five-month low of 47.7 to 47.8. Favorable weather conditions and the expansion of palm oil plantations contributed to an increase in the supply of palm kernel oil in Malaysia in recent months, leading to a decline in prices in August 2023. Despite ongoing investments and government spending, challenges emerged due to the global economic slowdown, impacting Malaysia's economy. As of September 2023, trading remained subdued, influenced by weakened consumer sentiments. Furthermore, the depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit against the US dollar for the second consecutive month in September 2023 enhanced the competitiveness of Malaysian exports, including Palm Kernel Oil, in the global market. The Malaysia Manufacturing PMI declined from 47.8 in August 2023 to 46.8 in September 2023, marking the lowest reading since January. This marked the 13th consecutive month of decline in the manufacturing sector, with new export orders decreasing at the third-strongest pace in history. Output and new orders both slowed down, and employment fell for the fifth consecutive month. Additionally, consumer spending experienced its most significant slowdown.
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Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) prices in the European market during Q3 2023 mirrored those in the Asia Pacific region. July saw the palm kernel oil (PKO) market remaining optimistic. One of the factors impacting Palm Kernel oil prices was the consistent rise in demand combined with low stocks. Furthermore, the market remained elevated due to increased production of raw materials like palm fruit kernel required for palm kernel oil, observed in recent months. Unfavorable weather conditions in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's major palm kernel oil producers and exporters to the Netherlands, played a role. Droughts and floods in these countries damaged the crops used for palm kernel oil production, leading to reduced supply in the European market. The surge in demand for palm kernel oil in various sectors such as food, cosmetics, and biofuels helped sustain the upward price trend in July 2023, as palm kernel oil is a key ingredient in these products. In July, producer confidence declined, falling below the long-term average. However, increased inquiries for Palm Kernel Oil from downstream industries and neighboring nations, including food, cosmetics, and biodiesel sectors, balanced the supply-demand equation for merchants, helping them maintain their profit margins. As August progressed and into September, prices significantly dropped, reflecting weakened Palm Kernel oil prices, a pessimistic market outlook, and concerns about environmental issues in major exporting nations like Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top producers. These factors contributed to a substantial decrease in the prices of specific vegetable oils, including palm kernel oil. Furthermore, throughout September 2023, the consumption of palm kernel oil in the regional market remained impacted, leading to reduced usage in cosmetics and personal care sectors.
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