CPO Futures Price Forecast Revise

Change due to big jump in October inventory

KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil expert Dr James Fry had to revise downward his price forecast on the Malaysian crude palm oil (CPO) futures to RM2,375 per tonne by April next year from his earlier prediction of RM2,625 per tonne made on Monday at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) International Palm Oil Congress 2009 (PIPOC).

The change in his forecast was mainly due to the release of MPOB’s latest statistics for October yesterday which reported the highest jump in palm oil inventory at 2 million tonnes since January this year. The highest inventory level ever recorded was 2.3 million tonnes in November last year, said Fry.

“I made my earlier forecast based on the tightening in the palm oil stocks and the North Brent crude oil price at the US$75 per barrel level,” Fry, chairman of Britain-based LMC International, said at the PIPOC 2009 Evening Forum yesterday.

On another note, Fry said Malaysian oil palm industry players should consider fully exploiting the long-term potential in co-generation projects like converting its biomass and biogas projects into energy. “For these projects to really take off, government support via decent power tariff is important.”

He also said palm oil was a more versatile oil in terms of its usage in fractionation, fatty acids, fatty alcohols and biodiesel versus other oils in usage like soyoil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil.

Earlier, Indonesian Palm Oil Commission president Dr Rosediana Suharto said various claims and miscalculations made on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by Indonesia’s oil palm plantation cultivated on peatland was unfair and unfounded.

“Of late, there are too many different criterias and different intentions set by the EU and the NGOs on how to measure the GHG emitted by the vast oil palm hectarage in Indonesia,” she said.

“There is a need for proven scientific datas to support these allegations.”

Indonesia has planted palm estates of 7.1 million ha. In fact, Rosediana said Indonesia had set aside 8% of its 22.5 million ha of peatland this year that proved to have low carbon stores in a bid to control land conversions.

Indonesia is the world’s number three C02 emitter at 2 billion tonnes after the US at 6.8 billion and China at 5.8 billion.

United Plantations Bhd vice chairman and executive director Datuk Carl Bek-Nielsen said: “There is no doubt that more edible oils, including palm oil, will be needed given the exponential growth in the world’s future population.”

By 2050, the population will be 9.3 billion compared with the current 6.7 billion.

“With an additional 2.6 billion mouths to feed in the world, more land will need to be developed,” he said, adding that better usage of land hectarage would also be needed to grow food crops.

He said planters and millers must have the moral responsibility to ensure all future land expansion and current crop production were compromised fully with the sustainable development.

MPOB director of engineering and processing division Dr Lim Weng Soon, meanwhile, said Malaysian millers should be looking into more methane gas trapping projects to comply with the EU Directives and US Regulations for GHG to reduce global warming.

For Malaysia, one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil, it is actually easier for its oil palm plantation companies and millers to get actively involved in CDM projects, such biogas and biomass plants, given the whole year-round availability of palm oil mill effluents and empty fruit bunches. Source : The Star by Hanim Adnan

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