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Palm Oil Shipments From Indonesia Rise in February, Gapki Says

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Exports of palm oil from Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, increased 0.6 percent in February from a month earlier as extreme weather hurt output of other cooking oils, said the Indonesian Palm Oil Association.

Shipments of palm and kernel oils rose to 1.58 million metric tons from 1.57 million tons in January, the association, known as Gapki, said in an e-mailed statement today. Exports were 18 percent lower than the 1.92 million tons in February 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Palm oil, used in everything from food to soap and biodiesel, climbed 9.4 percent in February, the biggest gain since October, and advanced 16 percent in the past year on concern that dry weather would cut production in Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for about 86 percent of global supply.

“In the past few weeks several regions in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand were hit by drought due to very little rain,” said Gapki. “Adverse weather conditions have led to speculation that the possibility of an El Nino is coming, but it’s too early to conclude that.”

Futures for delivery in May fell 0.9 percent to 2,772 ringgit ($846) on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives in Kuala Lumpur.

Shipments to India jumped 20 percent to 313,480 tons in February from a month earlier as supplies of soybean oil declined from South America, said Gapki. Exports to European Union countries climbed 13 percent to 374,480 tons, while shipments to China fell 11 percent to 253,710 tons, it said.

Palm oil in Rotterdam will trade at $970-$1,000 a ton until the end of March as bad weather will probably reduce stockpiles of vegetable oils, said Gapki.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yoga Rusmana in Jakarta at yrusmana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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