Thai Palm Oil Exports Seen Rising by Oil World as Output Expands

Thailand, the world’s third-largest palm oil producer, may boost exports to a record this year as output increases, Oil World said.

Thailand may export as much as 450,000 metric tons of palm oil, up from 304,000 tons a year earlier, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in an e-mailed report. Shipments totaled 227,000 tons from January through May, up 24 percent from the same time in 2012. While production may “slightly exceed” 1.7 million tons, some analysts’ estimates are as high as 2 million tons, Oil World said. Production five years ago was 1.3 million tons.

“Latest export data confirm a pronounced further uptrend of palm oil production in Thailand, owing to a larger mature area and higher yields,” Oil World said. The European Union “still was the largest destination, but in particular demand from India increased sharply in recent months.”

Palm oil futures are down 1.7 percent this year on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, after declining 23 percent in 2012 on rising output in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top producers.

U.S. palm oil imports were a record 145,000 tons in May, up from 59,000 tons in the same month a year earlier, Oil World said. Purchases in the first five months of the year were 575,000 tons, up 46 percent from the same period in 2012. Total net imports of 17 oils and fats in the U.S. were 223,000 tons in May, more than four times higher than last year, according to the report.