Indonesia Palm Stocks Drop as Exports Jump Most in 22 Months

  • Palm, kernel oils shipments surge 30% in August, Gapki says
  • Reserves decline, output rises and domestic consumption falls

Palm oil inventories in Indonesia fell in August after shipments from the world’s largest producer jumped the most in almost two years.

Reserves dropped 9.8 percent to 1.695 million metric tons from 1.88 million tons in July, according to data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association released on Thursday. Exports of palm and kernel oils surged 30 percent to 2.08 million tons, the most since Oct. 2014, according to the association known as Gapki. That exceeded an estimate for a 20 percent increase in shipments in a Bloomberg survey last month.

Futures entered a bull market in August as the lingering impact of an El Nino curbed supply in Indonesia and Malaysia, while demand in India and China surged ahead of festivals. Buyers increased purchases as the market anticipated higher prices due to depleting reserves in Indonesia and Malaysia, Gapki said. Futures in Kuala Lumpur may rally to 3,000 ringgit ($723) a ton in the fourth quarter as stockpiles remain low even as output recovers, according to Thomas Mielke, executive director of industry researcher Oil World.

Exports to India, the largest buyer, climbed 42 percent in August from a month earlier, while shipments to China jumped 69 percent, Gapki data showed. Purchases by the U.S. almost tripled, according to the data.

Total exports including biodiesel rose 29 percent to 2.23 million tons in August from a month earlier. Production climbed 7.1 percent to 2.98 million tons, the highest since January, and domestic consumption fell 4.1 percent to 926,000 tons, Gapki data showed.

Palm oil for delivery in December rose 0.8 percent to 2,577 ringgit a ton on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives on Thursday. Futures gained 12 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, the biggest quarterly increase since December 2013.

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