KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia, the second largest palm oil producer, may see crude palm oil prices to strengthen towards mid-year as stockpiles set to ease further on improved exports and low output in the second quarter, said analysts Thursday.
Maybank Kim Eng Research said in a report that the exports demand is likely to be sustained ahead of festive season of Ramadan, which should lead to further drawdown in stockpile to between 2.65 million to 2.75 million tonnes by end-April.
"As exports continue to look promising in April, we expect crude palm oil price to resume its recovery in the current quarter," it said. The research house's full year average palm oil prices forecast was 2,350 ringgit per ton (about 571 U.S. dollars), which was slightly higher than 2,235 ringgit last year.
Malaysian Palm Oil Board statistics showed that the country's palm oil stocks in March fell 4.6 percent month-on-month to a five months low of 2.92 million tonnes, as exports rose 22.4 percent to 1.62 million tonnes.
The exports were driven mainly by strong demand in China, as its palm oil imports surged 113.5 percent month-on-month to 171,515 tonnes.