KUALA LUMPUR: The crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives is expected to trade range-bound next week at between RM3,200 and RM3,300 per tonne, said a dealer. Interband Group of Companies senior palm oil trader Jim Teh said demand in the market is likely to be subdued as most of the international palm oil traders would have gone on leave for Christmas and year-end leave. "However, this is seen to be a yearly affair not only for demand but also lower production due to the wet weather,” he told Bernama. Meanwhile, MIDF in its research note maintained a 'neutral' rating on the plantation sector as the palm oil supply tightness is expected to remain until year-end, given the weaker output during the post-peak production period. It said lower output could be attributed to the rainy season and labour shortage, which delayed harvesting and lowered collection of quality fresh fruit bunches. For the week-just-ended, CPO price was mostly lower for three consecutive days on weaker demand and profit-taking activities, except on Thursday and Friday, taking a cue from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data and expectation on tight supply until the end of this year. According to MPOB’s report on the palm oil industry performance for November 2020, CPO production slid 13.51 per cent to 1.49 million tonnes in the month from 1.72 million tonnes previously, while stockpile fell 1.72 per cent to 725,198 tonnes in November 2020 from the 737,919 tonnes in October. CGS-CIMB said the declining trend is divergent from its 10-year historical trend, where the average palm oil stock level in Malaysia at end-November for the past 10 years has been around 2.3 million tonnes. The research firm also projected palm oil stocks to fall by six per cent to 1.48 million tonnes at end of December, with output down by 10 per cent and exports flattish month-on-month. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, spot month December 2020 increased RM64 to RM3,709 per tonne, January 2021 rose RM2 to RM3,554 per tonne, and February 2021 dipped RM27 to RM3,410 per tonne while March 2021 fell RM34 to RM3,304. Weekly volume decreased to 238,606 lots from 282,610 lots in the previous week, while open interest was down to 225,842 contracts from 240,256 contracts a week earlier. On the physical market, December South stood at RM3,700 per tonne. - Bernama
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