Palm oil trade & market news: India import tax hike against palm oil rattles traders

2 Mar 2018: India import tax hike against palm oil rattles traders

Editor's note: Here's my summary of some high-key palm oil trade issues in selected countries. The news on the India import tax hikes against palm oil hit today. The Khor Reports team has our heads down in the data and maps, but we are told "traders here freaking out over India tax hike."

18 Jan 2018: EU Parliament has voted to exclude palm oil from the EU-RED,  Brent Crude $69.38 

18 Jan 2017: EU Parliament has voted to exclude palm oil from the EU-RED. What's next? What can you do?

https://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

Bursa Malaysia crude palm oil futures fall on concerns over EU Parliament vote on RED II provisions Singapore (Platts)--17 Jan 2018  https://www.platts.com/latest-news/agriculture/singapore/bursa-malaysia-crude-palm-oil-futures-fall-on-27906122

30 Dec 2017: Malaysian palm oil price sheds 20% in 2017, Brent Crude $66.87

Malaysian palm oil price sheds 20% in 2017, 30 Dec 2017  - Palm oil prices have been trending downwards since November, after India raised import taxes on edible oils to their highest in more than a decade, cutting demand. https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/12/30/malaysian-palm-oil-price-sheds-20-in-2017/#OaEfp7Jfis4dQKhd.99

Oil Resurrection Sets Stage for Another OPEC-Shale Clash in 2018 By Catherine Traywick , Heesu Lee , and Grant Smith December 29, 2017 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-29/oil-resurrection-sets-stage-for-another-opec-shale-clash-in-2018

20 Sep 2017: Dr James Fry presentation, China policy favours domestic ethanol, IOI de-integrates Loders Croklaan, trade tussles and the "unhealthy commodity" label, Brent Crude $55.14

Editor's note: I'm sitting in a rain-soaked and surprisingly cool Kuala Lumpur these few days - it's raining in the morning as well as the afternoon. Bad flash floods even hit Penang in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Increased pessimism on biodiesel outlook is obvious among specialists in the palm sector - with US and EU short term policy hits on imports as well as medium-longer term concerns as China affirms domestic ethanol for its biofuel (it seeks to lift rural incomes, not add to money flow leakages) and technological disruption stares the need-subsidy-forever biodiesel segment in the eye. Buyers ask when lower prices are coming, and they should keep an eye on recovery of production. More negative news is starting to build up on palm on enviro-social issues, in the widely expected cyclical news run up to the annual November RSPO meeting. The corporate surprise is the apparent de-industrialisation / de-integration of IOI Group as it sells its Loders Croklaan unit to Bunge (70% and the remainder may be sold within 5 years); and Bunge will be the buyer of half of the Malaysian group's palm oils. Southeast-Asia based analysts write of  IOI using its RM2.5 billion net gain/ RM4 billion proceeds to expand upstream (and this is expected to comply with tough sustainability - IOI has promised RSPO Next). Or maybe more real estate deals for this palm and property giant? To be sure, palm exporters are ever worried about the EU market as palm volumes there have shrunk in non-energy uses and the all-important energy sector faces up to political and policy noises. Heading to Paris-Brussels soon, so get in touch for a policy-trade views update. 

China pushes for full scale bio-fuel ethanol E10 by 2020 - but experts point to feedstock limitations

http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2017/09/china-pushes-for-full-scale-bio-fuel.html

; a temporary dampener on Malaysia-Indonesia hopes for China B5?

Dr James Fry, LMC International - Globoil Presentation - Sept 17

https://www.slideshare.net/lgroom/dr-james-fry-lmc-international-globoil-presentation-sept-17?trk=v-feed

Top palm oil firms facing EU firing rethink trade strategy -

Major producers in Indonesia and Malaysia are looking at new markets ranging from Africa to Myanmar SEP 14, 2017

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/top-palm-oil-firms-facing-eu-firing-rethink-trade-strategy?

Bunge to buy 70 percent stake in IOI Corp unit for $946 million  SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 -- “The market is perceiving that this takes them out of the M&A risk,” said Bill Densmore, senior director of corporate ratings at Fitch Ratings, noting that the share price had been elevated this summer by expectations of a takeover. The deal’s relatively high valuation cost of more than 12 times IOI Loders’ estimated 2018 EBITDA and the increased debt from the transaction will make the Bunge a more expensive takeover target, said Farha Aslam, analyst with Stephens Inc.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ioi-loders-croklaan-stake-bunge/bunge-to-buy-70-percent-stake-in-ioi-corp-unit-for-946-million-idUSKCN1BN18B?

Source: Maybank quoted in The Edge Malaysia 18 Sep 2017, the IOI sale of its key downstream unit is seen here as a "timely exit from the EU market given the increasing animosity against palm oil", a lesson from damage from the RSPO suspension and potential to refocus on higher return upstream business.

News wrap, July - Sep 2017

World Bank on "unhealthy commodities"

Cut subsidies for unhealthy commodities and regulate junk food marketing, says World Bank By David Burrows 17-Aug-2017

Subsidies should be re-targeted towards fruit and vegetable production rather than “unhealthy ingredients for food processing” such as sugar, corn and palm oil, the economists said. Note: unhealthy commodities defined as oils, solid fats, sugars, salt, flours, starches

http://mobile.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Cut-subsidies-for-unhealthy-commodities-and-regulate-junk-food-marketing-says-World-Bank                     

Trade tussles - FTAs, product safety and health

Ambank wrote: Bloomberg reported that US has proposed import duties on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Initial results of a Commerce Department probe indicated that the duties should be 50.3% to 64.2% on Argentine biodiesel imports and 41.1% to 68.3% on Indonesian biodiesel imports. The Commerce Department will announce on 7 November if the duties are finalised. Separate action by the International Trade Commission will follow thereafter.

Positive response from Iran on palm oil duty cut http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/07/positive-response-from-iran-on-palm-oil-duty-cut/#ZL8BigJF5h3y7J1D.41

Malaysia - Minister: Palm oil export to Iran to grow by 40% under FTA http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/08/mah-palm-oil-export-to-iran-to-grow-by-40-under-fta/#vvaAK70jxqAD7sJk.41 

Pakistan - PFA panel recommends banning banaspati ghee https://tribune.com.pk/story/1432984/pfa-panel-recommends-banning-banaspati-ghee/                   

India - Mention palm oil content on labels of food products http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/mention-palm-oil-content-on-labels-of-food-products/articleshow/59827953.cms 

Palm oil free certification scheme launched By Katy Askew 14-Aug-2017

http://mobile.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Palm-oil-free-certification-scheme-launched?

FDA okays Bunge petition on soybean oil health claims: Food companies and restaurants may make qualified health claims linking consumption of soybean oil to reduced risk of coronary heart disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced July 31. The FDA decision was issued in response to a February 2016 petition from Bunge North America, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.,the North American business Bunge Ltd. The FDA said it would allow companies to communicate that soybean oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and may lower LDL-cholesterol when replacing saturated fats and not increasing caloric intake. The Bunge petition featured a summarization of human clinical trials demonstrating the heart health potential of soybean oil. http://www.world-grain.com/articles/news_home/World_Grain_News/2017/07/FDA_okays_Bunge_petition_on_so.aspx?ID=%7B0A85F4DB-372A-45C3-8ECA-F9C5ABFDCCE2%7D&cck=1

Biodiesel pessimism amidst technological disruption

The death of the internal combustion engine. It had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world Aug 12th 2017

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21726071-it-had-good-run-end-sight-machine-changed-world-death?frsc=dg%7Ce

Shell braces for 'lower forever' oil amid electric vehicle boom The Telegraph, July 27, 2017 -- .... On Wednesday the UK followed France’s pledge to halt the sale of internal combustion vehicles by 2040, just weeks after the world’s fastest growing economies, China and India, also called time on traditional fuel engines.... Mr Van Beurden said the “absolutely necessary” backing was welcomed by the oil group, which is already taking into account a “very aggressive scenario” in which oil use could peak in the 2030s.... The forecast tipping point is a full decade earlier than predictions from the International Energy Agency... https://www-yahoo-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.yahoo.com/amphtml/finance/news/shell-profits-surge-van-beurden-064138951.html

Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040, 25 July 2017 -- The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle.... The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health. Ministers believe it poses the largest environment risk to public health in the UK, costing up to £2.7bn in lost productivity in one recent year. https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/25/britain-to-ban-sale-of-all-diesel-and-petrol-cars-and-vans-from-2040

More here... Biodiesel news: The technology transition outlook (is oil the new coal?), US import duties on Musim Mas, Wilmar and others, "abject coalfields"

http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

7 July 2017: France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, China Geely-Volvo shifts to all electric-hybrid from 2019, Brent $47.44

Editor's note: Maybe Malaysia could aim to export Geely-Volvo electric-hybrids instead of palm oil for biodiesel? Fascinating that the apparent trigger is from China's auto industry. On the China domestic scene, recall that Indonesia eyes China biodiesel market for its palm oil. In my recent visit to Singapore, some top business observers feel that the hey-days for oil are not likely to come back. The indicators from energy geopolitics would seem to concur with so much investment to wean off a troublesome crude oil dependencies which come with uncomfortable ethno-religious problems. As for crop-based biodiesel, some major rethinks needed. Complacent assumptions of China and India buying cheap, no questions asked, is likely misplaced.

Target/mooted bans on sales of petro-diesel cars include:

  • Norway 2025
  • Netherlands 2025
  • Germany (some states) 2030
  • India 2030
  • UK 2040 
  • France 2040

Will China Geely-Volvo's shift to all electric-hybrid trigger more EU countries to change policy on transport fuel mix to exit carbon fuel - petrol and (end scandal-ridden love affair with) diesel... France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 - Move by Emmanuel Macron’s government comes a day after Volvo said it would only make fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019,  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/06/france-ban-petrol-diesel-cars-2040-emmanuel-macron-volvo; and "European parliament draft inquiry into dieselgate has found EC ignored evidence of emissions test cheating" https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/20/european-commission-guilty-negligence-diesel-defeat-devices-draft-report-dieselgate. Also note that 30,000 to 40,000 new Volvo vehicles target to be railed from Volvo plant in China to Zeebrugge each year, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-07/01/content_29957159.htm; and China Geely taking a large stake in Malaysia's Proton (consolidating its two plants, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/motoring/2017-06/28/content_29921840.htm).

15 Jun 2017: Norway bans government purchasing of palm oil biofuel,  antidumping campaign from EU and the US NBB, Indonesia eyes China biodiesel market, Brent Crude $46.95

Editor's note: The EU Parliament vote also calls for an end to palm biodiesel

Norway bans government purchasing of palm oil biofuel 13 June 2017 / Morgan Erickson-Davis - The move may make Norway the world’s first country to ban palm oil in its public procurement -- The growth of the palm oil industry has been blamed for a host of damaging environmental impacts, such as deforestation and carbon emissions. Research indicates that biofuel made with palm oil may be even worse for the climate than fossil fuels. The Norwegian parliament responded to these impacts by voting in a regulation to its Public Procurement Act to stop using biofuel palm oil-based biofuel. The resolution further stipulates that the "regulatory amendment shall enter into force as soon as possible." Conservationists laud the move, but say more countries need to follow suit. They recommend the EU's biofuel policy be updated to reflect concerns about palm oil. https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/norway-bans-government-from-purchasing-palm-oil-biofuel/

Indonesian biodiesel producers turn to China -- Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) chairman MP Tumanggor stressed Thursday that their members could no longer rely on their exports to the US and European Union... “Our production capacity reaches 11 million kiloliters per year, 4 million of which is absorbed by the domestic market. The remaining 7 million kiloliters are idle,” he said, adding that exports to European countries and the US account for just a portion. The negative sentiment was sparked by an antidumping campaign from both the European Union and the US commercial trade association National Biodiesel Boards (NBB).... Aprobi secretary general Stanley Ma said that China was a potential market for Indonesian biodiesel because the country used B5 for its fuel, which consists of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum biodiesel. “China might need 9 million kiloliters of biodiesel a year. This could boost our exports,” he said. The Indonesian government is reportedly set to send a team to China on June 16 in an attempt to boost biodiesel exports to the country. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/09/indonesian-biodiesel-producers-turn-to-china.html

26 Apr 2017: USA trade issues - FDA culls foreign food facility registration, Trump worries about Canada lumber and dairy

FDA culls huge number of foreign food facility registrations By Hank Schultz, 25-Apr-2017 In its latest cleanup of its food facility registration database, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has culled an eye-opening 28% of existing registrations. The biggest drops happened in overseas sites. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/FDA-culls-huge-number-of-foreign-food-facility-registrations

Canada Reacts Coolly to U.S. Move on Lumber - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says trade irritants with U.S. ‘nothing new,’ can be resolved By Paul Vieira April 25, 2017 -- Trudeau said Tuesday he intended to speak firmly yet reasonably with President Donald Trump about the U.S. slapping a 20% tariff on softwood lumber from Canada and Mr. Trump’s escalating rhetoric over Canadian dairy trade practices. https://www.wsj.com/articles/canada-reacts-coolly-to-u-s-move-on-lumber-1493148815?

Trump slaps first tariffs on Canadian lumber by Patrick Gillespie   @CNNMoney April 25, 2017 -- The Trump administration is hitting Canada with stiff tariffs of up to 24% on lumber shipped into the United States..... Trump's tariffs come as the U.S., Canada and Mexico prepare to renegotiate NAFTA, the 1994 free trade agreement. Trump has directed almost all of his NAFTA criticism at Mexico, which makes this decision even more surprising. http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/24/investing/canada-lumber-tariff-trump/index.html?

Why's Trump threatening Canada over milk? President Trump has slapped tariffs on Canadian lumber - now he's going after their dairy farmers. Why?

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/39724043/whys-trump-threatening-canada-over-milk

25 Apr 2017: Reuters - traders eye Ramadan demand, pick up from 8 month low, more clampdown in China's shadow finance system, Brent Crude $51.83

China’s shadow finance system -  turbulence has centered on so-called entrusted investments -- funds that Chinese banks farm out to external asset managers....banks’ withdrawals helped erase $183 billion of stock market value last week and sent bond yields to the highest level in nearly two years

..https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-24/china-markets-reel-as-banks-unwind-1-7-trillion-in-shadow-funds

VEGOILS-Palm sees second day of gains, traders eye Ramadan demand - Reuters News 21-Apr-2017 06:41:35 PM  *   Palm hits intraday high of 2,535 rgt/T, strongest in a week  *   Market also up on technical correction - Trader

VEGOILS-Malaysian palm hits 8-month low as rival oils weaken - Reuters News 19-Apr-2017 06:57:48 PM  *   Palm down nearly 7 percent since start of April *   Expectations of rising output, weaker demand - trader

13 Apr 2017: Palm trades at 6-month lows, BMD RM2,589/$585

VEGOILS-Palm trades at 6-month lows on stronger output, weaker overnight soy - Reuters News 12-Apr-2017 06:42:37 PM  By Emily Chow *   Palm fell to six-month low of 2,568 rgt/T  *   Market sees fourth decline in five sessions

3 Apr 2017:  Malaysian palm oil price falls to 5-mth low, US and EU biodiesel dumping claims on  Indonesia (and overall commodity exports sector shrinking), MEPs to Vote on Sustainable Palm Oil Report, BMD RM2,646/$598

Malaysian palm oil price loses gains, falls to 5-mth low 1 April 2017  Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/04/01/palm-loses-gains-falls-to-5-mth-low/#cXqerqA3UwL6DMlr.99

Palm oil producers revise up palm oil production, stock data, Stefani Ribka, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | March 28, 2017 -- GAPKI predicts that the CPO price will hover around US$720 to $750 per ton in this month end after reaching $722.5 to $765 per ton during the first two weeks of this month. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/28/palm-oil-producers-revise-up-palm-oil-production-stock-data.html

New biodiesel dumping claim weighs on RI’s shoulders by Viriya P. Singgih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, March 25, 2017 - As though adding insult to injury, American biodiesel producers have followed the European Union’s (EU) lead in accusing Indonesia of dumping practices, less than a week before the latter’s first meeting to clear its name with the WTO. The United States-based commercial trade association National Biodiesel Board (NBB), along with dozens of its fellow biodiesel producers, filed a petition on Thursday with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/25/new-biodiesel-dumping-claim-weighs-on-ris-shoulders.html

EDITORIAL: EU policy unjustifiable, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, March 24, 2017 -- We find it mind-boggling trying to understand the European Union’s stubborn policy to maintain the 2013 anti-dumping duties on the importation of Indonesian biodiesel, despite a court ruling last year that annulled the duties. The court ruled last September that Indonesian domestic palm oil prices were not regulated... http://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2017/03/24/editorial-eu-policy-unjustifiable.html

MEPs to Vote on Sustainable Palm Oil Report, 03 Apr 2017 --- MEPs will debate a report calling on the European Commission to take measures to phase out palm oil in biofuels and a single certification scheme for the commodity to enter the EU market, later today (April 3), ahead of a vote scheduled for tomorrow. http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/MEPs-to-Vote-on-Sustainable-Palm-Oil-Report?type=article

Malaysia grateful to France for rejecting ‘unfair’ palm oil tax 29 March 2017 -- Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/29/merci-beaucoup-monsieur-hollande-malaysia-grateful-to-france-for-rejecting-unfair-palm-oil-tax/#UtESuqG9BLZ7ypBd.99

Indonesia, France talk about palm oil and aircraft industry by Anton Hermansyah, The Jakarta Post, March 29, 2017, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/29/indonesia-france-talk-about-palm-oil-and-aircraft-industry.html

Tasmanian dairy uses palm oil spin-off in its cow feed - The Australian, April 3, 2017 -- Chief executive David Beca stressed that the product — which is linked to deforestation in Southeast Asia, including of orangutan habitats, as well as to biosecurity breaches and altered fat levels in milk — had certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. “(It is) the highest ethical and environmental standard accepted in Europe,” Mr Beca said. “PKE is a feed source of high protein and energy, which is safe to feed to milking cows, dry stock and young calves.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/tasmanian-dairy-uses-palm-oil-spinoff-in-its-cow-feed/news-story/04324c9ca5e93580c7a89804185901b5

Snake eats human in Sulawesi, under pressure of deforestation: Expert by Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar | Wed, March 29, 2017 -- According to Rahmansyah, the forest was the python’s natural habitat but had continued to expand into a palm oil plantation. “It’s becoming more difficult for the animals to find their natural food,” he said.... http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/29/snake-eats-human-on-sulawesi-under-pressure-of-deforestation-expert.html

Environmental Damage, Social Conflicts Overshadow Future of Indonesia's Palm Oil Sector By : Ratri M. Siniwi & Muhamad Al Azhari | March 21, 2017 -- Palm oil is an important commodity for Indonesia's economy, contributing $17.8 billion, or about 12 percent, to its export revenue. While this year the production of crude palm oil is likely to increase 16 percent, to up to 33 million tons, with expected conducive weather conditions, environmental issues and social conflicts continue to overshadow the sector's future in the world's biggest palm-oil producing country. http://jakartaglobe.id/business/environmental-damage-social-conflicts-overshadow-future-indonesias-palm-oil-sector/

Gov't Encourages Palm Oil Farmers to Grow Corn -- Only 3.7 million hectares of farmland in Indonesia is used to grow corn, according to data released by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). In total, the country produced 19.6 million metric tons of the crop in 2015. By : Dion Bisara | March 20, 2017 http://jakartaglobe.id/business/govt-encourages-palm-oil-farmers-grow-corn/

Indonesia Pays Price of Protectionism as Commodity Exports Sink by David Roman March 29, 2017 -- Lower resource exports becoming drag on economic growth: DBS. Commodities’ share of GDP has halved over past five years. Commodities now account for about 40 percent of all exports, down from almost 60 percent five years ago, according to Morgan Stanley. They make up just 6 percent of gross domestic product, half as much as in 2012, as trade restrictions worsened the impact of a price rout over much of that period. Crude oil and gas output has declined to levels last seen in the early 1970s....“Indonesia is growing 5 percent -- that’s pretty good -- but it used to grow 6 percent because of commodities. To go back to 6 percent you need to have another sector that would replace it,” said Gundy Cahyadi, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore. “The problem is that there is no support from manufacturing.”....https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-28/indonesia-pays-price-of-protectionism-as-commodity-exports-sink

372 settlers lose suit against Felda over palm oil extraction rates, 31 March 2017, BY MAIZATUL NAZLINA  -- PUTRAJAYA: A total of 372 settlers in two Felda schemes who filed a suit against the authority and its subsidiary over palm oil extraction rates will have to pay RM472,000 in costs after losing their case in two courts. On June 27, 2015, then Seremban High Court judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof directed the settlers to pay RM1,000 each to Felda and Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd.... Court of Appeal judge Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim ordered the settlers from the Serting Hilir and Raja Alias schemes in Negri Sembilan to pay a "global sum" of RM100,000 in cost to the two defendants. The court granted the cost after Felda and Felda Palm Industries counsel Mohd Hafarizam Harun submitted that various complex issues were rebutted and voluminous documents tendered in the three-day hearing.... Counsel for the settlers R. Sivarasa asked for RM10,000 in cost, saying that there were occasions when the court only sat for a half a day to hear the matter. Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/31/372-settlers-lose-suit-against-felda-over-palm-oil-extraction-rates/#UeqxPqIbHEVfOFhI.99

18 Mar 2017: El Nino 2017 question, Indonesia questions inequality of land ownership, Malaysia criticises EU Parliament resolution on palm oil, more labels in Europe, BPDP issues, BMD RM2804

Malaysian palm oil price rebounds on stronger demand forecasts 18 March 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/18/palm-rebounds-on-stronger-demand-forecasts/

Weak El Nino to Have Small Impact on Asian Crops This Year: MDA Weather By : Naveen Thukral | March 15, 2017 http://jakartaglobe.id/international/weak-el-nino-small-impact-asian-crops-year-mda-weather/

Global palm oil output likely to rise by 6 million tonnes 8 March 2017, Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/08/global-palm-oil-output-likely-to-rise-by-6-million-tonnes/#WFQo25WA9Kq63Es0.99

Malaysia strongly opposes EU parliament resolution on palm oil 15 March 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/15/malaysia-strongly-opposes-eu-parliament-resolution-on-palm-oil/

Six industry giants to launch UK-style traffic light labels in Europe By Niamh Michail+, 08-Mar-2017 -- Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever will add nutrition logos modelled on the UK’s traffic light label to their European portfolios. However, critics have slammed the use of portion size as a reference. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Six-industry-giants-to-launch-UK-style-traffic-light-labels-in-Europe

DARMIN NASUTION, MENTERI KOORDINATOR BIDANG PEREKONOMIAN - BPDP Jangan Hanya Jadi Kasir, Untuk program biodiesel, hasilnya relatif bagus. Tapi program yang lain, peremajaan kebun sawit rakyat praktis tidak ada hasil.  7/3/2017, Industri Opini  http://katadata.co.id/opini/2017/03/07/bpdp-jangan-hanya-jadi-kasir

Note: For the biodiesel program, the results are relatively good. But for other programs, such as rejuvenating smallholder oil palm, there are practically no results.

EDITORIAL: Inequality in asset ownership, The Jakarta Post March 16, 2017 -- The Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry has set itself a target of granting 5 million land titles this year at a cost of Rp 2 trillion (US$148 million), which will be fully financed by the state budget. Land titles will empower the poor to take maximum benefit from their physical assets, such access to bank loans. Usually, registering a property can be an arduous and costly procedure. Ministry data shows that of the 136 million plots of private land across the country, only 46 million plots have legal titles... Encouraged by the smooth implementation of a land reform pilot project last year, the ministry will also speed up the redistribution of neglected land, estimated at 12.7 million hectares across the country, to landless people around forests through local customary communities.,,Many plantation companies hold land concessions of more than 500,000 ha, or more than six times the land area of Singapore. We are afraid that if the expansion of plantations, especially oil palm, by big companies remains at its current rate of more than 100,000 ha per year, mounting problems of inequality of income, wealth and land conflicts could threaten the long-term sustainability of the plantation industry, even the macroeconomic stability.

National park fights back against illegal plantations, Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post March 11, 2017 http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/11/national-park-fights-back-against-illegal-plantations.html -- More than 2,000 hectares within the National Park had been converted into plantations, which were mostly spread throughout Langkat, North Sumatra and Southeast Aceh. The forest conversions were mostly committed by local people who were supported by payments from outside investors. “Most of the investors come from Medan,” Joko said...http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/03/11/national-park-fights-back-against-illegal-plantations.html

11 Mar 2017: EU politicians question palm oil usage in biofuels and seek single certification scheme, price outlook, output to surge

On 9 Mar, European politicians backed (56 to 1) a non-binding report on sustainable palm oil (to be put to full House vote in April for phase-out from biofuel usage of deforestation producst by 2020 and a single certification scheme)... http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/MEPs-Fight-Against-Unsustainable-Palm-Oil-Entering-EU-Market.html -- In her report  Konečná  calls on the European Commission to strengthen environmental measures to prevent palm oil-related deforestation and phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biodiesel by 2020. Products should also be able to be certified for the socially responsible origin of their palm oil. “I believe that the European Parliament should be very ambitious," she said. "There should not be any palm oil in biofuels." The environment committee votes on the report on 9 March. It will then be up to all MEPs to vote on it during an upcoming plenary session. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170306STO65231/palm-oil-the-high-cost-of-cultivating-the-cheap-vegetable-oil

Mistry sees CPO at RM3,000 BY P. ARUNA, 9 March 2017 - Price level based on likelihood of another El Nino, Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/09/mistry-sees-cpo-at-rm3000/#l0GQ0U92kzciGPwF.99

Trump and a possible El Nino may confound palm oil market bears 6 March 2017 | Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/06/trump-and-a-possible-el-nino-may-confound-palm-oil-market-bears/#dBys0YyUlMmLjvwh.99

CPO output expected to surge this year BY P. ARUNA 11 March 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/11/cpo-output-expected-to-surge-this-year/

Malaysia, Indonesia Biodiesel Production Forecast to Rise in 2017 By : Emily Chow | March 07, 2017 http://jakartaglobe.id/business/malaysia-indonesia-biodiesel-production-forecast-rise-2017/

Free Trade Push: Australia, Indonesia Eye Deal - After a summit meeting, Australia and Indonesia’s leader pledge to complete a bilateral deal by the end of 2017. By Anthony Fensom February 27, 2017 http://thediplomat.com/2017/02/free-trade-push-australia-indonesia-eye-deal/

Australian leader to continue free-trade talks in Indonesia  by Rod McGuirk Associated Press Canberra | Mon, March 6, 2017 http://www.thejakartapost.com/seasia/2017/03/06/australian-leader-to-continue-free-trade-talks-in-indonesia.html

27 Feb 2017: Indonesia's EU-targeted palm legality scheme and 83-90% "undisturbed natural habitat" for Papua, Malaysia announces mandatory MSPO (end 2018-end 2019) for sustainable and safe palm oil 

Editor's note: With EU market access concerns, Malaysia moves belatedly on mandatory national sustainability certification for its palm oil; a food safety element appears in news reports and we are not sure what upgrades will feature in MSPO to tackle the 3MCPD/GE issues. Indonesia's mandatory ISPO scheme has already existed for several years and has reached the stage of upgrade; Indonesia is also moving (from a perceived laggard position) on a palm legality scheme, high-grade conservation for Papua and peatland restoration.

Malaysian palm oil price recovers on better demand, but sees 2nd weekly fall 5 February 2017  - http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/25/palm-oil-recovers-on-better-demand/#yVxiTq21jMYHp0CX.99

Ministry sets timeline for MPSO certification mandatory compliance February 24, 2017 -- Its Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the compliance would be implemented in stages with plantation players that were certified with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to comply with the MSPO certification by Dec 31, 2018. Those without RSPO certification would need to comply by June 30, 2019 and all smallholders by Dec 31, 2019, he said...http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/ministry-sets-timeline-mpso-certification-mandatory-compliance-133528

Working to improve the palm oil industry 26 February 2017 - On Friday, Mah told reporters that by the end of 2019, it would be mandatory for local companies to comply with the Malaysian Sus­tainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme, which requires oil palm growers and palm oil processors to meet certain sustainability standards. This is a move towards branding Malaysian palm oil as sustainably produced and safe. http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2017/02/26/working-to-improve-the-palm-oil-industry/#Sekc1p7mMyqzWy4y.99

Indonesia ups efforts to gain EU recognition for palm oil by Hans Nicholas Jong February 23, 2017 -- The government planned to develop a palm oil legality scheme, similar to its domestic timber legality system (SVLK) implemented in 2013, which has gained recognition as the world’s only timber legality scheme acknowledged by the EU. The legality scheme for palm oil is expected to improve the reputation of the country’s palm oil industry, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said.... “Because the palm oil industry is constantly protested internationally for allegedly creating problems, we have to find instruments that are internationally accepted,” she said on Wednesday. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/23/indonesia-ups-efforts-to-gain-eu-recognition-for-palm-oil.html

DRAMATIC CONSERVATION PLEDGE BY PAPUA, INDONESIA February 23, 2017 /Bill Laurance -- The 83 percent figure for conservation—which could reach as high as 90 percent—follows from a government plan that maps future development in the province....“This is a remarkable milestone—one that should echo around the world,” said Judith Dipodiputro, coordinator of Project Papua, an initiative of Indonesian President Joko Widodo that is promoting sustainable development in the region... http://alert-conservation.org/issues-research-highlights/2017/2/23/dramatic-conservation-pledge-by-papua-indonesia

COMMENTARY: Who will benefit from Jokowi's land reform? Adisti Sukma Sawitri February 21, 2017 http://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2017/02/21/commentary-who-will-benefit-from-jokowis-land-reform.html

20 Feb 2017: Brazil and India news

Plantation Sector: Newsflow for week 13-17 February by AmBank research includes:

  • www.agrimoney.com reported that Brazil is gearing up its infrastructure to take over USA's soybean market share following USA's withdrawal from the TPPA and potential renegotiation of the NAFTA. Work is forging ahead on a series of projects to re-route Brazil's soybean exports through the Amazon instead of travelling overland to the southern ports. This is expected to reduce transport costs by half. Currently, most of Brazil's soybean exports travel from the country's soy belt by road to ports in the south of the country. 
  • Solvent Extractors Association of India said that the country's palm oil imports fell by 11.6% MoM in January 2017. India's palm imports declined in January 2017 as there was sufficient supply of oilseeds from local farmers. Also, the currency crunch resulting from the demonetisation has slowed purchases by customers. Palm oil accounted for 64% of India's total vegetable oil imports in January 2017. 

19 Feb 2017:  Malaysian palm oil price hits 3-month low on rising output, slow export demand, delay in BPDP subsidy, Indonesia sales and exports up on commodity price rebound, BMD  RM2,859 / $642

Malaysian palm oil price hits 3-month low on rising output, slow export demand 8 February 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/18/palm-oil-hits-3-month-low-on-rising-output-slow-export-demand/#ZFbSQlZoXFCy0Q20.99

MPSO certification compliance timeline to be announced soon BY PARVIN RAJ MOHAN 17 February 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/17/mpso-certification-compliance-timeline-to-be-announced-soon/#rshYC76iLOCFMTdB.99

Pembayaran Subsidi Biodiesel Tertunda QAYUUM AMRI

Feb 17, 2017  https://sawitindonesia.com/rubrikasi-majalah/berita-terbaru/pembayaran-subsidi-biodiesel-tertunda/

Note: When contacted by the editorial Sawit Indonesia, the BPDP-KS represented Edi Prabowo admitted biodiesel subsidy payment is delayed. "Payment of biodiesel subsidies is delayed because there are new billing requirements document completed in January and February," said Edi Wibowo, Director of Disbursement BPDP-KS via WhatsApp messaging services, on Thursday (16/2).

Motorcycle Sales Rise in January, Manufacturers Confident of a Rebound --  Domestic motorcycle sales rose 14 percent in January from the same month last year, boosted by demand from islands outside Java, where household income was on the rise thanks to recovery in global commodities price and government infrastructure spending. The manufacturers under Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI) sold 473,879 motorcycles last month, compared to 416,263 in the same month a year ago, the association's data showed. "When the price of commodities, such as crude palm oil rises, farmers income would also increase and encourage them to buy motorcycles," Gunadi Sindhuwinata, AISI chairman, said on Thursday (09/02). http://jakartaglobe.id/business/motorcycle-sales-rise-january-manufacturers-confident-rebound/

Indonesia Jan Exports Surge More Than Expected on Rising Commodity Prices http://jakartaglobe.id/business/indonesia-jan-exports-surge-expected-rising-commodity-prices/

Three named suspects for feasting on orangutan in Kapuas | Sat, February 18, 2017 -- Kapuas Police chief Sr. Comr. Jukiman Situmorang said on Friday that after 10 people had been taken in for questioning on Tuesday, investigators had decided to name three plantation workers, identified by their initials AY, 30, EMS, 39 and ER, 23, suspects. The case is believed to have occurred at an oil palm concession owned by PT Susantri Permai,... in Tumbang Puroh village, on Jan. 28. The incident reportedly began when a worker was harvesting fruit before encountering and being chased by an agitated orangutan. The worker later told the story to AY who then went out to hunt down the animal, where he purportedly killed it with an air rifle and machete. The animal was then taken by AY and his two colleagues EMS and ER to a nearby camp to be dined on...http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/18/three-named-suspects-for-feasting-on-orangutan-in-kapuas.html

17 Feb 2017: Malaysia palm oil exports to hit RM70bil target, Sime IPO this year?

Palm oil exports to hit RM70bil target, futures prices trading higher BY OOI TEE CHING - 16 FEBRUARY 2017  Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/02/212980/palm-oil-exports-hit-rm70bil-target-futures-prices-trading-higher

Sime IPOs this year? BY YVONNE TAN 16 February 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/16/sime-ipos-this-year/#qQMkAY4fGG3wccbK.99

How palm oil intake may cause cancer Author: Wale Akinola UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO -- Editor’s note: Red palm oil has come into the spotlight as a nutrient-rich staple food following numerous health researches that were able to establish the profound medical value of the oil. But recent researches have revealed that palm oil intake may cause cancer. In this piece, Naij.com reviews the importance of red palm oil vis-à-vis its propensity of causing cancer so that people could know the best way to use it. https://www.naij.com/1088221-osinbajo-amaechi-storm-imo-state.html

10 Feb 2017: Looking for output jumps, Indonesia exports and biodiesel view, GAPKI - university tie-ups, Malaysia talks up China ties, Thailand policy view

Palm Oil Could Drop to 2,500 Ringgit as Output Jumps: Analyst Fry - Malaysian palm oil prices could fall by about a fifth to 2,500 ringgit per tonne by third quarter of 2017 as production in top two producing countries is expected to rise, analyst James Fry said on Friday (03/02). By : Mayank Bhardwaj | on 3:00 AM February 04, 2017 http://jakartaglobe.id/asia-pacific/palm-oil-drop-2500-ringgit-output-jumps-analyst-fry/

Powerful lobby sought to ease Indonesia palm oil exports by Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Fri, February 3, 2017 -- With the absence of a special lobby group to promote their collective interests overseas, local crude palm oil (CPO) producers have set a moderate growth target for the commodity’s export this year. The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) expects to increase exports by 7.56 percent to 27 million tons this year from 25.1 million tons in 2016, while production will likely increase by 12 percent to 38.7 million tons in the world’s biggest producer of the commodity. Exports in 2016 dropped 5 percent from 25.1 million tons in 2015, which the association mainly attributed to the absence of special trade deals and a special body to intensify marketing efforts amid competition with Malaysia, the world’s second largest CPO -producing country. Local producers have also been introduced to the government’s mandatory biodiesel mix policy, in which CPO is used as a mix in biodiesel in  the local market. “Exports in 2016 dropped slightly due to various factors, but we expect it to be temporary. We set a sober target for exports this year as we expect challenges to remain more or less the same,” GAPKI secretary-general Togar Sitanggang said at a press conference on Tuesday.http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/03/powerful-lobby-sought-to-ease-indonesian-palm-oil-exports.html

Biodiesel on high demand as Indonesia turns to cleaner fuel by Viriya P. Singgih The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Sat, February 4, 2017 -- Indonesia started implementing the B20 policy in early 2016 for the transportation and industry sectors, while power plant sectors were obliged to blend 30 percent of biodiesel ( B30 ) at the same time. In November, the government began stipulating the implementation of the program to all gas stations in the country, including state-owned and private stations. Otherwise, each station would be charged Rp 6,000 (45 US cents) for each liter of non-blended diesel fuel sold. As a result, Indonesia was able to consume 2.7 million kiloliters of biodiesel domestically throughout the year, 91 percent of which was blended with subsidized diesel fuel and the rest blended with non-subsidized fuel. The figure fell slightly from the original target of 2.9 million kiloliters. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/04/biodiesel-on-high-demand-as-indonesia-turns-to-cleaner-fuel.html

Bayu Mundur, Dono Dirut Baru Badan Pengelola Dana Sawit, Apa Kata Mereka? February 8, 2017 By Indra Nugraha, dan Lusia Arumingtyas, Jakarta https://www.mongabay.co.id/2017/02/08/bayu-mundur-dono-dirut-baru-badan-pengelola-dana-sawit-apa-kata-mereka/

Note:  Dono Boestami, former Director of PT Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta as the new head of the BPDP.

Indonesia - Palm oil refineries may be 'clustered' to aid electricity production by Fedina S. Sundaryani The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Fri, February 3, 2017 -- The government is considering to group together palm oil refineries to make it easier to use palm oil waste to fuel power plants. Even though palm oil waste is expected to fuel a big part of the generation of 32 gigawatts (GW) of electricity that is supposed to come from renewable sources, the small size of plantations and refineries has made it difficult to procure sufficient oil from one source, said  the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's new and renewable energy director general, Rida Mulyana. "We are currently studying the possibility of using a cluster system. So we may group six refineries in one cluster and transmit the waste to PLN together," he said during a seminar held by the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) on Friday. Data from the ministry shows that there is a potential to generate 12.5 GW of electricity from palm oil waste.... http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/03/palm-oil-refineries-may-be-clustered-to-aid-electricity-production.html 

Indonesia - Palm oil association, universities team up to prepare skilled workers by Viriya P. Singgih February 2, 2017 -- The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian Rectors Forum (FRI) on a link-and-match program to prepare skilled workers... “This year, we also want to persuade several universities, especially ones specializing in agricultural majors or located in palm oil producing regions, to collaborate with us in conducting specific research about the palm oil industry,” said Muryanto. The projected research areas include the utilization of peatland, preserving nature in oil palm plantation areas and technological innovations.  “We also want to disseminate to young generations that the palm oil industry is actually not damaging to the environment, as long as you work properly,” Muryanto added. Gapki membership currently incorporates companies working on 644 oil palm plantations across the country.....http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/02/palm-oil-association-universities-team-up-to-prepare-skilled-workers.html

Malaysia - Wee: Good China ties have boosted commodity prices 6 February 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/06/wee-good-china-ties-have-boosted-commodity-prices/#d9f34zQcZFoSHGFL.99

Malaysia overtakes Indonesia, 4 February 2017 -- TELUK INTAN: Malaysia has overtaken Indonesia as the biggest exporter of crude palm oil to China. Plantation Industries and Com­­modities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, who disclosed this, said that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit to China last November made this possible. He said Malaysia exported 993.9 thousand metric tonnes of crude palm oil to China from July to De­­cember last year. “This is a 53.6% increase over that period, while Indonesia’s export performance dropped 21%. “Six years ago we were the biggest palm oil exporters to China until Indonesia overtook us early last year,’’ he told reporters  http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/04/malaysia-overtakes-indonesia/#5TAdIAtAhc4z0I7y.99

Malaysia - Palm oil exports to India set to grow 5%-10% BY AZIZUL AHMAD 8 February 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/02/08/palm-oil-exports-to-india-set-to-grow-5-10pc/

Thailand - Democrats urge use of LNG, palm oil for power plants 8 Feb 2017  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1195036/democrats-urge-use-of-lng-palm-oil-for-power-plants. 

26 Jan 2017: Heavy rain in many states but to ease, US withdrawal from TPP affects Malaysia palm oil export target, FGV expands jetty ops in Pakistan, BMD RM3,125/$704 

VEGOILS-Market factors to watch Jan 26 - Reuters News 26-Jan-2017 08:54:50 AM The following factors are likely to influence Malaysian palm oil futures and other vegetable oil markets. FUNDAMENTALS * Malaysian palm oil futures declined on Wednesday, tracking weaker performing rival soyoil and as traders closed positions ahead of the Lunar New Year public holidays. * U.S. soybean futures fell to a 1-1/2-week low on Wednesday on an improved South American crop weather outlook while corn edged higher on export demand, traders said. * Oil prices ended less than 1 percent lower on Wednesday after data showed a build in U.S. crude inventories, reinforcing the view that oil prices are range bound, buoyed by expected OPEC production cuts while pressured by U.S. output growth.

Heavy rain expected in all the other states, says Met Dept BY GAN PEI LING and SIMON KHOO 26 January 2017 -- Strong monsoon rains that have hit Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor are likely to ease by the weekend.... The high-tide phenomenon is also expected in Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin and the people are advised against going out to sea. Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/26/only-perlis-to-enjoy-a-dry-cny-heavy-rain-expected-in-all-the-other-states-says-met-dept/#1oBQvxYG4eott3VW.99

US withdrawal from TPP affects palm oil export target, says Mah 24 January 2017 Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/01/24/us-withdrawal-from-tpp-affects-palm-oil-export-target-says-mah/#qt5S6EQP98Zqsx3k.99

FGV expands jetty ops in Pakistan 25 January 2017 -- FGV’s unit in Pakistan, FWQ Enterprises Pte Ltd, is building a 30,000-tonne terminal to handle and store liquid products such as ethanol, molasses and edible oils. “The move also serves as a launch pad for FGV to enter the Balkan countries,” he said. Zakaria said FGV expected the multi-purpose tank terminal to cost RM13mil and that the first 15,000 tonnes storage tanks had been installed in June, with the remaining 15,000 tonnes would be completed in 2017. He added that the terminal tanks could increase its capacity to 38,300 tonnes to meet rising demand.... Currently, FGV owns and operates the world’s largest edible oil terminal with a total capacity of 865,000 tonnes. Once fully operational, the bulking facilities in Port Qasim, Pakistan, will complement FGV’s existing bulking facilities in Malaysia and Indonesia for a combined capacity of 900,000 tonnes... Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/01/25/fgv-expands-jetty-ops-in-pakistan/#tuefYaejtHDQfWqj.99

A4042 reopened near Abergavenny after lorry crash spills palm oil - A lorry overturned and spilled palm oil which "set like wax" on the A4042 between Abergavenny and Llanellen at about 21:00 GMT on Tuesday. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-38741491

21 Jan 2017: Nutella debate adds sugar concern, Ferrero refines its oil differently, Turkey to investigate products including palm oil

Products including palm oil to be investigated: Agriculture Minister Çelik, ISTANBUL January/16/2017 -- Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Faruk Çelik has said his office has launched work to detect food thought to include palm oil in its ingredients, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. The ministry issued a statement on Jan. 15 after media reports on controversial palm oil, saying it was considered necessary to conduct an investigation based on public health concerns. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/products-including-palm-oil-to-be-investigated-agriculture-minister-celik.aspx?pageID=238&nid=108606&NewsCatID=341

Deconstructed Nutella: nuts, cocoa – and 58% sugar - A photograph of its raw ingredients has shocked fans of the spread. But is it really any worse than jam or marmalade? -- Well, someone in Germany has recreated a jar showing the ingredients in layers, and you can see it’s basically half sugar. Holy moly! And about a third fat. Roly-poly holy moly! Indeed. People are often shocked to see what’s in their favourite snacks.... See! But have you ever made jam? I have not. Well, that’s got a lot of sugar in it, too: 50% in the case of Hartley’s strawberry jam; 65% in Daylesford Organic. Even Frank Cooper’s Original Oxford Marmalade is 54%. Rowse honey is 81%. Sweet spreads are mostly sugar. Just don’t eat bowls of them. How about the fat then? All right. There’s not much fat in jam. (Unless you butter your toast first.) Nutella, however, is 32% fat, most of which is palm oil. The second most evil of all the oils! ... How about the cancer risk? I heard palm oil gives you cancer. Look, high-temperature refining may lead to more potentially carcinogenic contaminants, according to the European Food Safety Authority, but it doesn’t necessarily think it’s unsafe. Besides, Ferrero says it doesn’t refine its oil that way. People want food to be simple and dramatic, when it’s a hugely complex web of … I’m bored. Yeah. That’s what I mean....

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/jan/20/is-nutella-really-that-bad-for-you

What's in a jar of Nutella? A viral image shows the hazelnut spread is mostly sugar. By Alex Orlov  January 19, 2017 -- A viral image posted to Reddit on Sunday can give you a taste for just how much of the sweet stuff is in each jar. (The image previously appeared with ingredients listed in German when it was used in an article that published Saturday on Die Welt, a German news site. The original image was created by Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg — the consumer center of Hamburg, Germany.)

https://mic.com/articles/165970/what-s-in-a-jar-of-nutella-a-viral-image-shows-the-hazelnut-spread-is-mostly-sugar#.S1kq00uxM

16 Jan 2017: Malaysia eyes CPO export duties, Nutella maker defends palm oil, Thailand floods

Nutella maker defends palm oil 12 January 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/01/12/nutella-maker-defends-palm-oil/

M’sia willing to talk on CPO export duties with Indonesia BY ZUNAIRA SAIEED 16 January 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/01/16/msia-willing-to-talk-on-cpo-export-duties-with-indonesia/

Catastrophic Thai floods expected to worsen as death toll rises BY REUTERS - 15 JANUARY 2017 http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/01/204359/catastrophic-thai-floods-expected-worsen-death-toll-rises

Thailand floods kill at least 25 people and causes traffic jams 125 miles long - Nearly a million people have been affected by effects of unseasonable rain  by Amy Sawitta Lefevre 10 January 2017 --More than 360,000 households, or about a million people, have been affected by the floods that have damaged homes and schools and affected rubber and palm oil production, the Department of Disaster Prevention and industry officials said.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thailand-floods-deaths-traffic-jams-rain-weather-latest-a7519316.html

Endless flood trauma for Malaysians (policy questions) 12 Jan 2017 by S Gopinath https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/369058#ixzz4VsxR22yi

5 Jan 2017: Malaysia 2016 CPO price strongest annual gain in 6 years (BMD +25%), annual flooding season,  CIMB sees RM3200 in Jan, output recovery in 2017

Editor's note: monsoon flooding of Peninsular Malaysia east coast is an annual affair. 

From previous year: Malaysian palm oil output may drop again in January JANUARY 14, 2015 http://www.themalaymailonline.com/print/money/malaysian-palm-oil-output-may-drop-again-in-january and Malaysia's monsoon floods seen crippling December palm supply - industry Dec 26, 2014 http://www.reuters.com/article/palmoil-output-weather-idUSL3N0UA27020141226

(BFW) Malaysian Floods Hurting Some Palm Oil Plantations: KL Kepong By Anuradha Raghu (Bloomberg) -- Flooding has “severely affected” co.’s palm oil estates in Kelantan, according to Roy Lim, group plantations director at Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Malaysia’s 3rd- largest producer. * Harvesting, processing disrupted for 4th day in KL Kepong’s plantations in Kelantan and a palm oil mill has been marooned, Lim says Wednesday by phone * Typically, immediate impact of flooding to trees is loss of production, followed by quality problems * It’s still too early to tell extent of damage to production

Crude palm oil to trade up to RM3,200 in January, says CIMB Research 4 January 2017 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/01/04/crude-palm-oil-to-trade-up-to-rm3200-in-january-says-cimb-research/

Palm oil - will output recover in 2017, and send the rally into reverse?  3rd Jan 2017, by Mike Verdin http://www.agrimoney.com/feature/palm-oil---will-output-recover-in-2017-and-send-the-rally-into-reverse--486.html

Malaysian palm oil price rises, closes with strongest annual gain in 6 years 31 December 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/12/31/palm-oil-rises-to-close-year-with-strongest-annual-gain-since-2010/

Indonesia's exports to still rely on primary commodities: HSBC by Winda A. Charmila, The Jakarta Post, January 3, 2017 --  http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/01/03/ris-exports-to-still-rely-on-primary-commodities-hsbc.html

Consumer pressure to ditch deforestation begins to reach Indonesia’s oil palm plantation giants - A new report by Chain Reaction Research finds that some of the Southeast Asian nation’s biggest oil palm growers have issued stronger sustainability policies in response to interventions from their buyers. Will the trend continue? By Tara MacIsaac 28 December 2016 http://www.eco-business.com/news/consumer-pressure-to-ditch-deforestation-begins-to-reach-indonesias-oil-palm-plantation-giants/

The Chain: Dimensional Fund Advisors Divests From Some Palm Oil Positions to Mitigate Risks By GabrielThoumi on December 25, 2016 http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/12/chain-dimensional-fund-advisors-divests-palm-oil-positions-mitigate-risks/

Palm Oil Divestment Goes Mainstream - World's First Broadly-Diversified "Deforestation Free" Global Equity Portfolios Now Available to Everyday Investors San Francisco - December 23, 2016 (Investorideas.com Newswire) http://www.investorideas.com/news/2016/renewable-energy/12231Mainstream.asp

21 Dec 2016: Reuters - Palm plummets on weak external markets, lower exports, BMD RM3,093 / $690

VEGOILS-Palm plummets on weak external markets, lower exports - Reuters News 20-Dec-2016 06:48:01 PM  *   Market tracks weak related oils, expects downtrend - traders

 *   Palm erases most of the gains last week  *   Exports drop 14.4 pct for Dec. 1-20 - cargo surveyor data By Liz Lee KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Tuesday, reversing last week's gains, as rival oils fell and poor export data spooked the market.

5 Dec 2016: Friday - Palm hits four-year high before easing on weaker soyoil, BMD RM3,076/$691

VEGOILS-Palm hits four-year high before easing on weaker soyoil 02-Dec-2016 07:02:10 PM  *   Palm hits intraday high of 3,106 rgt/T  *   Market down on weak related oils, stronger ringgit - Trader  *   Signals are mixed for palm oil - Technicals  By Emily Chow KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm futures hit their highest in more than four years on Friday before easing to close in negative territory on weakness in related oils and a stronger ringgit. 

2 Dec 2016: Reuters - Palm hits one-week high tracking stronger crude oil, BMD RM3,079 / $690

VEGOILS-Palm hits one-week high tracking stronger crude oil - Reuters News 01-DEC-2016 07:04:43 PM *

Palm is up on stronger crude oil, but gains seen limited - trader *

Palm could see resistance at 3,093 rgt/T - technicals By Emily Chow

28 Nov 2016: Palm up on soy oil and weak Ringgit, EU leaked draft shows 2030 biofuel from food and feed crops cap at 3.8%, but US boosts biofuel quota for 2017 to record level, BMD RM3,031/$680

VEGOILS-Palm up nearly 1 pct on weaker ringgit, lower output expectations - Reuters News 25-Nov-2016 06:34:30 PM  *   Palm futures clocks fifth straight day of gains  *   Ringgit remains around 14-month low  *   Palm could rise 10 pct in Q1 2017 - Mistry By Liz Lee KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended nearly 1 percent higher on Friday, recording a fifth consecutive session of gains due to persistent weakness in the ringgit and falling output...The Malaysian currency fell as much as 0.18 percent to 4.453 against the dollar, almost matching the record low of 4.456 hit on Sept. 29, 2015. The ringgit has shed nearly 6 percent since Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, making it Asia's worst performing currency.

VEGOILS-Palm closes at near two-week high, tracking CBOT soyoil rally - Reuters News 24-NOV-2016 06:30:37 PM *

Palm futures rose for a fourth day *

Palm futures touch highest since September 2012 *

Ringgit hits almost 14-month trough Updates with closing price By Fransiska Nangoy JAKARTA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a fourth day on Thursday after touching a four-year high intraday, as it tracked a rally in soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) on latest U.S. government biodiesel requirements.

Biodiesel's presence in future EU policy revealed in leaked draft By Ron Kotrba | November 22, 2016 http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/1874430/biodiesels-presence-in-future-eu-policy-revealed-in-leaked-draft

Ambank writes: According to Biodiesel Magazine, a leaked draft of annexes from the European Commission's revised Renewable Energy Directive showed that fuel produced from food or feed crops will have a reduced role in the transportation sector after year 2020. Biofuel from food and feed crops will remain capped at 7% through 2021, after which the cap will be reduced by 0.3% a year through 2025. In 2030, maximum amount of biofuel from food and feed crops will be 3.8%. Over the past couple of years, the EU government has faced pressure from anti-biofuel groups, which said that greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are worse than those from petroleum fuels. 

US boosts biofuel quota for 2017 to record level http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-23/u-s-boosts-biofuel-quota-for-2017-to-record-level

21 Nov 2016: Reuters - palm falls on weaker rival oils, China hedge fund and raised margins, cash crunch chokes off India buying, RM2,869 /$649.98 on 18 Nov.  

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm falls for first session in three on weaker rival oils - Reuters News 18-Nov-2016  *   Forecasts for higher output in Indonesia weigh on mkt *   Palm down 3.5 pct this week *   Palm looks neutral in 2,823-2,891 rgt/T range - Techs

AM markets: ags fall, as China takes its turn to hurt prices 14th Nov 2016, by Mike Verdin -- As if the election of Donald Trump as president of the US wasn't enough for investors to get their heads around, the world's second biggest economy, China, is providing cause for jitters in commodity markets too.  Talk that was around late last week – of a hedge fund blowing up, and of raised margins for investors trading on Chinese commodity exchanges – remained live on Monday. http://www.agrimoney.com/marketreport/am-markets-ags-fall-as-china-takes-its-turn-to-hurt-prices--3845.html

Cash crunch chokes off India palm oil imports By Reuters | Updated: Nov 18, 2016 -- India's palm oil imports are expected to slip next month by up to a fifth, including from the top two producers Indonesia and Malaysia, as New Delhi's removal of high-value rupee notes from circulation disrupts distribution systems and curbs demand.  Traders in Malaysia, India's largest palm oil supplier taking up half of its imports last year, say the absence of the large bills has already impacted sales. Indian buyers are delaying shipments and cancelling vessel space bookings, and .. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55494139.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Exclusive: KL palm oil futures sentiment dampened as China curbs speculation BY OOI TEE CHING - 14 NOVEMBER 2016 -- "Today, the olein futures at the Dalian Commodity Exchange saw limit down when prices plunged by more than 5 per cent," Nandha added. Last week, it was reported that the China Securities Regulatory Commission banned futures brokers there from providing margin financing, so as to cool down the overheated financial markets. Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/11/188695/exclusive-kl-palm-oil-futures-sentiment-dampened-china-curbs-speculation

Myth of excessive edible oil imports G CHANDRASHEKHAR November 10, 2016; Trade bodies must stop extracting State favours in the name of protecting farmers -- How valid is the assertion that ‘excessive’ quantities are being imported and whether the recommendation of a duty hike has merit?... India’s oil year runs from November to October. During the current oil year (November 2015 to October 2016), India imported 13.4 million tonne till September 2016, of which the share of palm oil (both crude and refined) was 7.7 million tonne.... While total import (covering all oils) has increased from 12.8 million tonne in the first 11 months of 2014-15 to 13.4 million tonne in the corresponding period this year, the share of palm oil has actually declined from 66 per cent in the previous year (8.4 million tonne) to 57 per cent in the current year. Palm oil has been substituted by higher import of soyabean oil....The apex body, Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade (COOIT), has estimated domestic production in 2015-16 at 7.2 million tonne, unchanged from the previous year..... http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/edible-oil-imports-to-india/article9330244.ece

3 Nov 2016: Reuters - Palm rises on concerns about lower output, BMD RM2,758 / $659

Editor's note: From recent industry conference discussions, the issue of palm market share dips in China and India. Also refer to Palm Oil Analytics graphic below.

VEGOILS-Palm rises on concerns about lower output - Reuters News 02-Nov-2016 07:38:42 PM -- *Palm sees first gain after two losing sessions *Up on concerns of lower production, weaker ringgit *Government data scheduled for release on Nov. 10 By Emily Chow

Oil Falls on ‘Most Bearish Report of All Time’ Crude-oil inventory surges the most in 34 years of data, extending selloff By TIMOTHY PUKO Nov. 2, 2016 --  The supply data prompted investors to reduce expectations that two years of oversupply in the oil markets is coming to an end. U.S. prices immediately shed nearly $1 a barrel and losses spread into gasoline and diesel futures. http://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-prices-slip-as-production-deal-prospects-fade-1478085559?

Note: 

Brent crude (ICE) $47.31.

source: http://www.palmoilanalytics.com/

26 Oct 2016: Palm oil futures reversed gains from the more than two-year high reached the previous day, BMD RM2,760 / $664 

VEGOILS-Palm drops on amended industry data, stronger ringgit - Reuters News 25-Oct-2016 07:19:50 PM *Palm tumbles on amended output data, lower exports *Stronger ringgit also dragged sentiment *Further market correction likely By Liz Lee -- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed gains from the more than two-year high reached the previous day, as the market reacted to revised industry data and a strengthening ringgit on Tuesday. A trader based in Kuala Lumpur noted that the market had been driven by the data received over the two days, as well as the strengthening ringgit. "The amendment to the Malaysia Palm Oil Association output data, from a 11 percent decline announced yesterday to 3.9 percent increase amended today, has significantly impacted the market. People took the numbers seriously," he said.

24 Oct 2016:  Reuters - Palm closes the week higher as low stocks hold market, BMD RM 2,724 / $651

Editor's note: The palm oil producers are mulling the EFSA process contaminants issue. It's worth reading up on it.

VEGOILS-Palm closes the week higher as low stocks hold market - Reuters News 21-Oct-2016 08:28:02 PM *Palm closes higher, as traders take position for the weekend *Prices gain for second consecutive week By Emily Chow and Liz Lee - Malaysian palm oil closed higher on Friday, reversing earlier losses, as traders squared positions ahead of the weekend and as low stock levels supported the market.  Benchmark palm oil futures for January 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.2 percent to 2,724 ringgit ($651.21) a tonne. They had dropped earlier to a three-week low.

Fratini Vergano Trade Prespectives Issue No. 19 of 21 October 2016: EFSA’s opinion on certain process contaminants in refined vegetable oils – explaining an oversimplified issue

....Following a request of the Commission in July 2014, the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain of the European Food Safety Authority (hereinafter, EFSA) delivered on 3 May 2016 a scientific opinion on the risks for human health related to the presence of the process contaminants 3- and 2-monochloropropanediol (hereinafter, MCPD), and their fatty acid esters, and glycidyl fatty acid esters (hereinafter, GE) in processed vegetable oils. Following the publication of the opinion on certain process contaminants in food, there were reports highlighting, in an oversimplified and deceptive manner, that, inter alia, palm oil causes cancer. This article aims at clarifying the real meaning of the EFSA opinion on the matter......

22 Oct 2016: Indonesia CPO export tax affirmed zero for November? Malaysia cooking oil revamp to limit abuses?

Editor's note: I got a message on 

Indonesia CPO export tax affirmed zero for November.

 See last week's story on expectation. Discussions on this issue in KL too. Also, please also note more global consumer goods manufacturers are committing to reduce saturated fats use - usually negative for their palm oil usage. See PepsiCo  news below and more here, http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/p/khor-reports-food-watch.html

Indonesia likely to keep palm export tax at zero for Nov -industry   Oct 14, 2014 -- In an attempt to give the market a boost, the world's No.2 palm oil producer, Malaysia, exempted the commodity from export taxes from September until the end of December. ... Indonesia followed by slashing its monthly CPO export tax to zero for October from 9 percent in September and this is now likely to be extended into November http://www.reuters.com/article/indonesia-palmoil-tax-idUSL3N0S93KV20141014 

What’s really cooking with edible oil? BY M. SHANMUGAM 22 October 2016 -- CONFUSION reigns in the cooking oil subsidy controversy. The initial news that came out was that the Government would cut subsidies for cooking oil, something that producers say will result in higher prices of essential items. -- Under the quota system, the subsidised price threshold is set at about RM1,900 per tonne of edible oil. What it means is that the re-packer can purchase up to the quota allocated at RM1,900 per tonne, with the rest of their requirements having to be purchased at market price....Seeing how the supply chain of cooking oil works, any adjustments to the quota system will impact the re-packers. Hence, their protest from the association and threats that the price of cooking oil will go up if there are adjustments to the quota. Based on financials, the bigger the quota, the better it is for re-packers because it ensures that the margins for a larger portion of their products are protected.... However, at the heart of the matter is whether the quota allocated to re-packers is more than what is required for domestic consumption... Has this led to some players in the industry taking advantage of the quota system to export cooking oil purchased at lower than market prices from refiners, thanks to the Government subsidy scheme? The statement from Johari seems to be hinting at that. He had said that cooking oil would continue to be subsidised and what the Government wants to do is to ensure that the subsidised oil is not exported... And of course, when the quota is adjusted downwards, the Government saves some money as the subsidy bill is lower. Nevertheless, a blanket subsidy is always bad.... Measures such as an increase in the payouts of Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia and a reduction in the personal income tax would certainly be the preferred mode instead of a subsidy system that is subject to abuse. http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/10/22/whats-really-cooking-with-edible-oil/

According to PepsiCo, at least two-thirds of the company's beverages will contain 100 calories or less per 12-ounce serving by 2025.... Also, at least three-quarters of the foods will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories.... According to the CEO, the company also already made significant strides and is now frying snacks in many countries using "heart-healthy oil." Also, she said in China the company has available to it a new frying technique that can reduce saturated fat levels by about 20 percent while at the same time increasing capacity of the machines by 25 percent....http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/14/pepsico-pledges-to-slash-beverage-calorie-counts-by-2025.html

21 Oct 2016: MPOC POTS KL price views, Indonesia CPO Fund outlook, China clampdown on commodity trading, Colombia seeks to tie biofuels to fossil fuel prices, BMD RM 2,718 / $650 

Editor's note: At last week's MPOC POTS KL conference the triumvirate of palm price prognostication diverged in viewpoints. There was discussion of production drop due to El Nino and when production is expected to return. Worries arise on exports. Soon afterwards, news on China clamp down affecting commodity trading.

VEGOILS-Palm oil declines on slowing exports, weaker Dalian gains - Reuters News 20-Oct-2016 07:12:39 PM *Palm declines after gains in early trade *Market declines as Dalian comes off, and on weaker export data - Trader By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil gave up its early gains on Thursday, declining towards the end of the trading day as rallies of rival vegetable oils on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange slowed and palm export demand weakened.

Colombia - Government freezes biofuel prices Published: 20 October 2016 10:33 AM The government has permanently fixed the price of fuel ethanol and biodiesel in Resolution 40953. From October 6 onwards the price for fuel ethanol will be COP7,832.84 ($1=2,913) per litres and for biodiesel COP9,966.02. This brings ethanol in line with gasoline. The move has caused an outcry in the industry which said that this would put the $3 bln investment in the sector at risk.

Indonesia raises 2017 biodiesel subsidy fund target on export gain - Reuters News 19-OCT-2016 02:55:37 PM By Emily Chow KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia has raised its target for funds collection in 2017 for its biodiesel subsidy programme by nearly 14 percent from this year on the expectation of higher palm oil exports, the head of the programme operator said on Wednesday...Krisnamurthi estimated that the target collection for the subsidy fund next year is 10.7 to 10.8 trillion rupiah ($830 million). The 2016 target is 9.5 trillion rupiah.... Indonesia started collecting a levy on its palm oil exports last July - $50 per tonne for crude palm oil and $30 for processed palm oil products - and uses part of it to help fund its biodiesel subsidies.

China's risk clamp down hits commodity trades, niche broker business 17-OCT-2016 07:00:49 AM

• China asset management regulator tightens rules on risk • Aimed at asset managers of financial firms, futures brokers • Prompts slump in structured product sales by brokers • In turn, sales slump hits commodities futures volumes • By Ruby Lian and Engen Tham 

At MPOC POTS KL conference, slides referring to price from Thomas Mielke of Oil World (top two), Ivy Ng of CIMB Securities,  Dorab Mistry of Godrej and James Fry of LMC International

26 Sep 2016: India cuts import duties, FFB yield recover to come, 23 Sept RM2,675 /US$651

India has cut the import duties for crude palm oil from 12.5% to 7.5% and refined palm oil from 20% to 15%.

VEGOILS-Palm falls on lower demand, profit-taking - Reuters News 23-Sep-2016 06:50:21 PM -- *Palm up 3.1 pct this week, best weekly gain in six *Market sees lower production, demand to year-end: trader By Emily Chow

UOBKH Research - Plantation: The earliest we can see full FFB yield recovery is by early-4Q17, as the impact from El Nino is still ongoing. 2017 Malaysian production is expected to be slightly better than 2016.

23 Sep 2016: China favours Canada commodities to continue. Australia misses chance as does palm oil? China-Canada bilateral agreements cover canola and beef

China agrees to maintain Canada's access to $2B canola market through 2020, By Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: Sep 22, 2016 -- 

.... .... The canola compromise was reached at the last minute during talks between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill Thursday. Li is on a four-day official visit to Canada. Intense negotiations went overnight between Canadian officials and Zhi Shuping, the Chinese minister responsible for 

the canola file who's also in Ottawa for the visit... THe current worldwide surplus of the oilseed led China to put pressure on international producers. China could have cut out or cut back on Canada's shipments in favour of another country like Australia...In this compromise, both sides agreed to conduct additional scientific research to find a "sciencebased and stable solution," Trudeau said..... The beef deal — to resume trade in bone-in beef cuts from cattle under 30 months of age — was among a collection of bilateral agreements signed Thursday on a range of trade and security issues....

http://www.cbc.ca/…/poli…/canada-china-beef-canola-1.3773980

21 Sept 2016: Supplies tighten and palm oil price lifted, Malaysia considering double-deduction for sustainability and suggestion for harmonised duties with Indonesia

AmBank email report 21 Sep 2016: The Edge Daily reported that the government is considering tax suggestions from plantation companies including a double deduction for companies that promote sustainability.  The government is also evaluating suggestions on the tax policy and duty structure of CPO. It was proposed that the export duties for CPO in Malaysia and Indonesia be harmonised through the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries framework.  

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits five-month high as supplies tighten - Reuters News 20-Sep-2016 07:07:59 PM -- *Palm hits intraday and five month high of 2,725 rgt/T *Tight supplies, stronger soy lifted the market - trader *Palm seen rising to 2,761 rgt/T - technicals By Emily Chow

5 Sept 2016: Malaysia palm oil stocks tight on rising demand

From CIMB Research this morning

■        Malaysia’s palm oil stocks may have fallen by 18% mom to 1.45m tonnes at end-Aug. 

■        The CIMB Futures survey revealed that Aug CPO output rose by 5.4% mom to 1.67m tonnes . 

■        This is not sufficient to cater for the strong 26.9% mom rise in exports in Aug 

■        The short supply resulted in CPO prices rallying to a new high of RM2,845 per tonne 

VEGOILS-Palm rises most in over two weeks on ringgit, rival oils - Reuters News  02-Sep-2016 06:51:04 PM  *Palm rises most since Aug. 17  *Boosted by weaker ringgit, better-performing Dalian - trader *Palm to test 2,578 rgt/T - technicals By Emily Chow

Indonesia environment team threatened with death investigating haze Sep 5, 2016 -- By Bernadette Christina Munthe | JAKARTA

Dozens of Indonesian men, suspected of being hired by an oil palm plantation company, threatened to kill environmental investigators checking on fires on Sumatra island, the environment ministry said. The incident illustrates the difficulties Indonesia faces tackling the illegal burning of vegetation to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations that causes clouds of smoke every dry season, which at times blanket the region, raising fears for public health and air travel.... The ministry said a group of up to 100 men detained seven investigators for about 12 hours on the weekend and threatened to burn them alive and dump their bodies in a river at an oil palm plantation in Rokan Hulu, Riau province..... The team was following up on satellite images showing "hot spots", or suspected fires, in a concession of PT Andika Permata Sawit Lestari (APSL) oil palm plantation company. There were "strong indications" the mob was deployed by the company, the ministry said in a statement. "With this incident, the investigation of PT APSL will become our top priority," Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya said in the statement, referring to both suspected forest encroachment by the company and the detention of the team. "The environment ministry will investigate this and take strict action in accordance with the law," she said. http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-haze-idUKKCN11B0JF A company official, contacted by Reuters on Monday, declined to comment.

Environment Minister Condemns Hostage Situation Involving Palm Oil Company By : Edo Karensa | September 04, 2016 http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/environment-minister-condemns-hostage-situation-involving-palm-oil-company/

Environmental Group to File New Police Reports Against Riau Forest Burners By : Alin Almanar | September 03, 2016 http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/environment-group-to-file-new-police-reports-against-riau-forest-burners/

18 August 2016: Palm rises on tight supplies to notch up strongest gains in over 10 months, BMD +4.1% to RM2,643/$659

Indonesia Palm Exports Seen at 3-Month High on China Demand by Yoga Rusmana, Eko Listiyorini  August 18, 2016 —  Shipments seen 6.7% higher in July as China, India buy more. Inventories fall 4.4%, while output rises 0.5%, survey shows. Palm oil shipments from Indonesia, the world’s largest grower, probably rose to the highest level in three months in July after buyers from China to India boosted purchases.... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-18/indonesia-palm-exports-seen-at-three-month-high-on-china-demand

Rupiah’s Five Year of Losses Seen Ending by Top Forecaster  by  Lilian Karunungan  August 18, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-17/rupiah-seen-ending-five-years-of-losses-on-11-billion-inflows

VEGOILS-Palm rises on tight supplies to notch up strongest gains in over 10 months - Reuters News 17-Aug-2016 06:54:45 PM *Palm resumes upward trend on tight supplies *Strongest gain since Sept 25, highest levels since June 7 *Tight supplies could persist for a month -trader By Emily Chow

12 August 2016: Malaysia palm oil needs to seek new markets, including challenges in Africa

Malaysian palm oil producers to hunt for new markets 12 August 2016 - KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil producers could be forced to find new customers in places like Africa as rival exporter Indonesia increases its dominance of major markets such as China and India due to cheaper prices and a more favourable tax system.  Malaysia has long trailed Indonesia as the world's No. 2 producer and exporter of the edible oil, used in everything from chocolate to soap, mainly because of lower land and labour costs in its larger Southeast Asian neighbour. But the introduction of more competitive levies on palm exports from Indonesia in July last year has further entrenched that country's dominance of export markets, according to analysts and industry officials. "In the long run, we have to work very hard to secure other markets which Indonesia is not competing with us in. Indonesia will go to the big markets like China, Pakistan and Bangladesh," Mohammad Jaaffar Ahmad, the head of the Palm Oil Refiners Association of Malaysia, told Reuters earlier this week. "If you are no longer competitive you have to look for other small market outlets like countries in Africa. Demand is still there but the market is more difficult and risky." Africa is the third largest consumer market for palm oil after Southeast Asia and South Asia. It accounted for about 13% of Malaysian shipments last year, with Benin, Nigeria and Tanzania as key export countries....http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1933882

10 August 2016: Festival to revives China's palm oil imports, India traders talk of shipment disruption

Editor's note: Am also hearing of tightness in India market on some shipment disruption

Hunger for Mooncakes Set to Revive China’s Appetite for Palm Oil - August 10, 2016 — Chinese demand to rise in second-half after slump in first. Monthly palm imports seen rising to 300,000 tons: Analyst http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-10/hunger-for-mooncakes-set-to-revive-china-s-appetite-for-palm-oil

25 July 2016: James Fry - Palm oil import demand to be high in Q4-FY17, Malaysia-Indonesia concerned about anti-PO campaign, China SOE mergers to better compete with foreign-owned processor-traders, BMD RM2,268/$560 

Note: We hear the 28 July Indonesia-Malaysia meeting may be rescheduled. Also, I just saw "Malaysian palm oil" logo, see immediately below from MPOC.

VEGOILS-Palm extends losses, tracking weak overseas soy markets - Reuters News 25-Jul-2016 07:06:00 PM *Palm prices drop, tracking rival soyoil -trader *Palm may fall to 2,258 ringgit per tonne -technicals *Stronger July exports do little to lift prices By Emily Chow

Palm oil import demand to be high in Q4-FY17: LMC International  - James Fry, Chairman, LMC International is also positive on excess supply of crude in coming few quarters and expects the price to go up to $50/ barrels by next year. 

http://www.moneycontrol.com/

news/commodities/palm-oil-

import-demand-to-be-highq4-

fy17-lmc-international_

7047401.html

Tanker Market: Edible oil freight market remains under pressure in Hellenic Shipping News 21/07/2016 -- The freight market for edible oils hasn’t been able to replicate the success of 2015 so far. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the edible oil markets across the globe remain under pressure on the back of lackluster demand. Some of the main factors causing the low activity are seasonality, increased stocks and wet and dry weather conditions in the west and east respectively. While S. America activity has already been ‘’hit’’ by the summer seasonal cool-off, effects of El Nino are still evident on the palm oil exports from SE Asia. Needless to say that the impact of this has resulted in long lists of ships available and has pushed freight rates down to new lows. In the meantime, the CPP market in both the Atlantic and the Pacific has not provided support to Owners looking to escape the dull palm and vegetable oil market and has further extended their feeling of uncertainty”.... http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/tanker-market-edible-oil-freight-market-remains-under-pressure/

Malaysia, Indonesia join hands to counter anti-palm oil campaign 21 July 2016 -- Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Kong said a meeting would be held with Indonesia on July 28 to discuss the issue. “We acknowledge that we are facing competition from soybean oil producers, but what is regrettable is the presence of an anti-palm oil group that is continuing to lobby purchasing countries,” he told reporters...Mah said the anti-palm oil campaign had caused palm oil exports to China for the first six months this year to drop 50% compared to the same period last year. “We need to review our export strategy. China used to be the world’s biggest importer of palm oil but has now dropped to third. The country has huge potential for us,” he said..... 

http://www.thestar.com.my/

business/business-news/2016/

07/21/malaysia-and-indonesia-

join-hands-to-counter-anti-

palm-oil-campaign/

Downstream focus to lift commodity exports [VIDEO]  By A JALIL HAMID AND ZAIDI ISHAM ISMAIL - 20 July 2016  -- The following are excerpts from a Business Times exclusive interview with Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

http://www.nst.com.my/news/

2016/07/159496/downstream-

focus-lift-commodity-exports-

video

BKPM Sets Up Team of Investment Officers Following Tax Amnesty Launch  By : Jihaan Risviani  | on 9:21 PM July 19, 2016 http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/bkpm-sets-team-investment-officers-following-tax-amnesty-launch/

Singapore Denies 'Thwarting' Indonesia’s Tax Amnesty Program By : Tabita Diela | on 1:48 PM July 25, 2016 - Jakarta. The government of Singapore has denied allegations that several unnamed Singaporean banks have lured Indonesian customers to maintain their assets in the country, Singapore's Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Saturday (23/07)....Authorities also claimed that Singapore has not reduced tax rates or amended any of their policies in response to Indonesia's nine-month tax amnesty program.  http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/bkpm-sets-team-investment-officers-following-tax-amnesty-launch/

Factbox: South China Sea ruling - What's at stake for oil, commodities? Singapore (Platts)--22 Jul 2016 

http://www.platts.com/latest-

news/oil/singapore/factbox-

south-china-sea-ruling---

whats-at-stake-27632115

Xi’s Neighborhood Diplomacy Runs Aground in South China Sea by Ting Shi   David Tweed   July 15, 2016 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/

articles/2016-07-14/xi-s-

neighborhood-diplomacy-runs-

aground-in-south-china-sea

COFCO-Chinatex merger to create grain trading force  China Daily, July 16, 2016  -- The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission on Friday announced the merger of China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp with Chinatex Corp, in the process of creating a bigger rival to compete with the so-called ABCD companies....

http://www.china.org.cn/

business/2016-07/16/content_

38896389.htm

'Edible oil demand in India favourable on rising consumption' PTI | Jul 15, 2016 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Edible-oil-demand-in-India-favourable-on-rising-consumption/articleshow/53229343.cms

This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands by Kate Ryan -- Credit: Oxfam International.....

https://www.good.is/articles/

major-brands-infographic

?

17 July 2016: India Palm Oil Imports Fall for Second Month as Demand Drops - June soybean oil shipments seen more than doubling: survey

Malaysian palm oil price edges up, but holds near 10-month low  16 July 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/07/16/palm-edges-up-but-holds-near-10-month-low-on-weak-export-demand/

Malaysian palm oil price eases on lower China palm olein  15 July 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/07/15/palm-oil-eases-on-lower-china-palm-olein/

India Palm Oil Imports Fall for Second Month as Demand Drops  Pratik Parija  July 13, 2016 -- Purchases may rebound in next three months on low prices. June soybean oil shipments seen more than doubling: survey. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-13/india-palm-imports-seen-falling-for-second-month-as-demand-drops

Vegetable oil imports up 15% in June PTI July 14, 2016 -- Solvent Extractors? Association (SEA) demanded that duty difference between crude and refined vegetable oils should be increased from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent. At present, import duty on crude edible oil is 12.5 per cent and refined edible oil at 20 per cent. "Import of vegetable oils during June, 2016 is reported at 11,69,456 tonnes compared to 10,16,297 tonnes in June, 2015," SEA said in a statement http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vegetable-oil-imports-up-15percent-in-june/1/714657.html

15 July 2016: McDonald's to use blended oil in China for healthier diet - plans to replace palm oil

Editor's note: Emerging trend in China and India of worries about cooking oil fat

McDonald's to use blended oil in China for healthier diet 2016­07­15 Ecns.cn ­­ McDonald's stores in China will change the cooking oil they use starting next year, despite an increased cost, and introduce new menu items including fruits and vegetables, the Beijing Times reported on Friday. Phyllis Cheung, the CEO of McDonald's China, said the fast­food giant is testing new cooking oil and plans to replace the current palm oil with a mixture of sunflower seed and canola oil. The reasons behind the change are to optimize the nutrition structure, dramatically reduce the consumption of saturated fatty acids, and improve heath.

India Taxing Fat: Bad News For McDonald’s & Yum By Dimitra DeFotis July 13, 2016 --  McDonald’s (MCD) has only seven restaurants in Kerala while Burger King launched its first outlet in the coastal Kerala city of Kochi a few weeks ago, the BBC adds. But the India tax trend isn’t great news for Yum Brands (YUM), which reports earnings after the close Wednesday. Yum operated 372 KFC restaurants in India in 2015, along with 432 Pizza Huts and 7 Taco Bells. http://blogs.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2016/07/13/india-taxing-fat-bad-news-for-mcdonalds-yum/

11 July 2016: Kerala Fat Tax singles out multinational brands, Malaysia hauliers have no warranty on trucks use of biodiesel, CME's 4 new palm contracts to start trading today

Fat Tax singles out multinational brands, traditional savouries more unhealthy: MNCs By Ratna Bhushan, ET Bureau | Jul 11, 2016 - The state Budget on Friday proposed a 14.5% tax on "junk food such as pizzas, burgers and doughnuts sold in upscale restaurants". Kerala is the first state to bring in such a tax that some European countries like Hungary and Denmark already levy.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53145029.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Ambank 11 July 2016: In Malaysia, it was reported that the Association of Malaysian Hauliers, whose members have not received warranty from truck manufacturers on B10, have appealed to the government to conduct trials on prime movers and trailers to verify the impact of B10 on engines. An official was told that B10 is of higher acidity and hence, it is too aggressive on the plastic and rubber seals in the engine.  

CME: 4 new palm contracts to start trading on Monday 8 JULY 2016 -- These four new contracts will broaden CME Group’s offerings within the palm derivatives complex, and include the US dollar Malaysian Crude Palm Oil Calendar futures (CPO), the US dollar Malaysian Palm Olein Calendar futures, the US dollar Malaysian Crude Palm Oil Average Price option and the Bursa Malaysia Crude Palm Oil-Gasoil spread futures.   http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/07/157159/cme-4-new-palm-contracts-start-trading-monday

9 July 2016: Reuters - Palm plunges 5.5 pct to 9-month low tracking soyoil, BMD RM2,268 / US$562

Reuters VEGOILS-Palm plunges 5.5 pct to 9-month low tracking soyoil  Jul 8, 2016 - * Sluggish export demand weighs on market * Palm heads for fifth straight weekly fall * Sharp falls in China hurt confidence-dealer MUMBAI, July 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell5.5 percent on Friday to their lowest level in nine months,following losses in rival soyoil and on sluggish export demand. Benchmark palm oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange were down3.7 percent at 2,268 ringgit ($561.80) per tonne as of 0811 GMT,after falling as much as 5.6 percent earlier in the day to 2,223ringgit, the lowest level since Oct. 9, 2015.

8 July 2016: Falls in rival vegetable oil narrows palm oil discount

Ambank 8 July 2016 - Plantation Sector: Soybean prices plummet. Yesterday, soybean and soybean oil prices dropped due to the improvements in rainfall in US. In addition, Bloomberg reported that slower Chinese demand is adding to the negative undertone. Soybean for July delivery fell by 4.7% while soybean oil price plummeted by 1.7%. USDA is expected to release its monthly demand and supply report today....Based on yesterday's prices, the discount between soybean oil and CPO was 9.6% or US$63/tonne. Five-year average price discount was 15.7%.  

Reuters VEGOILS-Palm oil snaps three sessions of gains - Reuters News 05-Jul-2016 06:32:37 PM *Tracks falls in rival vegetable oils *Palm could seek support around 2,342 rgt/t - Techs By Emily Chow

7 July 2016: Good palm oil harvesting and processing keeps cancer contaminants to 'insignificant levels'. Palm Oil Stockpiles in Malaysia Seen Climbing, NGOs call for EU regulations on deforestation commodities, India worries about palm oil in fast food, new Malaysia Minister

Good palm oil harvesting and processing keeps cancer contaminants to 'insignificant levels', says industry By Niamh Michail+, 07-Jul-2016 -- Palm oil that is harvested at the right moment, pressed quickly and processed at appropriate temperatures contains insignificant levels of contaminants - if any, says the Italian Union for Sustainable Palm Oil. "This should be the standard for quality products," it says.  

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Good-palm-oil-harvesting-and-processing-keeps-cancer-contaminants-to-insignificant-levels-says-industry

Palm Oil Stockpiles in Malaysia Seen Climbing as Demand Weakens by  Anuradha Raghu July 5, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-04/palm-oil-stockpiles-in-malaysia-seen-climbing-as-demand-weakens

Soyabean oil recovers from Brexit punch By Sutanuka Ghosal, ET Bureau | Jun 28, 2016 http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52948281.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

NGOs call for soy, palm oil and beef deforestation laws By David Burrows , 05-Jul-2016 -- NGOs have urged the EU to expand regulations that curb deforestation beyond timber to encompass commodities like soy, palm oil and beef.  http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/NGOs-call-for-soy-palm-oil-and-beef-deforestation-laws

Three McDonald’s outlets in Jaipur found using 16-day-old oil by Deep Mukherjee, Hindustan Times, Jaipur |  Updated: Jun 28, 2016  -- A routine inspection drive conducted by the Jaipur health department earlier this month revealed that three branches of McDonald’s – a popular fast food chain – were reportedly using oil that was over 16 days old. The discovery has spurred department officials to check if popular fast food chains in the city adhere to prescribed food safety standards. “During an inspection drive on June 17, we were shocked to find that the oil being used by three McDonald’s outlets was 16 days old. The oil had turned black because it was being heated constantly at 360 degrees Celsius for all those days. The management was unable to give us a satisfactory answer,” said Narottam Sharma, chief medical and health officer, Jaipur. There were other problems too. “We also found that palmolein oil was being used at all McDonald’s branches in Jaipur. Palmolein oil is less healthy when compared to other edible oils such as soybean oil,” Sharma said....http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/three-mcdonald-s-outlets-in-jaipur-found-using-16-day-old-oil/story-QfLPlZzUmqrZIxsYULipWM.html

It's like homecoming for Mah Siew Keong  By FAZLEENA AZIZ - 28 June 2016 -- PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong feels like he is “finally home” after assuming the post of Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister. Mah, who is also Gerakan president, said the ministry was a portfolio held by the former and late Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik from 1986 till 2004. “I am excited to be here, as this portfolio used to be termed as the Gerakan portfolio with the late Lim, who was a minister here for a long period. “A lot of my colleagues in the party said it feels like coming home to this ministry,” he said, after clocking in to his new job today. Mah was accompanied by his new deputy Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur and the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk M. Nagarajan....As the new minister, he said he would look into value-added creation for Malaysian products such as palm oil; uphold smallholders’ interest and government-to-government initiatives. Nasrun meanwhile, says the portfolio is appropriate for him as his Silam parliamentary area has a million acres of oil palm plantations. He hopes to contribute more towards the development of the oil palm industry in Sabah.... http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/06/155319/its-homecoming-mah-siew-keong

30 June 2016: Reuters - Palm falls to 7-month low on weak fundamentals, stronger ringgit, BMD RM2,323 / $575

VEGOILS-Palm falls to 7-month low on weak fundamentals, stronger ringgit - Reuters News 29-Jun-2016 06:52:42 PM *Palm hits its lowest level since Nov. 26 at 2,317 rgt/t *Mkt weak on rising output, falling exports, stronger rgt-trader *June full-month export data due for release on Thursday *Palm may drop to 2,017 rgt/t - technicals By Emily Chow  

28 June 2016: French tax drop linked to Airbus and satellite deal concerns, worry about children consuming palm oil rises in Italy

French MPs drop palm oil tax - but accuse producer countries of blackmail By Niamh Michail+, 27-Jun-2016 French politicians have dropped the proposed palm oil tax, leading some politicians to say the country is being blackmailed by producer countries. "We are legislating with a knife at our throats," said one. 

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/French-MPs-drop-palm-oil-tax-but-accuse-producer-countries-of-blackmail

Don't give children palm oil, says Italian consumer group By Niamh Michail+, 23-Jun-2016 -- After finding that 12 kids' food products from Nestlé, Barilla, Ferrero and Danone contain high levels of carcinogen 3-MCPD, Italian consumer group Altroconsumo is calling on parents to stop giving products that contain palm oil to children.

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Don-t-give-children-palm-oil-says-Italian-consumer-group

25 June 2016: Malaysia - B10 biodiesel implementation postponed, Canada-India FTA to boost "healthier" canola oil

Malaysia - B10 biodiesel implementation postponed Astro Publication June 21, 2016  http://car.astroawani.com/detail/b10-biodiesel-implementation-postponed-108845

Canada-India FTA must to boost trade: Lyle Stewart, Canadian minister By Madhvi Sally, ET Bureau | Jun 23, 2016 -- With India aiming to increase productivity and ensure food security, do Canadian farmers and companies see this as an opportunity to partner both at the farm and processing levels? There are many opportunities here - there's room for technology transfer and ways to expand agriculture products sale to India. For example, canola oil is a healthier option than palm oil for a growing Indian population. The sale of canola oil has doubled and is growing fast...... http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52876339.cms?

Mixed trend prevails in oil market by Press Trust of India

|  New Delhi  June 18, 2016 - A mixed trend prevailed at the wholesale oil and oilseeds market during the week as select edible oils edged up on scattered demand from vanaspati millers and retailers, while a few others turned weak on adequate stocks position. http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mixed-trend-prevails-in-oil-market-116061800175_1.html

17 June 2016: Reuters - Palm extends losses to hit 5-month low on weak demand concerns

VEGOILS-Palm extends losses to hit 5-month low on weak demand concerns - Reuters News 16-Jun-2016 07:03:17 PM *Palm declines to 2,412 rgt/T, lowest since Jan. 21 *Bearish palm fundamentals bring market weakness -trader *M'sia CPO export tax deters price gains -trader By Emily Chow

Cooking Oil Price Remains Stable During Ramadan: GAPKI  12 JUNE, 2016 -- Joko added the price of cooking oil is likely to be subdued due to domestic demand that experiences no significant changes. This, he said, is what makes the price of crude palm oil (CPO) practically did not experience a surge this month. 

INDONESIA’S PALM OUTPUT IN MAY LIKELY RISES FOR FIRST TIME IN 9 MONTHS  15 June 2016  http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/asia/303018-indonesias-palm-output-in-may-likely-rises-for-first-time-in-9-months.html

14 June 2016: Reuters - Palm oil drops for sixth session as output seen rising, BMD RM 2,525 / US$618, Malaysia carmarkers negative on B10 adoption, a global palm oil trade market share estimate

VEGOILS-Palm oil drops for sixth session as output seen rising - Reuters News 13-Jun-2016 07:01:58 PM *Palm hits more than two-week low at 2,524 rgt/T *Output seen rising while exports fall *Palm falls, tracking external markets - trader By Emily Chow

Painful diesel plan BY DANIEL KHOO 14 June 2016 -- Some automotive players are crying foul over the upgrading of the B7 (petroleum diesel blend consisting of 7% palm methyl ester) to the B10 (10% palm methyl ester) biodiesel blend to be used for the transportation sector progressively effective this month. Industry sources said diesel-powered vehicles are not ready for this regulatory move and that the B7 blend is still preferred, given the many unknown factors with the B10 adoption so far... http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/06/14/painful-diesel-plan/

It is learnt that most auto players are shocked by the announcement and the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) is compiling more feedback from its members.

A global palm oil trade market share estimate

Source: Cargill and Bunge refuse to cut ties with palm oil trader by Emiko Terazono June 12, 2016 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/aac0151e-2f13-11e6-a18d-a96ab29e3c95.html#axzz4BViplNdB

Note: feedback from a reader on this graphic is that it is "wildly inaccurate" as it misses out many key players

13 June 2016: Reuters - Palm oil falls for fifth session on weak export data, Indonesia to propose minimum wage for ASEAN workers

VEGOILS-Palm oil falls for fifth session on weak export data - Reuters News 10-Jun-2016 06:50:40 PM *Palm falls for fifth consecutive session, loses nearly 3 pct on week *Weaker export numbers not supportive of the market -trader By Emily Chow

Indonesia to propose minimum wage for ASEAN workers, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, June 3 2016 - http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/06/03/indonesia-to-propose-minimum-wage-for-asean-workers.html. -- Ambank notes ... 

Indonesia will propose a minimum wage for workers in countries in South East Asia at the next ASEAN manpower meeting. A government official said that other ASEAN countries have also expressed interest in pushing for a minimum wage for workers in the region. He added that the Indonesia government does not want large multinational companies in ASEAN countries to compete for lowest wages. The government official has proposed that a standard minimum wage be applied throughout South East Asia.  

Unclear if France will revisit ‘discriminatory’ palm oil tax 6 June 2016 / Loren Bell -- The proposed tax became a controversy in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two largest palm oil producers, which lobbied hard to get it rescinded. France consumes less than two-tenths of a percent of the palm oil produced globally, most of which goes to India and China. Palm oil is crucial to the Southeast Asian nations' economies but leads the way in damaging the environment. https://news.mongabay.com/2016/06/unclear-if-france-will-revisit-palm-oil-tax/

6 June 2016: Reuters - Palm rebounds to break 3-week high as rival oils gain

VEGOILS-Palm rebounds to break 3-week high as rival oils gain - Reuters News 03-Jun-2016 07:11:40 PM *Palm records fourth gain out of five sessions *Market reaches intraday high of 2,674 rgt/t, strongest since May 11 *Better performing rival oils prop up the market - trader By Emily Chow

1 June 2016: Malaysia raises biodiesel mandates to B10 and B7

Click here for more: http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.sg/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

30 May 2016: Reuters - Palm oil gains for second straight session, tracking Chinese oils, French palm oil tax likely on "non-sustainable" while Indonesia has held up French wheat, China palm oil imports tapering off, India and Pakistan news

Editor's note: Industry chatter on 

Indonesia showing its political clout by playing the same game as French government - Indonesia is delaying entry of wheat flour. Interesting problem for Monsanto Roundup soybean warning to farmers - the issue is how to segregate and clean the supply chain for export to Europe where this new product is not approved.

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm falls on stronger ringgit, but sees 1st weekly gain in three - Reuters News 27-May-2016 06:56:58 PM *Palm sees losses at close of trade *Market sees 2 pct weekly gain *Rising ringgit, moderate Ramadan demand cap gains -trader By Emily Chow 

French palm oil tax, pesticide ban likely to pass this year | Reuters, A proposed French tax targeting palm oil will most likely be approved later this year after a meeting between both parliamentary assemblies on Wednesday failed to agree on a wider biodiversity bill, members of the Senate said.... The National Assembly, dominated by the ruling Socialist party agreed in March on a tax starting at 30 euros ($33.5) a tonne in 2017 that would rise by 20 euros a year to 90 euros in 2020. It excluded oils made in a sustainable way... Senators scrapped the tax in mid-May, saying it could be against international trade rules and it would be more appropriate to include it in finance legislation. Barbara Pompili, Secretary of State for Biodiversity, confirmed in Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday that the government would back a tax with an advantage for sustainable oil, but insisted that producing countries should be supported in their fight against deforestation... French wheat exports to Indonesia have been on hold for weeks with exporters blaming the delay on a retaliation by Indonesia against the palm oil tax plan...

. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL5N18M42A

Ambank - 

China’s palm oil imports are tapering off...... From January to April 2016, China’s palm oil imports edged down by 0.1% YoY compared with an 11.4% YoY improvement for soybean. We estimate Malaysia’s market share of China’s palm oil imports to be flat at 35% in April 2016. 

Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans - The E.U. has not approved the biotech seeds; the uncertainty could present export problems for U.S. farmers and grain producers.  By Tom Meersman Star Tribune  MAY 23, 2016 http://www.startribune.com/monsanto-s-latest-roundup-soybean-seed-raising-eyebrows/380552371/

India's soybean area seen falling as farmers switch to pulses MUMBAI | BY RAJENDRA JADHAV  May 24, 2016  http://in.reuters.com/article/india-soybean-area-idINKCN0YF0P7

Patanjali rapped for misleading hair oil, other ads PTI | May 26, 2016...New Delhi, May 26 () Advertising sector watchdog ASCI has rapped Patanjali Ayurved for "false and misleading" claims in its various advertisements, including for its hair oil and washing powder brands..... "The advertisement's claims 'Other than Kacchi Ghani process most of the other edible refined oils and mustard oil are made using neurotoxin Hexagon solvent extraction process. To make profits at the cost of consumers' health many companies mix cheap palm oil in mustard oil", were not substantiated and the claims were misleading," it said.

"The statement also unfairly denigrates other oils/ mustard oil," the advertising watchdog added.... http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Patanjali-rapped-for-misleading-hair-oil-other-ads/articleshow/52450695.cms

Any need for self-sufficiency in edible oil? by ZIA BANDAYPublished: May 23, 2016... http://tribune.com.pk/story/1108193/import-management-need-self-sufficiency-edible-oil/

Pakistan - Edible oil demands seen at 10-year low in upcoming Ramazan  By Erum ZaidiMay 28, 2016 http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/123256-Edible-oil-demands-seen-at-10-year-low-in-upcoming-Ramazan .... Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar plan joint venture in India  May 25, 2016... Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar said on Wednesday they planned a joint venture in India to tap into the country's growing food demand and purchasing power.... The new company will produce and distribute products including vegetable oils, soy foods, grains and biodiesel and hopes to reduce costs across logistics, supply chain management, manpower and distribution, the companies said in a statement. Adani Wilmar, itself a joint venture of India's Adani Group and Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd -- the world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest soybean buyers -- will own 66.6 percent of the new joint venture.....  http://in.reuters.com/article/ruchisoya-wilmar-india-idINKCN0YG1TE

26 May 2016: Big brands are pushing up on reformulations, Panama Canal upgrade - corn, soybean and wheat growers in the U.S. stand to benefit, along with its importers

Big brands are pushing up on reformulations - Nestle reports for 

2014 6,973 products with reduced sodium, sugars, trans-fat, total fat, calories or artificial colourings (up from 3,317 and 4,221 number of products changed in 2012 and 2013). Reducing sugar and fat in ready-to-drink products (product example: 54% total sugar reduction, 45% total fat reduction, 25% more protein), substitute partially hydrogenated oil with high oleic soybean oil (product example, 45% SFA reduced, 25,800 tonnes oil substituted and 9,900 tonnes trans fat removed), full fat ice cream case study (new mix recipe: -28% fat, increased protein content, no starch), instant noodle case study (15% sodium reduction whilst improving taste, 50% SFA reduction through pre-drying and oil blend optimization), micronutrients (example, biofortification of maize, cassava, what etc).

source: Nestle presentation, December 2015

Panama Canal Fever Sweeps Globe Again as New Era in Trade Nears by Alex Nussbaum Naureen Malik May 25, 2016... As U.S. gas exports ramp up, new route will slash time to Asia. $5 billion project also shifts oil, crops, container trade....The debut coincides, fortuitously, with a surge in U.S. natural-gas production that has shale outfits suddenly seeking out new export markets. The deeper channels will be able to accommodate the kind of massive tankers that transport liquefied natural gas, shaving eleven days and a third of the cost off the typical round trip to the Far East. Markets from Chile to China will also become more accessible for oil drillers across the Americas while millions of tons of container shipments originating from Asia could start bypassing western U.S. ports and opt to dock instead along the Gulf Coast or Eastern seaboard....For gas and crude oil companies reeling from the recent collapse in prices, the drop in time and shipping costs will provide a much-needed lift. Corn, soybean and wheat growers in the U.S. also stand to benefit, along with importers like Dole Food Co. Inc. and Chiquita Brands International Inc..... 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-25/panama-canal-fever-sweeps-globe-again-as-new-era-in-trade-nears?cmpid=BBD052516_BIZ&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=

24 May 2016: Reuters - Palm falls to near three-month low on weak Chinese oils, BMD RM2,492/$610

VEGOILS-Palm falls to near three-month low on weak Chinese oils - Reuters News 23-May-2016 07:02:20 PM *Palm sees third session of declines in four *China weakness hits sentiment - trader *Stronger ringgit also weighs on market By Emily Chow

27 April 2016: Reuters - Palm oil up on weaker ringgit, short covering lifted sentiment, BMD RM 2,675 / $682

VEGOILS-Palm oil up on weaker ringgit, short covering lifted sentiment 26-Apr-2016 07:04:46 PM  * Palm gains after two sessions of losses  * Supported by weak ringgit, short covering ahead of market decline expectations -traders  By Emily Chow

22 April 2016: Reuters - Palm oil up for 4th day on lower production outlook, strong demand, Bloomberg - Malaysia's Immigration Mess, BMD  RM 2,734 / $703

VEGOILS-Palm oil up for 4th day on lower production outlook, strong demand - Reuters News 21-Apr-2016 06:21:04 PM *Palm oil futures rise 3.4 pct in 4 sessions of rally *Market hits 2-week high on prospects of lower production By Naveen Thukral

Malaysia's Immigration Mess APRIL 21, 2016  By Adam Minter  The pattern is a familiar one. In February, the Malaysian government proposed allowing 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers into the country to seek employment. A popular backlash ensued and the government quickly backtracked, imposing a moratorium on hiring foreign workers of all kinds, which still stands.... In advanced economies, where this kind of back-and-forth is common, that might be the end of the matter until the next election (or refugee crisis). But in Malaysia something unusual has happened: There are plenty of jobs, but no one to take them.... http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-04-21/malaysia-s-immigration-mess

Malaysia Pays Bigger Premium in Debt Sale as 1MDB Delays Payment by   Y-Sing Liau 

April 20, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-20/malaysia-markets-10-and-30-year-benchmark-islamic-dollar-bonds 

Newmont Hoping to Sell Entire Indonesia Stake to Private Group by Danielle Bochove April 22, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-21/newmont-hoping-to-sell-entire-indonesia-stake-to-private-group

Tax amnesty should be part of tax reform: Analysts by Ayomi AmindoniAyomi Amindoni Posted: Wed, April 13 2016 http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/04/13/tax-amnesty-should-be-part-of-tax-reform-analysts.html

Business Lobby Groups Support Tax Amnesty Billi - The proposed Tax Amnesty Bill has received support from business lobby groups as they hope it will have a multiplier effect on job creation, economic improvement and tax compliance. By : Tabita Diela | on 8:46 PM April 19, 2016 http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/business-lobby-groups-support-tax-amnesty-bill/

Jakarta plans to cut tax for firms to 20%  APR 12, 2016 http://www.straitstimes.com/business/jakarta-plans-to-cut-tax-for-firms-to-20

Panama Papers underscore need for fair tax systems  SUBMITTED BY SRI MULYANI INDRAWATI

ON THU, 04/14/2016, 

The so-called “Panama Papers” scandal reminds us that concealing wealth and avoiding tax payments is neither uncommon nor — in many cases — illegal. But the embarrassing leak exposes something else: The public trust is breached when companies, the rich and the powerful can hide their money without breaking the law. If this breach is left unaddressed, those who aren’t rich enough to hide money will be less willing to pay and contribute to the social contract in which taxes are exchanged for quality services.... 

As finance minister in my home country of Indonesia, I saw firsthand how a weak tax system eroded public trust and enabled crony capitalism. Shadow markets arose for highly subsidized fuel, family connections secured jobs, and bribes helped public servants beef up their salaries. Tax avoidance among the elites was common and the country couldn’t mobilize the resources we needed to build infrastructure, create jobs, and fight poverty....  

https://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/panama-papers-underscore-need-fair-tax-systems

20 April 2016: Reuters - Palm oil climbs to one-week high, tracking competing oils BMD2,688 / $692. Soybean and grain prices surges in Chicago.

VEGOILS-Palm oil climbs to one-week high, tracking competing oils - Reuters News 19-Apr-2016 06:50:13 PM *Palm oil sees second day of rebounds after two weeks of losses *Stronger external markets helped lift palm despite stronger ringgit -trader *Cargo surveyors scheduled to release data on Wednesday By Emily Chow

Agriculture Stocks Rally Amid Grain Price Surge in Chicago April 19, 2016; Deere, Monsanto and Mosaic among gainers in New York. Soybeans, corn prices spur speculation on farmer spending. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-19/agriculture-stocks-rally-amid-grain-price-surge-in-chicago

18 April 2016: Reuters - April output forecast to rise, RM2,716 target aborted; crude oil plunges after output talks fail, Russia and Saudi Arabia eye food taxes

VEGOILS-Palm oil prices head for second week of losses - Reuters News 15-Apr-2016 *Palm oil declines for fourth session this week *April output forecast to rise, seen dampening market - trader *2,716 ringgit per tonne target aborted -technicals By Emily Chow

Oil price & macro: Bloomberg - Oil Plunges After Output Talks Fail Amid Saudi Demands Over Iran, Brent Crude 40.87 http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/10/oil-price-news-its-fallen-from-105-110.html

Food sector news (update 7): Food safety issues in veg oils, Russia mulls tax on sugar and palm oil? http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/10/food-sector-news.html

Saudi Arabia is already preparing for a post-oil era through measures such as an initial public offering of part of Saudi Aramco and mooted taxes on consumer spending and sugary drinks. http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-04-18/saudi-arabia-remember-the-80s-before-opening-spigots

14 April 2016: At MPOB PAC Forum

Thomas Mielke at MPOB PAC Forum this morning. Message of challenge of sufficient oils and oilseeds supply, including palm oil (calling for urgent labour policy adjustment in Malaysia). Points to India shortfall and sky-rocketing imports. He expects a need to change the biodiesel viewpoint - it will become a luxury that will no longer be supported by policy and the public. This would likely happen in 5-10 years. There is weak price elasticity on the supply side and in periods of tight supply, he expects mandates not to be enforced. When there is a surplus biodiesel supply would happen. The adjustment will happen first in importing regions, notably Europe; later in producing countries - this shift to flexible mandates. He suggests no more investment in biodiesel facilities. Priority must be on food demand. He notes Peru seeing end of El Nino, but KL feels very hot in the last week - the next question is on La Nina. There has been good weather in soy regions in recent years. This market shows a change in sentiment in the last two weeks - soy traders are looking at changing S&D for 2017 as the area is not increasing in the US and likely not increasing in South America (maybe decline) so 2017/18 may be first season in recent years for declining stocks. This could support palm oil and we could be at early stage of recovery of vegetable oil prices. 

13 April 2016: Reuters - oil hits near one-month low on better output growth forecast, Fast-Food and Industrial Chemicals 

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits near one-month low on better output growth forecast - Reuters News 12-Apr-2016  *Palm oil falls to sixth losing session *Reaches intraday low of 2,633 ringgit, weakest since March 17 *Market fell on better output, needs stronger demand to lift benchmark prices to 3,000 ringgit -trader By Emily Chow

Fast-Food Eaters Have More Industrial Chemicals in Their Bodies - Would you like phthalates with that?  John Tozzi April 13, 2016 — 12:01 PM SGT People who reported eating fast food in the last 24 hours had elevated levels of some industrial chemicals in their bodies, according to a new analysis of data from federal nutrition surveys. The study is the first broad look at how fast food may expose the public to certain chemicals, called phthalates, that are used to make plastics more flexible and durable. The chemicals, which don’t occur in nature, are common in cosmetics, soap, food packaging, flooring, window blinds, and other consumer products. The Centers for Disease Control says "phthalate exposure is widespread in the U.S. population."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-13/fast-food-eaters-have-more-industrial-chemicals-in-their-bodies

18 Mar 2016: France tax on non-sustainable palm and coconut oil softened and to proceed to next vote

Editor's note: 

The tax would be reviewed by the Upper House in May or June 2016. 

  • Earlier proposed: France will raise the import tax on palm oil from EUR100 (US$110) per ton to EUR300 in 2017, to EUR500 in 2018, EUR700 in 2019 and EUR900 in 2020
  • Tax rate softened, new rate in process for approval by Upper House: 30 euros ($34) in 2017 and rise by 20 euros per year to 90 euros in 2020, rather than start at a flat rate of 90 euros. The new levy, which would come on top of an existing one of 104 euros per tonne. Copra (coconut) and palm kernel oil, also subject to the tax, are commonly used in commercial cooking. They are currently taxed at 113 euros a tonne. The tax would not affect cosmetics and biofuels - two sectors in which vegetable oils are widely used. 

UPDATE 3-French assembly adopts softer tax on palm oil used in food  Fri, Mar 18 02:30 AM GMT; Lawmakers on Thursday also agreed to introduce the new tax gradually to soften its impact. The tax would now start at 30 euros ($34) in 2017 and rise by 20 euros per year to 90 euros in 2020, rather than start at a flat rate of 90 euros. The new levy, which would come on top of an existing one of 104 euros per tonne, would be well below the upper house's original proposal that started at 300 euros.Indonesia and Malaysia have said the tax is discriminatory and Indonesia raised the issue at the World Trade Organisation earlier this month when the level of the new levy was still at 300 euros a tonne for all palm oil used in food. "This tax clearly respects the Treaty of the World Trade Organisation because it only targets palm and copra oil that do not meet sustainable environmental criteria," she said. But Malaysian producers did not agree. "The 'differential' tax proposal is a clear violation of both WTO and EU rules," Yusof Basiron head of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said in a statement, calling a tax at 90 euros disproportionate. Copra (coconut) and palm kernel oil, also subject to the tax, are commonly used in commercial cooking. They are currently taxed at 113 euros a tonne. The tax would not affect cosmetics and biofuels - two sectors in which vegetable oils are widely used. France imports about 100,000 tonnes of Indonesian palm oil a year and imported 11,000 tonnes of Malaysian palm oil last year... http://www.reuters.com/article/france-palmoil-idUSL5N16P500

RI threatens to report France to WTO over palm oil tax by Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | March 17 2016 | 8:40 AM If the bill is passed into law, France will raise the import tax on palm oil from EUR100 (US$110) per ton to EUR300 in 2017, to EUR500 in 2018, EUR700 in 2019 and EUR900 in 2020, while leaving taxes on other vegetable oils such as olive, corn and peanut oil practically untouched, ranging between EUR113.24 and EUR170.13 per ton. In comparison, the selling price of palm oil is only 550 euro per ton. - See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/17/ri-threatens-report-france-wto-over-palm-oil-tax.html#sthash.imOGAZFS.dpuf

15 Mar 2016: Reuters - Malaysia raises April palm oil export duty to 5 pct 

Editor's note: Market specialists regard this to have been surprisingly delayed.

Malaysia raises April palm oil export duty to 5 pct - Reuters News 15-Mar-2016 09:43:42 AM KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Reuters) - Malaysia, the world's second largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, raised its crude palm oil export tax from zero to 5 percent for April, a government circular showed on Tuesday, ending a duty-free policy held since May 2015. The Southeast Asian nation calculated a reference price of 2,500.34 ringgit per tonne for April. A price above 2,250 ringgit per tonne incurs a tax, which starts from 4.5 percent and can reach a maximum 8.5 percent.

10 Mar 2016: Reuters - Palm oil jumps as dry weather seen slashing global output, BMD RM 2,558 / $620.72 

Editor's note: At the heavily watched POC KL, the largest palm oil conference, observers note unusually hearing all three palm oil predictors aligned point to a further price rise in coming months; due to dry weather weakening output, with an unusual drop in production amidst trend of continual increase. 

Top photo: Dorab Mistry cautions on biodiesel mandate push making palm uncompetitive. Suggests flexibility of mandate with this in view. I have been hearing same from various traders. Bottom photo -  Dr James Fry presenting, LMC International Ltd, with details of dry weather impact on the oil palm trees.

VEGOILS-Palm oil jumps as dry weather seen slashing global output 09-Mar-2016 06:57:24 PM *Global palm oil output could drop by 3 mln T-analysts *Palm oil prices could rise to 3,000 ringgit/T-analysts By Rajendra Jadhav; Malaysian palm oil futures will climb nearly 20 percent to around 3,000 ringgit a tonne as dry conditions brought by the El Nino weather pattern curb output in major producers, said top industry analyst Dorab Mistry. James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMC International, said global palm oil production could fall by over 2 million tonnes this year. Palm oil prices are expected to recover to trade around 2,700-3,000 ringgit a tonne by June, Thomas Mielke, editor of Hamburg-based newsletter Oil World said.... Oil prices rose above $40 a barrel on Wednesday.

3 Mar 2016: UK palm oil imports see huge drop  on negative image and uncompetitive prices, Reuters - Palm oil falls to one-month low on stronger ringgit, weak demand, BMD RM2,488 /$598

Editor's note: In EU food usage, palm oil tonnage has dropped significantly in recent years across major EU countries and in many key food sectors including snack foods.

UK palm oil imports see huge drop By Emile Mehmet 01 March 2016; Palm oil imports by the UK have significantly declined over recent years, due to negative portrayal of the commodity in the media, uncompetitive prices, and a subsequent switch to other competing oils.https://www.agra-net.com/agra/public-ledger/commodities/oils-oilseeds/palm-oil/uk-palm-oil-imports-see-huge-drop-507964.htm

VEGOILS-Palm oil falls to one-month low on stronger ringgit, weak demand - Reuters News 02-Mar-2016 *Palm oil may drop to 2,481 ringgit -technicals *Feb palm oil exports fall 17-18 pct m/m - data By Emily Chow

29 Feb 2016: Reuters - Palm oil rises on weaker ringgit, but set for weekly fall, 26 Feb BMD 2,544, Indonesia plantation fertiliser subsidy sham - leaked government report 

Editor's note: Addition of plantation subsidy sham article 14 Feb.

VEGOILS-Palm oil rises on weaker ringgit, but set for weekly fall 26-Feb-2016 08:10:27 PM *Palm gains for second day, supported by weaker ringgit *Market seen correcting after five-day slide -trader *Still set for second weekly fall By Emily Chow ...Palm oil could approach resistance at 2,549 ringgit a tonne as the bounce from the Feb. 24 low of 2,517 ringgit has not been completed, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals..... 

Subsidy sham: Fertilizers reach Indonesia plantations, not small farmers by SUKOHARJO/JAKARTA, INDONESIA | BY RANDY FABI AND BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE Feb 14, 2016; Millions of dollars worth of subsidized fertilizers meant for small Indonesian farmers are being sold to big plantations, such as palm oil and rubber, at huge profits by state-backed retailers, a government report viewed by Reuters shows.... According to the yet-to-be-published government report, parts of which were seen by Reuters, as much as 30 percent of subsidized fertilizers were misallocated in some areas of Indonesia last year. Investigators with the ombudsman found subsidized fertilizer being sold at as high as 2,500 rupiah ($0.1854) per kg in 2015, around 40 percent above the state-set price but below the non-subsidized 4,200 rupiah that plantations must pay.... 

"The kiosks are selling fertilizer to plantations and not to the small farmers," said an investigator, who declined to be named as the report, based on data from five key rice-growing districts on three different islands, had not been finalised..."In 2015, there were 40 cases processed by law enforcement. It is better now. Before farmers were complaining about fertilizer scarcity, now not as much.".... http://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-fertilizers-idUSKCN0VN127 

22 Feb 2016: KL and Sabah travel warnings

Australian Government Issues Terror Warning for Kuala Lumpur by  Lianting Tu  and Pooi Koon Chong  February 21, 2016; Attacks may target Western interests in Malaysian capital. U.K., New Zealand advise against travel to state of Sabah. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-21/australian-government-issues-terror-warning-for-kuala-lumpur-ikw99lis

17 Feb 2016:  Reuters - Palm oil falls for 2nd session on slowing exports, BMD RM2,588 / $623 

Editor's note: News review is in progress, please see 16 Feb posting

VEGOILS-Palm oil falls for 2nd session on slowing exports 16-Feb-2016  *Palm oil futures fall 0.4 pct, early gains fizzle out *Top buyers India, China reducing purchases, ample soyoil supply By Naveen Thukral

Back news: Maybank IB sees CPO price hitting RM2,700 12 January 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/01/12/maybank-ib-sees-cpo-price-hitting-rm2700/

16 Feb 2016: UK policy to stop "unofficial sanctions" against "unethical goods"?

Editor's note: NGOs have targeted public bodies (influential and possibly large consumers of goods and services) in market (unofficial) boycott campaigns. The UK is clamping down on this? The Independent's political writer says the plan to criminalize this bundles together the market-access interest of products like arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The most important apparently being the latter. UK politicians now say that public bodies that continue to pursue boycotts will face “severe penalties” - even on palm oil market campaigns? 

Israel boycott ban: Shunning Israeli goods to become criminal offence for public bodies and student unions. Critics say move amounts to a 'gross attack on democratic freedoms' by Oliver Wright Political Editor 

 15 February 2016

; ... Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.... The only exemption will be UK-wide sanctions decided by the Government in Westminster. Government sources said the ban could also apply to student union boycotts but added this was a “grey area”..... Significantly, and underlining the main target of the ban, the formal announcement will be made by the Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock when he visits Israel this week. Israeli companies, along with other firms which have investments in the occupied West Bank, have been among those targeted by unofficial boycotts in the past.... Mr Hancock said the current position where local authorities had autonomy to make ethical purchasing decisions was “undermining” Britain’s national security. “We need to challenge and prevent these divisive town-hall boycotts,” he said.... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israel-boycott-local-councils-public-bodies-and-student-unions-to-be-banned-from-shunning-israeli-a6874006.html 

News review in progress....

Malaysia - Industry players, Home Ministry discuss foreign worker levy 16 February 2016 - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/industry-players-home-ministry-discuss-foreign-worker-levy#sthash.QZSLe7X5.dpuf

Insight: Unfair restrictions on palm oil in global trade by Iman Pambagyo, Jakarta | Insight | Wed, February 10 2016... it should not have surprised anyone when Indonesia expressed great concern after the French Senate on Jan. 21 adopted Amendment No. 36 to a proposed law on biodiversity, which will impose progressive taxes on palm oil, palm kernel and food containing such oils. It is proposed that taxes be applied on these products, beginning at ¤300 (US$335) per ton in 2017 and gradually increasing to a staggering rate of ¤900 per ton in 2020 and further increased annually, while leaving taxes on other vegetable oils such as olive, corn and peanut oil practically untouched, ranging between ¤113.24 and 170.13 per ton. To give some perspective, the selling price of palm oil is only ¤550 per ton.  .... Discouraging the utilization and consumption of palm oil in favor of other, European home-grown oils, as prescribed by Amendment 367, will be felt as a punitive measure by Indonesian farmers. It is not a friendly way of addressing issues, and it is not at all an effective way of promoting peace through commerce. Let us not forget what an American founding father, president Thomas Jefferson, taught us two centuries ago: Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none. The writer is former Indonesian ambassador to the WTO. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/02/10/insight-unfair-restrictions-palm-oil-global-trade.html#sthash.ngVBVK1C.dpuf

Issue of the day: RI strongly protests France’s palm  oil tax plan | Readers Forum | Sat, February 06 2016 - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/02/06/issue-day-ri-strongly-protests-france-s-palm-oil-tax-plan.html#sthash.cR6iZnC4.dpuf

Palm oil producers angry over NUS finding on cholesterol link FEB 5, 2016; Malaysian palm oil producers are upset over a finding by National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers that links palm oil consumption with higher levels of "bad" cholesterol in the body. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas is expected to raise the issue with the Republic's authorities, The Star reported on Wednesday.... http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/palm-oil-producers-angry-over-nus-finding-on-cholesterol-link

Malaysia to raise unfavourable palm oil report with Singapore BY JACK WONG 3 February 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/02/03/minister-to-raise-palm-oil-issue-with-singapore-counterpart/

Malaysia Palm Oil Reserves Shrink to 6 Month Low on El Nino by   Anuradha Raghu February 10, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-10/malaysia-palm-oil-stockpiles-shrink-to-6-month-low-on-el-nino

China’s slowdown to continue hurting Malaysian exports BY P. ARUNA 11 February 2016; Malaysia’s trade balance dipped to RM8bil in December from a RM12.2bil high in October, partly due to the slowdown in China’s economy. Export value increased by only 1.4% year-on-year to RM68.3bil in December, compared with a 6.3% increase in November, while imports increased by 3.2% to RM60.3bil after growing 9.1% the previous month. As a result, the trade surplus for December fell RM916.2mil or 10.3% to RM8bil.... Overall, it said, growth in exports was attributed to electrical and electronic (E&E) products, which accounted for 36.3% of total exports, and timber and timber-based products, which contributed 2.9% of total exports....Exports of mining goods, however, saw declines, with LNG, which contributed 5.6% to total exports falling 36.7% or RM2.2bil to RM3.8bil due to the decrease in both average unit value and export volume. Refined petroleum products also fell 34.4% or RM1.5bil to RM2.8bil. Exports were also dragged down by palm oil and palm-based products, which dropped 7.0% to RM5.1bil. For the year 2015, Malaysia’s total trade grew by 1.2% to RM1.47 trillion compared with RM1.45 trillion the previous year, supported by stronger growth of 5.1% in the second half.... http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/02/11/chinas-slowdown-to-continue-hurting-exports/

India's Palm Oil Imports Rebound From First Decline in 12 Months by Pratik Parija February 12, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-11/india-s-palm-oil-imports-rebound-from-first-decline-in-12-months

4 Reasons to Reject the TPP by Chris Eaton February 5, 2016; 1. Secret Negotiations With Corporate Lobbyists, 2. The TPP Means Dead Sharks, Tigers, and Elephants, 3. The TPP Gives a Future to Fracking, 4. The TPP Gives Corporations Too Much Power.... http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/4-reasons-to-reject-the-tpp/

Analysts see ‘largely neutral’ impact of TPPA for plantation sector January 29, 2016 Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/01/29/analysts-see-largely-neutral-impact-of-tppa-for-plantation-sector/#ixzz40OEwChR1

10 Feb 2016:  Russia US$200/tonne duty on palm oil from July? Palm oil share in India drops to drop to 61%. Fiscal stimulus in Indonesia, but worries in Russia, Malaysia and elsewhere. BMD RM2,575/$619.74 (5 Feb)

Editor's note: 

  • Read in AmBank update as follows  "Russia may be imposing duties on palm oil. The excise duty of US$200/tonne may be implemented in summer ie from July onwards. Bloomberg reported that the proposal was supported by Russia’s President.... the Palm Oil Council formed primarily by Malaysia and Indonesia will seek to lobby other ASEAN countries in near future to implement B5...."  Please refer to AmBank report for more. And subsequently on 15 Feb: "Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog has opposed the proposed import duty on palm oil as it would lead to higher prices for products, which use palm oil as an ingredient."
  • Worth mulling how the funding gaps in destination markets will encourage the taxman to eye taxes on things like palm oil. Similarly, in origin markets, will funding gaps also be a problem for biodiesel supports? Or will biodiesel support be regarded as a socio-political need for small farmers?
  • LMC and Godrej Int'l forecast CPO to hit RM2700 per-tonne in Q2
  • CIMB reports that the Russia and France (see 2 Feb posting) taxes recently reported would affect about 800,000 plus tonnes of palm oil consumption. Please refer to CIMB report for more.

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits nearly 21-mth high on short-covering, falling production 05-Feb-2016 06:36:25 PM *Posts biggest weekly jump in more than four months *Palm could further rally if Jan end-stocks fall -trader By Emily Chow

Cheap Soybeans Threaten Palm Oil's Top Spot in Indian Kitchens by   Pratik Parija  February 5, 2016;  Soybean oil imports seen at record 4 million tons in 2015-16. Palm oil's share shrinks to 61 percent from 90 percent in 2011 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-04/cheap-soybeans-threaten-palm-oil-s-top-spot-in-indian-kitchens

Indonesian Growth Beats Estimates as Widodo Lifts Spending  Chris Brummitt   Rieka Rahadiana  Herdaru Purnomo February 5, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-05/indonesian-growth-beats-estimates-as-widodo-seeks-economic-boost

Putin to Weigh $10.4 Billion Anti-Crisis Plan With Funding Gap by Olga Tanas  Andrey Biryukov  February 10, 2016  Government has to find funding for 134 billion rubles in plan. Russia will tap sovereign wealth fund for anti-crisis measures. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-09/putin-to-weigh-10-4-billion-anti-crisis-plan-with-funding-gap-ikfwog7k

Malaysian Banker Nazir Razak Concerned about Country's Financial Future by Shamim Adam February 2, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/-game-of-thrones-leaves-banker-fretting-over-malaysia-s-future

4 Feb 2016: Reuters - Palm oil gains to new 20-month high on lower output, Malaysia plantation equities drop on spike in foreign worker levy, BMD RM2,547/$603

Editor's note: Analysts point to 4-5% increase in per tonne cost as impact of increased foreign worker levy. Malaysia fiscal adjustment is resulting in several revenue raising efforts - including RM2.5 billion from foreign worker levies (plantations is one of several sectors that rely on non-domestic workers) and RM2 billion raised from the telco sector - which saw bigger immediate share price reactions of -7 to -15%. Plantations are also agitated by higher minimum wages implementation. However, Peninsula Malaysia minimum wage has now converged with that of Jakarta (US$ basis). This raises questions about Malaysia industry adaptation.

VEGOILS-Palm oil gains to new 20-month high on lower output 03-FEB-2016 By Emily Chow *Palm oil intraday high strongest since May 19, 2014 *Expected lower production in February boosts market -trader

Palm oil shares tumble on sudden 154% spike in foreign worker levy BY HANIM ADNAN and JACK WONG  3 February 2016 http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/02/03/levy-impact/

2 Feb 2016: France plans to impose progressive tax on all palm oil-based products

Editor's note: Not the first time France has proposed a tax. Search "Nutella Tax" in this blog and online for more info! RSPO says it will seek an exemption for its certified products.

Indonesia has strongly condemned Frances plan to impose progressive tax on all palm oil-based products.... a tax has been included in a bill on bio-diversity passed by the French Senate on January 21. "The palm oil tax included in the bill will become effective from 2017, and will amount to 300 Euros per ton for 2017, 500 euros per ton for 2018, 700 euros per ton for 2019 and 900 euros per ton for 2020 while the tax being charged now is 103 euros per ton," (First Deputy for Maritime Sovereignty, Arif Havas Oegroseno) said....

the tax does not apply to rapeseed, sun flower, soy bean or vegetable oils produced in France... Along with Malaysia in CPOPC, Indonesia will also undertake diplomatic efforts to press for the withdrawal of the taxation plan..... 

 http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/102891/indonesia-rejects-frances-plan-to-impose-palm-oil-tax

27 Jan 2016: Malaysia growers eye threshold for the windfall tax and worry about labour and other costs. Reuters VEGOILS-Palm oil extends gains on output worries, short covering.BMD RM2,475 / $577

Editor's note: Growers are keenly eyeing the forecasts for prices rising beyond RM2500 and the threshold for the windfall tax. Also, lot of concern about labour cost. However, note from 

14 Jan: Just read in a prominent KL broker report...... Indonesia has announced the new levels of minimum wage for 2016F. Interestingly, the minimum wage in Jakarta of RM978/month is close to the proposed minimum wage of RM1,000/month for Peninsular Malaysia in 2016F. This is mainly due to the appreciation of the Rupiah against the RM...

Groups seek authorities help to reduce costs by Ooi Tee Ching, NST, 26 Jan 2016, screenshot of table on taxes and fees, upstream:

Reuters VEGOILS-Palm oil extends gains on output worries, short covering 26-Jan-2016 06:23:20 PM *Palm oil gains for second day, reaches one-week high *Market unlikely to see selloffs ahead of long holidays -trader By Emily Chow

25 Jan 2015: Wishing all celebrants, Happy Thaipusam! BMD is closed for public holiday observance. Mulling long cycles. American olive oil. Palm oil may retest resistance at 2,495 ringgit?

Thought I'd up something here on mid and longer-cycle stock and price indicators - 

Long cycles: Mulling a posting in Linkedin by Jeffrey Tian, on bean stocks in 25 year commodity cycle http://khoryuleng.blogspot.my/2014/04/long-cycles.html

Is American Olive Oil About to Have Its Moment? European olive oil producers have long sold their dregs to unsophisticated Americans, like jug winemakers did in the 1970s. But as fraud investigations continue to rock the European olive oil industry, an American upstart is upsetting tradition and muscling into the ancient industry by fixing the tree itself. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-california-olive-oil/?cmpid=BBD012516_BIZ

VEGOILS-Palm oil rebounds on short-covering, lower output expectations By Emily Chow 22-Jan-2016 06:19:22 PM *Prices to remain above 2,400 rgt until production improves-trader *Palm oil may retest resistance at 2,495 ringgit 

21 Jan 2016: Reuters - palm oil eyes weak exports, BMD RM2,455/$559 

Editor's note: Please do refer to 20 Jan posting for a good PO-GO chart... Biodiesel news: Bloomberg - Oil Rout Threatens to Scupper Demand for Palm Oil in Biofuel - government mandates may miss

http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.sg/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

VEGOILS-Palm oil drops nearly 1 percent on bleak exports By Emily Chow  20-JAN-2016  *Jan. 1-20 Malaysian palm oil exports down 8-10 pct m/m *Export data weaker than expected -trader

18 Jan 2016:  Rabobank reckons China doesn't need any more extra palm, India CGMs can't boost volume as commodity prices fall, palm continues to feel internally bullish while questions about biodiesel mandates emerge and some see El Nino peak; BMD RM2,411 / $548 

Editor's note: Since early Jan, BMD has been quite stable despite falling crude oil. 

Near end of last week, I was on the line with an energy market specialist, and she noted that POGO was +215.

But there are a few doubts about producer (particularly Indonesia) biodiesel mandates now, read -

15 January 2016: Reuters - Crude oil tumble hits Southeast Asia's biodiesel ambitions - industry experts say it doesn't make sense for Malaysia and Indonesia levy fund would be insufficient to cover the target amount, http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html and here's the posting on crude oil and macro: 

http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/10/oil-price-news-its-fallen-from-105-110.html. Recently,

 I was also interested to see the BMD key indicators and demographics (source BMD, Kenanga Deutsche Futures):

Note: Must ask how "locals" figures vis-a-vis domestic institution and domestic retail.

Growing appetite for soybeans to crimp China's palm oil needs 18-Jan-2016 By Emily Chow; China to tap into ample global soybean supplies for animal feed. •

Expanding livestock sector contributes to China's soybean demand. •

Growth in China's palm oil use to slow -USDA data; palm oil faces a double whammy, said Pawan Kumar, director of Rabobank Singapore. "It is also losing out to soyoil given China's preference for soybean for its livestock industry."... "As a result, whatever growth there will be for vegetable oil demand in China will be for soyoil ... This pretty much can be solved by additional crushing. In that scenario, it's hard to see any import growth on the palm side," said Kumar. He expects China's purchases of the tropical oil to hold steady at 5.8 million tonnes in the year to September 2016, after growing only 2 percent in 2014/15.

India's consumer goods companies are unable to boost volumes as they pass on cheaper costs

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-01-18/unilever-s-india-sales-show-up-consumer-weakness

VEGOILS-Palm oil rises on short-covering, bullish data 15-Jan-2016 06:16:16 PM *Palm is held by improving exports, lower output *Fundamental factors not strong enough to rally prices -trader By Emily Chow KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Friday, underpinned by improving export data and expected lower output and as traders covered short positions, but were still set for a small weekly fall.

Top Palm Buyer Cuts Imports First Time in a Year on Reserves by Pratik Parija January 14, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-13/top-palm-oil-buyer-cuts-imports-first-time-in-a-year-on-reserves

Indonesia Palm Exports Seen at Four-Month Low on Weak Demand by Yoga Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini January 11, 2016. Slump in crude oil reduces appeal of palm used in biofuel. Traders watching for further impact on output from El Nino. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-11/indonesia-palm-exports-seen-at-four-month-low-on-demand-outlook

Malaysia Palm Output Seen at 10-Month Low, Trims Stockpiles by Anuradha Raghu http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/malaysia-palm-oil-output-seen-at-10-month-low-trims-stockpiles

El Nino Is So Last Year, Here Comes La Nina to Bring Havoc by Eko Listiyorini  January 6, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/el-nino-is-so-last-year-here-comes-la-nina-to-wreak-more-havoc

6 Jan 2016: El Nino's Peak Has Weather Forecaster Warning of La Nina - Bloomberg

El Nino's Peak Has Weather Forecaster Warning of La Nina by  Phoebe Sedgman  January 5, 2016; ... A number of El Nino-Southern Oscillation indicators suggest that the 2015-16 El Nino has peaked and weather models predict it will decline in coming months, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its website on Tuesday. Conditions will return to neutral during the second quarter with a chance of La Nina in the second half of 2016, it said... “Neutral and La Nina are equally likely for the second half,” the bureau said. A repeat of El Nino is the least likely outcome, it said. The current El Nino is rated as one of the three strongest since 1950... La Nina can also roil agricultural markets as it changes weather. A large part of the agricultural U.S. tends to dry out during La Nina events, while parts of Australia and Indonesia can be wetter than normal. Citigroup Inc. has said that a transition to a strong La Nina may present significant upside potential for grains price volatility.... 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-05/el-nino-peak-has-weather-forecaster-warning-of-possible-la-nina?cmpid=BBD010516_BIZ

4 Jan 2016: Malaysia losing market share due to lower refined palm oil exports , Reuters VEGOILS-Palm oil falls from 18-month high on declining exports, up 9.5 pct for the year, BMD RM2,480 / US$578

VEGOILS-Palm oil falls from 18-month high on declining exports, up 9.5 pct for the year - RTRS 31-DEC-2015 06:26:36 PM *Palm oil reverses course to lose 0.6 percent *Market loses on weaker export demand, year-end profit taking *Palm futures up 9.5 percent in annual gains in 2015 By Emily Chow

Malaysia losing market share due to lower refined palm oil exports | New Straits Times 

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/120126/malaysia-losing-market-share-due-lower-refined-palm-oil-exports?m=1

29 December 2015: Indonesia Nov palm oil output falls, Jan-Nov exports grow 21% yoy, India imports up 10% in Nov but aims to reduce imports over time, MPOB aims for Cairo Egypt distribution hub

Indonesia Nov palm oil output falls 7 pct from Oct -Reuters survey Dec 17, 2015 * Indonesia's Nov CPO output seen at 2.8 mln T    * Indonesia CPO exports seen at 2.09 mln T for Nov  By Michael Taylor and Bernadette Christina Munthe; JAKARTA, Dec 17 Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) output slipped 7 percent in November from the previous month, a Reuters survey showed, as the main harvest season ended and monsoon weather arrived in key growing areas.     CPO output in November was 2.8 million tonnes, down from 3.01 million tonnes in October, according to the median estimate in a survey of four Indonesian industry officials and plantation companies.     "November production dropped because the main harvest season almost ended," said Fadhil Hasan, executive director at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI).      "Exports are lower because of decreasing demand from India

and the U.S., while domestic consumption is increasing because of the biodiesel mandate."

http://in.reuters.com/article/indonesia-palmoil-survey-idINL3N1462EH20151217

Indonesia's Crude Palm Oil Exports Grow 21% y/y in January-November 2015, 18 December 2015; The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) said Indonesia's crude palm oil exports stood at 2.38 million in November 2015, down 8.6 percent from CPO exports in the preceding month. This decline is attributed to weaker demand from Indonesia's main export markets and to the cheap price of soybeans (soybean oil is a close substitute to palm oil for food and biodiesel uses). However, on a year-on-year basis, Indonesia's CPO exports are up 21 percent (y/y) to 23.9 million in the January-November 2015 period....

http://www.indonesia-investments.com/news/todays-headlines/indonesia-s-crude-palm-oil-exports-grow-21-y-y-in-january-november-2015/item6302

India - Palm Oil Imports Jump by 10% in November: SEA by PTI, Modified: December 14, 2015

http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/palm-oil-imports-jump-by-10-in-november-sea-1254742

Analysis: India aims to reduce palm oil imports - As India’s edible oil import bill keeps growing, local government has taken to steps to ensure the country reaches its potential of becoming a larger producer. By Shirish Nadkarni, Mumbai  14 December 2015

https://www.agra-net.com/agra/public-ledger/commodities/oils-oilseeds/palm-oil/analysis-india-aims-to-reduce-palm-oil-imports-500715.htm

MPOB: Malaysia Wants To Make Egypt The Distribution Hub For Palm Oil by Bernama - Malaysian National News Agency December 15 2015

16 December 2015: Reuters - Palm oil posts biggest drop since Sept 30 on weak export data BMD RM2,333/US$543

VEGOILS-Palm oil posts biggest drop since Sept 30 on weak export data  15-DEC-2015 06:36:51 PM By Emily Chow *Malaysia's Dec. 1-15 palm oil exports down 35.6 pct m/m-ITS *Palm oil hits lowest intraday level since Dec 2 *Recovery in exports to boost market - trader..."Palm fell because of the drastic dip in exports. If this continues, end-stocks could hit a new high of around 3.1 million tonnes at end-December," said a trader based in Kuala Lumpur....

14 December 2015: Reuters - Palm oil at 2-month high as rains seen disrupting supply BMD RM2,440/US$568, Ringgit declines as China seen allowing weak yuan

Note from AmBank briefing, excerpt: Bloomberg cited Oil World as saying that soybean prices may have bottomed... The Head of Indonesia Estate Crop Fund for Palm Oil said that Indonesia’s palm oil exports may fall for the first time in 2016F as more palm oil is being used domestically to produce biodiesel...

VEGOILS-Palm oil at 2-month high as rains seen disrupting supply 11-DEC-2015 06:44:48 PM By Naveen Thukral *Palm oil climbs 2.7 pct, fears of excessive rains drives prices *Palm to gain more ground 2016 as El Nino cuts yields - analysts; SINGAPORE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures jumped 2.7 percent on Friday, rising to a two-month high as forecasts of rain in key producing areas heightened concerns over supply disruptions in the monsoon season. The palm oil market dropped to a one-week low on Thursday due to a steep decline in exports. Analysts and traders expect the market to gain more ground early next year as the El Nino weather pattern reduces yields and Indonesia, the world's top producer, uses more palm oil to make biodiesel.

Ringgit declines as China seen allowing weak yuan with new index  By Bloomberg / Bloomberg   | December 14, 2015

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/en/article/ringgit-declines-china-seen-allowing-weak-yuan-new-index

12 December 2015: Rabobank outlook, GAPKI view, Malaysia-China MOU, DuPont-Dow Chem merger

Rabobank report - Food, agri players must brace for a new normal Pawan Kumar, Singapore | Opinion | Tue, December 08 2015... A report released by Rabobank titled Bear with Grains, While Softs Lift Off predicts that 2016 will see grains and oilseeds continue to trade at around current price levels, but some upside is expected on soft commodities such as sugar and coffee. For palm oil, reduced production could lead stocks to decline by 8.5 percent in 2015/2016 and increase prices by 10 percent to average MYR 2,420 per ton compared to this year. While Malaysian production is expected to decline by 2.4 percent to 19.4 million tons, Rabobank expects Indonesia’s palm oil production to rise by 1 million tons, as loss of yield due to dry weather is compensated by the country’s increasing maturity in plantation techniques.Overall palm production at global level is expected to rise marginally by 800,000 tons against 2 million tons last year. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/08/food-agri-players-must-brace-a-new-normal.html#sthash.M6HzsWR8.dpuf

....

Experts see fall in palm oil production in Malaysia, Indonesia due to El Nino impact by p. aruna  2 December 2015

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2015/12/02/dramatic-change-scenario/?style=biz

Indonesia's Palm Oil Exports Forecast by Gapki to Stagnate in 2015 Amid Low Prices By : Dion Bisara | on 2:13 PM December 09, 2014 ... The country is forecast to export 21.6 million metric tons of crude palm oil next year, up 1.4 percent from an estimated 21.3 million metric tons this year, said Fadhil Hasan, Gapki's executive director, on Monday.  Fadhil estimated the exports to be valued at up to $17.3 billion in 2015, down from this year's target of $18.4 billion. He hoped the government would maintain its zero percent export tax policy — implemented since Oct. 1 — into next year to boost exports.   CPO production is seen rising only 4.8 percent to 32.5 million tons in 2015 from an estimated 31 million tons this year, Fadhil said, citing the association's forecast of drought and a ban on opening new peatland for palm plantation that would curb yields.

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesias-palm-oil-exports-forecast-gapki-stagnate-2015-amid-low-prices/

Oil Palm Production Next Year May Drop 03 December, 2015

http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2015/12/03/056724409/Oil-Palm-Production-Next-Year-May-Drop

Malaysia, China ink eight MoUs, agreements in various fields Monday November 23, 2015; ... Wang also signed the MoU on quality and safety of Malaysian palm oil to China while Plantation, Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas signed on behalf of Malaysia. With the MoU, both sides agreed to further intensify cooperation in the agriculture field and will hold the 5th Agriculture Joint Working Group Meeting. - See more at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-china-ink-eight-mous-agreements-in-various-fields#sthash.gjhULCFx.dpuf

... 

CPO prices to average RM2,200 to RM2,400/MT next year - RAM  by afiq isa 25 November 2015

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2015/11/25/ram-cpo-prices-to-average-rm2200-to-rm2400mt-next-year/?style=biz

DuPont, Dow Chemical Agree to Merge, Then Break Up Into Three Companies  - Deal forms more than $120 billion chemical, agricultural giant amid weakening commodity prices By Jacob Bunge, David Benoit and Chelsey Dulaney Dec. 11, 2015 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dupont-dow-chemical-agree-to-merge-1449834739?tesla=y

Dow's Survivor CEO Liveris Closes on Most Elusive Deal of All December 12, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-11/dow-s-survivor-ceo-liveris-closes-on-most-elusive-deal-of-all?cmpid=BBD121115

DuPont and Dow Talks Put Spotlight on Agricultural Industry - Deal could spur rivals in seeds-and-pesticides to look at combinations of their own  By  Jacob Bunge and  Eyk Henning   Dec. 10, 2015 The potential merger of DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. could spur agricultural rivals to forge their own partnerships, further shrinking the handful of companies that dominate the global seed and pesticide business.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dupont-and-dow-talks-put-spotlight-on-agricultural-industry-1449794667?mod=djem10point

Malaysia palm oil - India's demand spurt sparks hopes of firmer pricing KUALA LUMPUR (NewsRise) November 16, 2015  -- A spurt in demand from India may help firm prices of palm oil, even as Malaysia's stockpile climbed to a fresh record high in October and shipments to other top importers slipped. Imports to India surged 59% in October from a year earlier and 24% month-on-month, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board's latest data, ahead of peak demand during the Hindu festival of lights, or Diwali. The robust demand from India--the world's largest consumer and importer of palm oil--comes at a time when the commodity faces supply glut and lacklustre demand from other major markets such as China and Pakistan.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/India-s-demand-spurt-sparks-hopes-of-firmer-pricing

Market regulation in China - Securities watchdog turns eye to commodities by DAISUKE HARASHIMA, Nikkei staff writer November 9, 2015     The move comes as investors shift their money to commodities in response to new restrictions on stock trading following the swoon in share prices this summer. The China Securities Regulatory Commission in September asked the three major commodities exchanges -- the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange -- to come up with rules to regulate program trading. Program trading is computer-driven, automated trading that seeks to exploit minute price fluctuations. The CSRC ordered 164 individual futures investors to stop trading for a month at the end of August, including 152 who had engaged in "abnormal" numbers of trades in excess of 600 times per day.  The commission concluded these trades had the potential to cause wild fluctuations in prices....     The move comes as investors shift their money to commodities in response to new restrictions on stock trading following the swoon in share prices this summer. The China Securities Regulatory Commission in September asked the three major commodities exchanges -- the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange -- to come up with rules to regulate program trading. Program trading is computer-driven, automated trading that seeks to exploit minute price fluctuations.

Hitting the brakes. The CSRC ordered 164 individual futures investors to stop trading for a month at the end of August, including 152 who had engaged in "abnormal" numbers of trades in excess of 600 times per day.  The commission concluded these trades had the potential to cause wild fluctuations in prices.

.....

http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/Securities-watchdog-turns-eye-to-commodities

7 December 2015: Palm oil hits 4-wk high on concerns over lower output, Malaysia's November palm stocks seen growing slightly from 15-year high record, BMD RM2,367 / $560

Reuters - PREVIEW-Malaysia's November palm stocks seen growing slightly from 15-year high record

06-Dec-2015

* Nov palm stocks seen up 0.1 pct m/m at 2.84 mln T * Output seen falling 11.9 pct to 1.80 mln T * Exports seen down 9.2 pct at 1.56 mln T * Malaysian Palm Oil Board data due Dec 10 after 0430 GMT

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 4-wk high on concerns over lower output By Naveen Thukral 04-DEC-2015 06:15:13 PM .Palm oil up for 2nd day, hits highest since Nov. 9 .El Nino seen reducing Southeast Asia's palm oil output

CPO Productivity Expected to Rise Next Year 27 November, 2015 TEMPO.CO, Nusa Dua - The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) predicted that CPO production in 2016 would be somewhere between 33 million and 35 million tons comprising 22 million tons for exports and 13 million tons for domestic consumption.Gapki director executive Fadhil Hasan said that CPO prices next year would be around US$580-US$600 per ton. According to Fadhil, the CPO prices have been affected by the implementation of biodiesel mandatory program, drought, crude oil prices and the establishment of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC).   “El Nino and forest fires have reduced CPO productivity by 3-5 percent,” Fadhil said when speaking at the 9thIndonesian Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) in Bali on Friday, November 27, 2015.

http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2015/11/27/056722854/CPO-Productivity-Expected-to-Rise-Next-Year

30 November 2015: Palm oil hits 2-1/2 week high as monsoon season seen curbing output... Biodiesel mandate, El Nino to boost palm oil prices in 2016  - James Fry - Reuters   BMD RM2,361 / US$555

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 2-1/2 week high as monsoon season seen curbing output 27-NOV-2015  By Michael Taylor .Palm prices touch 2,374 ringgit per tonne, highest since Nov. 9 .Wet season in Indonesia, Malaysia to hurt production .Bali palm gathering offers price outlook....

Biodiesel mandate, El Nino to boost palm oil prices in 2016 -analyst Fry By Emily Chow.  * Palm oil prices could rise to $650-$675 by H1 2016  * Prices could rise further to $800 if El Nino hits output  * Indonesian, Malaysian output seen down on full El Nino impact... BALI, Indonesia, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Crude palm oil (CPO) prices could rise to $650-$675 per tonne by mid-2016 as top producer Indonesia uses more palm-based biodiesel, and climb higher to $800 if El Nino hits output, leading industry analyst James Fry said on Friday...

26 November 2015: James Fry says limited downside risk to his palm oil predictions

B10 Mandate Not 'Wildly Ambitious' by Global Standards:

LMC

, by Bloomberg TV Malaysia, Published on Nov 22, 2015 -  November 20, 2015 (Kuala Lumpur) -- LMC International chairman James Fry says implementing the B10 mandate in Malaysia requires agreement from auto manufacturers. The agribusiness expert also discusses why there is limited downside risk to his palm oil predictions with Bloomberg TV Malaysia's 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md-R0eAKaLw

24 November 2015: Palm oil Nov inventories forecast to stay high BMD RM2284/US$531, commodities reach 2002 bottom but lift on Saudi oil hopes, Argentina hope for output increase, salmon and orange woes, China worries

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm oil falls on high stocks, slow export demand 23-NOV-2015 06:22:57 PM By Emily Chow *Palm falls for a third consecutive session *End-November inventories forecast to stay at current high levels. BMD RM 2,284 / US$531

Dollar hovers near eight-month peak, buoyed by Fed policy expectations By Shinichi Saoshiro Nov 23, 2015 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/24/us-global-forex-idUSKBN0TD00H20151124#jQp6CbwCrQlAODbE.97

Commodities strike 2002 bottom; end off low on oil Nov 23, 2015 NEW YORK | BY BARANI KRISHNAN

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/23/us-global-commodities-idUSKBN0TC1P220151123

Argentina in for a radical post-election grains output increase Nov 23, 2015  BUENOS AIRES | BY HUGH BRONSTEIN

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/23/us-argentina-election-grains-idUSKBN0TC0BY20151123

Chile Salmon Farmers Want Government Intervention to End the Boom-to-Bust Cycle by Javiera Quiroga and James Attwood November 24, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-23/salmon-farmers-seek-chile-s-help-to-curb-output-as-losses-mount

Florida's Orange Industry Is in Its Worst Slump in 100 Years by Marvin G Perez November 24, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-24/in-florida-the-oj-crop-is-getting-wiped-out-by-an-asian-invader

Bank of America: The 'Great Divorce' Between the World's Two Largest Economies Will Drive Currency and Rates Markets in 2016 - The "marriage of convenience" is over. by Luke Kawa November 24, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-23/bank-of-america-the-great-divorce-between-the-world-s-two-largest-economies-will-drive-currency-and-rates-markets-in-2016

A Hard Landing in China Could 'Shake the World' "A slowing China redistributes global economic activity through the commodity channel as much as dampening it"  by Malcolm Scott  November 20, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-19/a-hard-landing-in-china-could-shake-the-world

-

13 November 2015: Malaysia stocks have broken new records, higher than expected production, oil price tumbled; BMD RM 2,333 / $535

Reuters - Malaysia CPO-Market factors to watch Nov 13 13-NOV-2015 *Malaysian palm oil futures rose slightly on Thursday as industry data showing declining production lent support *Oil prices tumbled almost 4 percent on Thursday, accelerating a slump that threatens to test new six-and-a-half year lows, with traders unnerved by a persistent rise in U.S. stockpiles and a downbeat forecast for next year.

LMC Oils Price View - 12 Nov 2015 (just released)... Malaysian palm oil stocks have broken new records, but this is the calm before the storm. Today, with tanks full and rivers too shallow for barges in places, distress selling affects the CPO market. Yet, CPO remains at a premium over Brent. All eyes are on the delayed impact of local droughts this year, as lower fertiliser use compounds pressure on yields……http://www.lmc.co.uk/Oilseeds_Oils_and_Oleochemicals-LMC_Oils_Price_View

Zeti Says Ringgit Significantly Undervalued Amid Growth by Alaa Shahine November 11, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-11/zeti-says-ringgit-significantly-undervalued-amid-economic-growth

VEGOILS-Palm oil falls on unexpected rise in production, stronger ringgit By Emily Chow Nov 11 (Reuters)  *Palm oil resumes downtrend after last session's rise *Market reacts on higher than expected production

6 November 2015: Reuters - Palm oil eases on ample supplies as Pertamina rally fizzles BMD RM2345/$546 

VEGOILS-Palm oil eases on ample supplies as Pertamina rally fizzles By Emily Chow 05-NOV-2015 07:09:47 PM *Palm falls 0.6 pct on profit taking ahead of Diwali *Market will only be firmer supported by consumer demand from China and India -traders 

6 November 2015: Indonesia energy ministry announces biodiesel quota winners and B20 diesel ready to enter market next year 

http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

2 November 2015: El Nino to strike harder, but palm oil price not seen to soar

El Nino to strike harder, but palm oil price not seen to soar by yap leng kuen 2 November 2015; THE strongest El Nino in decades is expected to mess up everything – people, birds, crops, fish – and for Malaysia, a major impact will be reduction in palm oil output which will drive prices higher. However, this time round, crude palm oil (CPO) price may be on a mild uptrend as demand expectation may limit the upside, said Danny Wong, CEO, Areca Capital, adding that the previous round of El Nino had pushed the CPO price to as high as RM3,000 per tonne. “Unless the CPO price goes above RM2,600 per tonne, winners will likely be limited to those that manage costs well as these are rising too especially labour costs,” said Wong who cautioned that if CPO price hit high, there could be a windfall tax in view of Federal budget constraints. For more diversified exposure, Wong prefers Genting Plantations and Ta Ann. Vincent Khoo, head of research, UOBKayhian, is positive of CPO price recovering further in 2016. In the event of a strong El Nino, the best beta plays are IOI Corp and IJM Plantations while Genting Plantations and Sarawak Oil Palms have the highest upside although based on the current CPO price of above RM2,300 per tonne, some have hit their target prices. Meanwhile, another stock that could be positively impacted by El Nino could be QL Resources, said Khoo. “Plantation stocks should rally closer to year-end as El Nino is still strong although the outlook for November is still uncertain,’’ said Chris Eng, head of research, Etiqa Insurance & Takaful. El Nino is back and in a big way, said Bloomberg.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/11/02/El-Nino-to-strike-harder-this-time/?style=biz

29 October 2015: Rains arrive and haze abates, Reuters - palm oil trading range-bound,  BMD RM2,343 ($549.36)

VEGOILS-Palm oil up on weak ringgit, trading range-bound 28-OCT-2015 06:23:29 PM *Palm oil rises on a weaker ringgit *Market still trading within range on other bearish market factors. BMD RM2,343 ($549.36)

Rain in Indonesia Dampens Forest Fires That Spread Toxic Haze By JOE COCHRANEOCT. 28, 2015; Torrential rains overnight on Tuesday in the regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan — where forest fires have been raging for weeks, sickening hundreds of thousands of people — have significantly reduced the size and number of fires, said Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs. “I hope we have turned the corner,” he said in an interview. “If the rain continues over the next five days, we are past this.”...He said the number of “hot spots,” areas where satellite imagery shows heavy forest fires, had dropped to 291 on Wednesday from 1,578 on Monday because of the heavy rains...Seventeen Indonesian civilians have died from respiratory illnesses caused by the haze, as well as one firefighter in an operational accident, Mr. Luhut said....http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/world/asia/indonesia-forest-fire-toxic-haze.html?smid=li-share&_r=0

Widespread shower activities in the region have helped to subdue the land fires in Kalimantan. However, some smoke haze was still observed in parts of Sumatra. Updated 7:46 PM 29 Oct

http://asmc.asean.org/home/

19 October 2015: Reuters Malaysian palm oil falls on bearish exports, BMD RM2305/$553 

VEGOILS-Malaysian palm oil falls on bearish exports 16-OCT-2015 06:59:28 PM By Emily Chow *Exchange rate, demand from traditional mkts key -trader *Export and production outlook bearish. KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell in late trade on Friday, although largely remaining rangebound, tracking a volatile ringgit and depressed by a bearish export outlook.... BMD RM2,305/$553 a tonne

Editor's note: Here's a more comprehensive look at the last one month's of headlines for this topic.

A new business model for palm oil? The recent haze in Southeast Asia has sparked renewed calls for alternatives to palm oil products. In this interview, Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt tells Eco-Business why the industry - which is also provides thousands of livelihoods worldwide - needs a new business model, not boycotts.  By Vaidehi Shah Friday 16 October 2015

http://www.eco-business.com/news/a-new-business-model-for-palm-oil/

Hit companies where it hurts by Henry Barlow Oct 1, 2015, 5:58 pm SGT The contributors to the haze appear not primarily to be the larger oil palm plantation operators but relatively small estates, owning perhaps only one or two mills, or independent mills depending largely, if not exclusively, on fruit submitted from smallholders. Many such operators and smallholders have no wish to comply with sustainability principles. Could the Monetary Authority of Singapore instruct banks operating in Singapore not to extend financing and trading facilities to companies linked to mill owners who are not in compliance with agreed sustainability principles as required by the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards? These companies should also be required to provide independently certified reports that they have assisted all mill owners and smallholders submitting fruit to their mills in complying with the sustainability principles of ISPO or RSPO. Other central banks in he region could also adopt similar measures.

http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/hit-companies-where-it-hurts

Why Sustainable Palm Oil Is Possible by The Nature Conservancy Posted: 10/14/2015 2:36 pm EDT   Updated: 10/14/2015 2:59 pm EDT

http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2015/10/14/why-sustainable-palm-oil-is-possible/

Can REDD save Indonesia’s peatlands from burning?   By Chris Lang 14 October 2015 

http://www.redd-monitor.org/2015/10/14/can-redd-save-indonesias-peatlands-from-burning/

Mid-to-long-term CPO price outlook improving — Analysts October 12, 2015, Monday KUCHING: The mid-to-long-term crude palm oil (CPO) price has been viewed as improving as on-going droughts and less fertilisation activity will likely lead to the decline in production early next year and subsequently, the decline of supply. Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd’s research arm (Kenanga Research) said in a report following the MPOB International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition 2015 (PIPOC2015) in Kuala Lumpur, “According to speaker Dr James Fry (chairman, LMC International), CPO prices are likely to be on an uptrend, potentially reaching US$600 per metric tonne (circa RM2,540 per metric tonne) by end of the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). “This is excluding potential El Nino impact, as on-going droughts and less fertilisation activity will lead to declining production early next year and therefore tightens supply. “While we agree that 1Q16 is likely to see stronger CPO prices due to the above reasons, we think prices are likely to decline later in the year on seasonal production trends and ample supply of competing soybean oil (SBO), to average RM2,400 per metric tonne (MT) for the full-year,” the research team said. During his talk, Dr Fry also stressed the importance of mandated biodiesel production to support CPO prices going forward. Read more:

http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/10/12/mid-to-long-term-cpo-price-outlook-improving-analysts/#ixzz3osmbP2ZR

Inventory rises to record high in September KUALA LUMPUR (NewsRise) -- Palm oil inventory in Malaysia rose to a lifetime-high in September, suggesting that the government's recent efforts to cut stockpile and lift prices has yielded little result so far. Major plantation stocks were subdued as mounting stockpile clouded their earnings prospects for the three months to September 30. Still, slower production growth of palm oil in September from the previous month sparked hopes of a cut in inventory going ahead, even as Southeast Asia's third largest economy plans to partner larger neighbour Indonesia to form an OPEC style body to control prices. Palm oil inventories rose 5% month-on-month and 26% year-on-year to swell to 2.63 million tons in September while output totalled 1.96 million metric tons compared to record 2.05 million tons in August, according to data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Oil palm trees' peak yield season ranges from July to October. Last week, Malaysia's Commodities Minister Douglas Uggah Embas called for efforts to limit palm oil inventories at around 2 million tons....http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Inventory-rises-to-record-high-in-September

VEGOILS-Malaysian palm oil sees 3 pct gain on short covering, China buying talk Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:10am GMT * Palm oil up by nearly 3 pct in late trade     * Sudden hike due to traders' short covering

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N12D3S720151013

India palm oil demand up on festivals Tuesday, 13 October 2015… 

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/13/India-palm-oil-demand-up-on-festivals/?style=biz

Palm oil imports up 12.20% in September on lower prices: Solvent Extractors' Association By PTI | 14 Oct, 2015, 04.58PM IST…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49352889.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

CPO export volume may surpass target this year: Industry group Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, October 15 2015, 5:35 AM - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/15/cpo-export-volume-may-surpass-target-year-industry-group.html#sthash.rqigTwhs.dpuf

Indonesia Sept palm oil little-changed, exports rise -Reuters survey Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:26am EDT  * Indonesia's CPO output seen at 3.1 million tonnes in Sept    * CPO exports seen up 19 percent m/m 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/16/indonesia-palmoil-survey-idUSL3N12G2TW20151016

Govt regrets KL decision to halt RI palm oil imports Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, October 09 2015, 5:17 PM; The Indonesian government expressed its regret on Thursday over a Malaysian palm oil group’s decision to temporarily halt imports of palm oil from Indonesia, saying the move was against the spirit of free trade.Gusmardi Bustami, who is chairman of an Indonesian trade policy forum and a former senior official at the Trade Ministry, said that the measure imposed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) was not in line with the spirit of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). “It is also suspected that Malaysia is trying to prevent its processed goods made of imported Indonesian CPO from being banned from entering into various export destinations due to speculations that the CPO producers might be involved in forest fires [in Indonesia],” he told the Post on Thursday.The plan to halt Indonesia’s palm oil imports was contained in a circular issued by the MPOB late last month. The group said that the decision was made because of oversupply, but it did not state how long suspended imports would be maintained. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/09/govt-regrets-kl-decision-halt-ri-palm-oil-imports.html#sthash.KTWYMPpi.dpuf

Mier lauds move to set up palm oil council, on urgency of price stabilising mechanism   By Chester Tay / The Edge Financial Daily   | October 15, 2015 : 10:19 AM MYT; KUALA LUMPUR: The setting up of the intergovernmental Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to regulate the edible oil’s production, stocks, and market prices is a step in the right direction, according to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (Mier). This is because there is an urgency for both Malaysia and Indonesia to introduce a price stabilising mechanism for crude palm oil (CPO), said the research institution’s deputy director Dr Ahmad Fauzi Puasa in an interview with The Edge Financial Daily last week. “Malaysia and Indonesia need to have a round-table talk to figure out a way to implement this price stabilising mechanism, before it (CPO price) gets even more volatile,” Ahmad Fauzi said. Earlier this month, both countries agreed to spearhead the establishment of the CPOPC. The idea was formally agreed on between Prime Min ster Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor on Sunday. “The formation of the CPOPC is the biggest achievement in the bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia, and will bring greater benefit to the wider palm oil industry,” Najib said on his Twitter account on Tuesday. The two nations collectively account for 85% of global palm oil production.

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/my/article/mier-lauds-move-set-palm-oil-council-urgency-price-stabilising-mechanism

Indonesia to Stop Complying with European Union's Palm Oil Standards  12 October 2015 The Indonesian government will (temporarily) stop using sustainability standards designed by the European Union regarding crude palm oil (CPO). Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli said the current strict standards of the European Union hurt the domestic palm oil industry, especially smallholders. Moreover, Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's two largest CPO producers and exporters, are to set up a new intergovernmental palm oil council that will design new rules and standards regarding sustainable palm oil production....Last week it was announced that Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to set up the new palm oil council (called the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries). This council aims to control the global palm oil supply, stabilize CPO prices and promote sustainable practices in the palm oil industry, partly by harmonizing existing standards of Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO). Indonesia and Malaysia account for about 85 percent of the world's CPO output. Rizal is confident that demand for Indonesian CPO will not decline due to the moratorium on applying the European Union's palm oil standards. The Indonesian government will lobby the governments of China and India to use the palm oil standards that are to be developed by the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries (CPOP)....

http://www.indonesia-investments.com/news/todays-headlines/indonesia-to-stop-complying-with-european-union-s-palm-oil-standards/item6025

El Nino to cut global palm oil output in 2016: Felda CEO By Reuters | 9 Oct, 2015, 03.43PM IST

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49287335.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Drought to lift India's palm oil imports to record-veteran trader Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:00am EDT MUMBAI, Sept 28  |  By Rajendra Jadhav      

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/india-palmoil-imports-idUSL3N11Y1XC20150928

Credit quality of Asian palm oil players weakens, says Moody’s Thursday, 8 October 2015; PETALING JAYA: The credit quality of Asian palm oil producers is weakening, as oversupply is muting crude palm oil (CPO) prices and hampering deleveraging efforts, said Moody’s Investors Service. The average CPO price fell more than 30% to RM2,191 per tonne in the second quarter of this year from the second quarter of 2012 and averaged RM2,067 per tonne in July-August. “We expect CPO prices to remain under pressure over the next 18 months, with vegetable oil markets oversupplied and soft demand,” said Alan Greene, Moody’s vice-president, senior credit officer and a lead analyst on Asian palm oil producers. He said in Moody’s latest edition of Inside ASEAN that lower prices had muted cash generation, reflected in the recent negative rating actions on palm oil companies Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (Ba3 negative), Sime Darby Bhd (A3 negative) and IOI Corp Bhd (Baa2 negative). Inside ASEAN also examined the impact of the recent currency depreciation of the Malaysian (A3 positive) ringgit and Indonesian (Baa3 stable) rupiah. The ringgit depreciation was a symptom of declining export revenues, capital outflows and worsening sentiment towards Malaysia.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/08/Credit-quality-of-Asian-palm-oil-players-weakens-says-Moodys/?style=biz

M'sia to maintain palm oil stock at 2m tonnes: Uggah Published on: Wednesday, October 07, 2015; Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia hopes to maintain palm oil stocks at about two million tonnes from the 2.49 million tonnes recorded as at end-August by implementing replanting incentives and minimising imports. Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the replanting incentives, to be implemented on Oct 1, aims to reduce by 83,000 hectares, the area planted with oil palm and drop production by 250,000 tonnes. "We will also minimise palm oil imports until our stocks reach about two million tonnes. This is a temporary measure and tere is no timeline for the target. "To strengthen long-term palm oil prices, Malaysia and Indonesia, which together account for 85 per cent of global production, will also implement a higher biodiesel blend programme," he said. He said this at a press conference after officiating the International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2015 here Tuesday. He said the three measures were put in place to curb the production level from going higher as some parties are projecting it to reach three million tonnes by November. His ministry, he added, was committed to managing the stocks level as Malaysian statistics have been accepted as one of the main data to indicate crude palm oil (CPO) supply globally. On the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiation in Atlanta on Monday, he said while yet to be passed by Parliament, it would create easier access for CPO exports in other markets and give more remunerative prices…. Meanwhile, when asked if declining CPO demand from China would affect the local sector, Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said imports from India would help sustain Malaysia's palm oil exports volume…. 

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=103623

China eyes oil markets shake-up with new crude futures contract Published: 4 October 2015 1:26 PM; China is seeking to assert its growing influence on global oil markets with a yuan-denominated crude futures contract expected to be launched this year. At the same time, analysts warn that the second-largest oil consumer after the United States will struggle to compete with more established benchmarks such as London's Brent North Sea crude and New York's WTI.  "China is the world's largest oil importer and is going to become the largest oil consumer in the future, so it makes sense for the country to be the place for an oil futures (contract) in Asia," Lin Boqiang, director of the Energy Economics Research Centre at Xiamen University, told AFP.  China's consumption will exceed that of the United States by 2034, according to the US Energy Information Administration - See more at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/china-eyes-oil-markets-shake-up-with-new-crude-futures-contract#sthash.wLChETfZ.dpuf

Palm Oil Seen Extending Climb on Ringgit Weakness, Mistry Says  by  Anuradha Raghu September 30, 2015 — 3:30 PM HKT Lagging biodiesel targets may cast shadow on edible oil prices. Soyoil seen as the most competitive, `must own' oil of 2016.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/palm-oil-seen-extending-climb-on-ringgit-weakness-mistry-says

Malaysia to develop drought-resistance oil palm breed October 6, 2015, Tuesday; KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will be developing its own drought-resistance breed of oil palm that could withstand several seasons of dry spell, including El Nino within 10 years. International Society for Oil Palm Breeders (ISOPB) President Dr Ahmad Kushairi said no efforts were made to produce a drought-resistance breed in Malaysia before as the climate then did not warrant such development. “There are currently initiatives in developing drought-resistance breeds in other parts of the world. In Malaysia, it (developing process) is only at the initial stage (of development) at the moment. “We have just started looking into the genetic material (of the development),” he told reporters at the International Seminar on Gearing Oil Palm Breeding and Agronomy for Climate Change here yesterday Read more:

http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/10/06/malaysia-to-develop-drought-resistance-oil-palm-breed/#ixzz3ouHJHSdO

Oil palm competes with arecanut, rubber in Karnataka  AJ Vinayak; Recently in Shivamogga/Chikmagalur:    “It is a crop from which I get a salary every month,” says GN Ratnakara, an oil palm grower in Badagabail village of NR Pura taluka in Chikmagalur district. Of the 16 acres he owns, Ratnakara has planted oil palm on about five acres. Diversification into oil palm has borne fruits for Ratnakara, who now annually harvests around 30-40 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) from each hectare that earns him an income of around ₹3 lakh. “Oil palm was planted as an inter-crop to prevent the fall of arecanut trees from wind. Now, oil palm is the better crop for me,” says Gopalakrishna Udupa, a farmer in neighbouring Shivamogga. 

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/oil-palm-competes-with-arecanut-rubber-in-karnataka/article7707885.ece

Palm oil rally on El Nino bucks resource rout Friday, 2 October 2015

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/02/Palm-oil-rally-on-El-Nino-bucks-resource-rout/?style=biz

Hike duty differential on crude, refined palm oils: Ruchi  Soya By PTI | 30 Sep, 2015, 08.54PM IST

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49171496.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Agriculture stocks 'may enjoy cyclical upturn' Oct 9, 2015, 5:00 am SGT Agricultural equities could be on the cusp of a recovery as firms experience a "cyclical improvement" in the coming months, according to a report yesterday. The palm oil and sugar segments, in particular, are expected to deliver a "modest outperformance", according to BMI Research, a subsidiary of financial information provider Fitch Group.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/agriculture-stocks-may-enjoy-cyclical-upturn

Palm oil imports up 12.20% in September on lower prices: Solvent Extractors' Association by PTI | 14 Oct, 2015, 04.58PM IST; .....The country's total vegetable oil imports increased by 16 per cent to 12,16,546 tonnes in September this year from 10,47,620 tonnes in the year-ago period.  Last month, the government had hiked import duty on crude edible oil from 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent and refined edible oil from 15 per cent to 20 per cent in a bid to protect farmers' interest and provide a level-playing field to domestic oilseed processors.  The impact of duty hike is yet to be seen in the cu ..

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49352889.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

From Bear to Bull, Palm Rally on El Nino Bucks Resource Rout  by Anuradha Raghu and Swansy Afonso  October 1, 2015 — 2:03 PM HKTUpdated on October 1, 2015 — 7:31 PM HKT Jump boosts producers' shares as resource rivals slump. Commodities mired in slowing China falter near 16-year-low

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-01/from-bear-to-bull-palm-rallying-on-el-nino-bucks-commodity-rout

A perennial deficit: The other oil problem - Unlike petroleum, India’s edible oil imports are showing no signs of cooling. Written by Harish Damodaran |   Updated: September 24, 2015 4:06 am ...

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/a-perennial-deficit-the-other-oil-problem/#sthash.UbpuXTan.dpuf

Navi Mumbai: Dummy buyers account for 75% of palm oil at JNPT By Sharad Vyas |Posted 22-Sep-2015...State investigative authorities have detected a multi-crore tax evasion racket in the import of edible oil. This is one of the biggest scandals in recent times with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Mumbai Police, and Sales Tax Department carrying out a joint investigation for the first time in a tax evasion case. - See more at:

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/navi-mumbai-dummy-buyers-account-for-75-of-palm-oil-at-jnpt/16550181#sthash.dUob86LW.dpuf

El Nino might cause Indonesian palm oil production to drop by a quarter in 2016: Golden Agri's Franky Widjaja   By Chan Chao Peh / theedgemarkets.com   | September 30, 2015 : 12:47 PM MYT     

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/en/article/el-nino-might-cause-indonesian-palm-oil-production-drop-quarter-2016-golden-agris-franky

RI turns to West Africa to boost exports Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, September 26 2015, 5:25 PM;... The country is expanding its markets to several African countries to offset the decline in demand from its main export destinations, especially the US, Europe and China.Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) executive director Fadhil Hasan said on Friday that local palm oil producers were expanding their markets to West African countries, where demand for crude palm oil (CPO) was on the rise on the back of growing economies and relatively stable politics. “Our CPO exports to Africa, especially West Africa, has been surging and it is even close to that of China this year,” he told The Jakarta Post.According to Fadhil, total CPO exports to Africa reached 1.3 million tons in the first seven months of this year, already close to the 1.7 million tons exported in 2014.Exports to China, meanwhile, declined to 1.9 million tons in the January-July period of this year from around 2 million tons during the same period last year.In terms of value, the country’s CPO exports to West Africa hit US$416.2 million in the January-July period of this year, with CPO exports to China standing at US$1.09 billion during the same period or a 9 percent year-on-year (yoy) drop, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/26/ri-turns-west-africa-boost-exports.html#sthash.XNZ7USf4.dpuf

MPOB incentive scheme, 26 September 2015  KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will implement a RM100mil palm oil replanting incentive scheme beginning Oct 1, 2015. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Amar Uggah Embas said the scheme targeted the replanting of 83,000 ha of unproductive and old palms.  “This scheme is open from Oct 1, 2015 until Dec 31, 2015 for approved applicants to fell unproductive and old palms,” he said in a statement issued by the ministry.  The statement added that the approval for the scheme was based on first-come-first-serve basis with an incentive allocation of RM1,500 per ha for an approved area of 33,000 ha in the first phase. 

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/26/MPOB-incentive-scheme/?style=biz

Re-planting requires buy-in of smallholders, say analysts by P Prem Kumar & Alexander Winifred Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Analysts have expressed doubt that the government’s RM100 million Oil Palm Replanting Scheme Incentive (SITS) 2015 can help support stronger crude palm oil (CPO) price as the current CPO price of RM2,390 a tonne might sway planters to keep their mature palms rather than fell them. While not disputing the move to replant some 83,000ha under the scheme will help reduce CPO stock levels and hence be price supportive, the government needs to get the buy-in of small landholders to make the scheme a success, said industry watchers. “The government will need to act and ensure (unproductive trees) yielding below 17 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare are replanted. It will have to practically hold their hands to do it (the replanting),” said MR Chandran, a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the first CEO of the Malaysia Palm Oil Association.

http://themalaysianreserve.com/new/story/re-planting-requires-buy-smallholders-say-analysts

India Increases Duty on Cooking Oils to Stem Cheap Imports  by Thomas Kutty Abraham  and Anuradha Raghu Updated on September 18, 2015 — 7:23 PM HKT Tax increase comes after imports surge 23% since November. Fresh levy seen not enough to curb flood of refined oils September 18, 2015 — 4:53 PM HKT

High US dollar a blessing in disguise for palm oil exporters By: HANIM ADNAN Saturday, 19 September 2015

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/19/High-US-dollar-a-blessing-in-disguise-for-palm-oil-exporters/?style=biz

FAO Food Price Index for August saw sharpest drop since 2008;  September 15, 2015; The FAO Food Price Index averaged 155.7 points in August 2015, down 8.5 points (5.2 percent) from July, the sharpest monthly drop since December 2008. In addition to ample supplies, a number of other factors contributed to the decrease, including the slump in energy prices and concerns about China’s economic slowdown and its negative consequences on the global economy and financial markets.  The decline affected all the commodities tracked by the index, except for meat, the prices of which remained generally steady. 

http://www.potatopro.com/news/2015/fao-food-price-index-august-saw-sharpest-drop-2008

Oilseed farmers fighting a losing battle September 13,2015, 04.42 AM  IST | | THE HANS INDIA; Imports of edible oils – around 70 per cent of total demand – have depressed the demand for domestically-produced edible oils. Domestic market is awash with cheap rival palm oil, leaving producers and crushers struggling.  The farmers have lost interest in raising the oilseed crops because of lack of support from both the Central and State governments. The promises made by the Centre that it would expand the area under cultivation of oil palm through the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) remains unfulfilled.   

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2015-09-13/Oilseed-farmers-fighting-a-losing-battle-175765

16 October 2015: Reuters - Malaysian palm oil falls on stronger ringgit, BMD RM2287/US$555; Malaysia reserves YTD US$22.7 billion or almost a fifth and Indonesia lost US10 billion / 9% this year

VEGOILS-Malaysian palm oil falls on stronger ringgit, tracks currency volatility By Emily Chow 15-OCT-2015 06:43:02 PM *Palm oil drops 1.4 percent on strengthening ringgit *Currency volatility overrides other market influences KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Thursday, partly reversing steep gains in the previous session, as the market tracked the volatile ringgit. The benchmark December palm oil contract 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 1.4 percent at the end of the trading day to reach 2,287 ringgit ($555.10) a tonne.

Malaysia’s reserves down by US$22.7b, among sharpest drops worldwide Friday October 16, 2015; LONDON, Oct 16 — Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia saw some of the sharpest falls in central bank reserves over the past quarter as investor flight from emerging markets forced policymakers to defend their currencies. The issue has drawn particular attention after Chinese reserves, the world’s biggest, fell by a record US$180 billion (RM739.809 billion) in the third quarter due to interventions to support the yuan after a mid-August devaluation....Mexican and Malaysian reserves fell by over US$12 billion between July and end-September, while Indonesia and South Korea lost US$6.3 billion and US$6.9 billion respectively, though some losses were down to euro-dollar exchange rate effects. Malaysian reserves are down by US$22.7 billion or almost a fifth this year, and Indonesia has lost US$10 billion or 9 per cent. “You are seeing net FX reserves depletion even when you strip out valuation effects,” said UBS strategist Manik Narain, adding that pressure in the past three months had been the most acute since 2009, taking reserves to mid-2013 levels. - See more at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/malaysias-reserves-down-by-us22.7b-among-sharpest-drops-worldwide#sthash.eKNmh6NQ.dpuf

7 October 2015: Malaysia wants to control the import volume of palm oil from Indonesia instead of an outright ban

Malaysia to ‘minimise’ Indonesian palm oil imports, no outright ban - minister    By Chester Tay / theedgemarkets.com   | October 6, 2015 : 2:21 PM MYT      KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 6): Malaysia plans to limit Indonesian palm oil imports in a move to curb rising domestic inventory. Malaysia's Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the country intended to control the import volume of palm oil from Indonesia instead of an outright ban. "If we don't do anything now, it is expected that palm oil inventory would exceed 3 million tonnes by November. And I would not use the word 'ban', we are just minimising the import volume.

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/my/article/malaysia-%E2%80%98minimise%E2%80%99-indonesian-palm-oil-imports-no-outright-ban-minister

Malaysia looks to maintain palm oil stocks at 2m tonnes: Unggah  6 October 2015 @ 12:46 PM;  KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia hopes to maintain palm oil stocks at about two million tonnes from the 2.49 million tonnes recorded as at end-Sept by implementing replanting incentives and minimising imports. Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the replanting incentives, to be implemented on Oct 1, aims to reduce by 83,000 hectares, the area planed with oil palm and drop production by 250,000 tonnes. “We will also minimise palm oil exports until our stocks reach about two million tonnes. This is a temporary measure and we do not have a timeline for the target.

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/10/malaysia-looks-maintain-palm-oil-stocks-2m-tonnes-unggah

1 October 2015: Reuters - palm oil profit taking ahead of China holiday

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm oil eases on export data, profit-taking ahead of China holiday 30-SEP-2015 06:29:58 PM By Michael Taylor *Data pulls prices lower; recent palm gains overdone *El Nino production impact largely factored into prices *Chinese holidays likely to hurt near-term demand.... BMD close -3.1 percent RM2,374/$540

29 September 2015: Dr James Fry sees CPO surging 40% to US$700 by mid-2016 on El Nino and Indonesia biodiesel mandate; palm oil at 15 month high, BMD RM2450/$550

Palm oil prices seen up 40 per cent by mid-2016 on El Nino: analyst Fry  Sep 29, 20151:12 PM [MUMBAI] Crude palm oil (CPO) prices are likely to surge 40 per cent to US$700 per tonne by mid-2016 as an El Nino weather event dents output and as top producer Indonesia uses more palm-based biodiesel, leading industry analyst James Fry said.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/palm-oil-prices-seen-up-40-per-cent-by-mid-2016-on-el-nino-analyst-fry

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm oil reverses losses to hit new 15-month high 29-SEP-2015 07:27:40 PM By Fergus Jensen; JAKARTA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures surged for a sixth day in a row to new 15-month highs on Tuesday, bolstered by bullish analyst forecasts, a weakening ringgit and expectations recent dry weather and haze will curb crop output. By Tuesday's close, the benchmark December palm oil contract 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives (BMD) exchange was up 2.38 percent at 2,450 ringgit ($549.82) a tonne, after dipping to as low as 2,352 ringgit during the morning session. The benchmark touched 2,460 ringgit in the afternoon session, it's highest since June 2014. Traded volume stood at 72,597 lots of 25 tonnes each, roughly double the average 35,000 lots usually traded daily. "In the afternoon the spike came because of the news coming out of India," said a trader at a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, referring to statements by leading analyst James Fry at an industry conference in Mumbai. "When someone like James Fry who has been very bearish on crude oil has suddenly turned bullish, people holding positions take note." Crude palm oil (CPO) prices are likely to surge 40 percent to $700 per tonne by mid-2016 as an El Nino weather event dents output and as top producer Indonesia uses more palm-based biodiesel, Fry said. Prices are also being propped up by the recent weakening of the ringgit, the trader said.....

28 September 2015: CNBC - How can you profit from SE Asia haze? US soybean trade deal with China. Malaysia replanting incentive.

El Nino dry weather to lead to rise in the palm oil price Monday, 28 September 2015  By: HANIM ADNAN 

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/28/The-return-of-El-Nino/?style=biz

How you can trade Southeast Asia's haze by Nyshka Chandran Wednesday, 23 Sep 2015 | 9:57 PM ET; ....The price of palm oil has rallied 7 percent in the past fortnight as a cloak of smog, combined with unusually dry weather, disrupts supply in key Southeast Asian producing countries, and analysts say the gains are set to continue....http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/23/palm-oil-price-to-rally-as-haze-envelops-southeast-asia.html

AmBank Research - Plantation Sector: US soybean price rose on the back of China trade deal. Last Friday, price of soybean for delivery in November 2015 rose by 2.4% from US$8.68/bushel to US$8.89 ¼ / bushel on the back of a trade deal signed between China and US. Under the memorandum of understanding, China will be buying 13.2mil tonnes of soybean worth US$5.3bil in the coming year from US. Last year, the trade deal involved purchases of 4.8mil tonnes of soybean worth US$2.3bil from China.

CIMB Research - Malaysia announces RM100m oil palm replanting incentive scheme. Malaysia to implement RM100m replanting incentive scheme to replant 83,000 ha of estates from 1 Oct to 31 Dec 2015. This could potentially reduce  CPO output by 250k tonnes in 2016 or 1.2% of 2014’s annual output and will be medium-term positive for CPO prices.  All Malaysian planters with old estates stand to benefit via lower replanting costs.

21 September 2015: India hikes import tax 5%, BMD RM2,104/$500

Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm oil loses ground on news of India's import tax hike 18-SEP-2015 06:41:53 PM  *Palm prices fall 1.1 percent  *Market downtrend as India raises import tax, KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures dropped on Friday as news of India's import tax hike on crude and refined vegetable oils dampened market sentiment. The benchmark December palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 1.1 percent at the end of the trading day, closing at 2,104 ringgit ($500.24) a tonne.

CIMB - Regional plantations - India ups edible oil import duties 21 September 2015 - Duty on crude edible oil has been increased from 7.5% to 12.5% and on refined edible oil from 15% to 20%. This move is not entirely a surprise to us as the players have been lobbying for higher import duty on edible oils for some time. But the increase in duties was much lower than industry’s proposals. We view this as a slight plus for CPO producers due to the smaller than expected rise in import duties and neutral for Indian edible oil refiners.

 13 September 2015: India transfat limit in oils cut, India palm oil imports to hit record 10 million tonnes as 'producers dump', palm oil ban at Kerala ports upheld,  GAR sees 2016 at 27-28 mill tonnes. 

Editor's note - due to being away on travels lately news review has been a bit sparse, so this segment is a major review going back to 28 August.

Palm Oil Will Be Weak Short Term, Stronger Further Out  Sep. 9, 2015 9:32 AM ET; Summary. Slowing Indian palm oil demand will keep prices down. Increased soyoil production in China will also put downward pressure on prices.  Declining production in Indonesia and Malaysia will over time, be a positive price catalyst, as global demand rises. 

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3498336-palm-oil-will-be-weak-short-term-stronger-further-out

Golden Agri-Resources sees Indonesia's 2016 palm oil output at 27-28 mln tonnes JAKARTA, Sept 4 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/04/goldenagri-palm-oil-idUSJ9N0YC03020150904

On India

Transfat limit in oils cut by G.S. Mudur  New Delhi, Sept 2: India's food safety regulator has slashed the maximum allowed limit of transfats in cooking oil and fat by half to five per cent in a move that experts are calling an important step to safeguard public health. But nutrition scientists have cautioned that the government will also need to tweak oilseed crop policies to draw the food processing industry and consumers away from unhealthy but inexpensive transfats to healthier cooking oils. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set five per cent as the maximum limit for the amount of transfats in hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine and fat spread from the current limit of 10 per cent. The new limit will be applicable from August 2016.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150903/jsp/nation/story_40496.jsp#.VfTlb4ywqpo

Palm oil imports to hit record 10 million tonnes as 'producers dump' at discount: Ruchi Soya Reuters Aug 27, 2015, 03.40PM IST SYDNEY: Overseas purchases of palm oil in the year starting November are set to rise nearly eight percent to a record 10 million tonnes as producers dump the tropical oil at steep discounts, key importer Ruchi Soya said on Thursday.... http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-08-27/news/65929268_1_palm-oil-tropical-oil-total-edible-oil-imports

VSA cuts palm price hopes, citing big Indian stocks  15:36 UK, 4th Sept 2015, by Agrimoney.com  Palm oil prices are in for a "difficult" time over the rest of 2015 thanks to rich supplies in India, VSA Capital said. "A change in fundamentals is needed before the sector becomes attractive again," VSA warned. The investment bank cut its forecast for average 2015 crude palm oil prices for Rotterdam delivery to $625 a tonne, from a previous forecast of $700 a tonne.

http://www.agrimoney.com/news/vsa-cuts-palm-price-hopes-citing-big-indian-stocks--8735.html

India's Crop Failure to Keep Vegetable Oil Imports Near Record by  Isis Almeida September 8, 2015 — 9:30 PM HKT; Oil World sees Indian vegetable oil imports at 14 million tons. Dry weather means oilseed crop faces second year of failure 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-08/india-s-crop-failure-to-keep-vegetable-oil-imports-near-record

India edible oil producers fight losing battle against cheap palm oil imports By Rajendra Jadhav Thu Sep 3, 2015 5:00pm EDT  * Palm oil prices near 6-1/2 year lows, to spur more imports * Next year, India's palm oil imports seen up 7.5 percent * Oilseed crushing plants operating at 30 percent capacity

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/03/india-edibleoil-imports-idUSL4N1175I520150903

Supreme Court upholds Government of India Notification banning Import of Palm Oil through Kerala Ports By: Ashok KM |  August 23, 2015 

http://www.livelaw.in/supreme-court-upholds-government-of-india-notification-banning-import-of-palm-oil-through-kerala-ports/

India poised to drive a shift towards sustainable palm oil - Will India use its influence as the world's top importer of palm oil to push sustainability? Sarah Hucal reports...“There is no real ‘burning platform’ for companies to decide to move towards certification, especially for products aimed at the internal market,” Savi said, highlighting a main challenge for the RSPO in pushing forward certified sustainable palm oil.... 

http://www.eco-business.com/news/india-poised-to-drive-a-shift-towards-sustainable-palm-oil/

On China

Malaysia - China to be top CPO buyer  Tuesday, 8 September 2015  By: DANIEL KHOO; Malaysia will soon export more palm oil to China than India. KUALA LUMPUR: China is expected to reclaim its top spot as an export destination for Malaysian palm oil from India on pricing and trade financing facilitation measures, said Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor. He said that in the last few years, soybean oil had been cheap so China had imported more of that commodity compared to palm oil. However, he noted that exports of palm oil to China had grown in recent times due to the high discount of the commodity to its close rival soybean oil.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/08/China-to-be-top-CPO-buyer/?style=biz

AM markets: ag futures extend recovery as China worries ease   09:55 GMT, Wednesday, 9th Sept 2015, by Mike Verdin; If there is one ag commodity that bulls wish they had bought a couple of weeks ago, it may be palm oil. OK, the real fireworks in financial markets on Wednesday were occurring in shares, with Tokyo stocks soaring 7.7%, and other Asian indices higher too.... The rally has been attributed to factors including reduced concerns over the Chinese economy, after the country's finance ministry overnighted said it would carry out "stronger proactive fiscal policy" to tackle headwinds to economic growth....http://www.agrimoney.com/marketreport/am-markets-ag-futures-extend-recovery-as-china-worries-ease--3286.html

Food Prices Drop Most in 7 Years on Grain Glut, China Rout  by  Rudy Ruitenberg  September 10, 2015 — 6:21 PM HKTUpdated on September 10, 2015 — 11:56 PM HKT 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-10/food-prices-drop-most-in-7-years-on-grain-gluts-to-china-concern

Palm Oil Nears Bear Market as Chinese Demand Outlook Worsens by Anuradha Raghu August 25, 2015 — 4:26 PM HKTUpdated on August 25, 2015 — 6:58 PM HKT  Futures slump below 1,900 ringgit for first time since 2009. Prices hurt by rout in commodities, weak biodiesel demand

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-25/palm-set-for-bear-bear-market-as-chinese-demand-outlook-worsens

Commodities Slump to 16-Year Low on Mining, Oil Stocks  by Ranjeetha Pakiam and Rakteem Katakey August 24, 2015 — 10:10 AM HKTUpdated on August 25, 2015 — 5:04 AM HKT;  A measure of returns from commodities sank to its lowest since 1999 and shares in resource companies tumbled by the most since the financial crisis on concern that a slowing Chinese economy will exacerbate supply gluts.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-24/bloomberg-commodity-index-slides-to-lowest-level-in-16-years

10 September 2015: Aug stocks 2.49 mil tonnes up 16.5%, Kenanga Deutsche Futures sees support-resistance at 2080-2140, USDMYR 4.37, Indonesia & Malaysia to Form Joint Palm Oil Standards

Indonesia & Malaysia to Form Joint Palm Oil Standards

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/multimedia/indonesia-malaysia-form-joint-palm-oil-standards/

Kenanga Deutsche Futures, 10 Sep 2015 notes: Productions in Aug were up by 13%, larger-than-market expected as a result ending stock surged to 16.5% in Aug due to bumper yield during peak season of palm oil harvest. Meanwhile, exports increased much slower-than-expected of 0.3%, resulted from sluggish demand from major buyer China and India. Expect futures to trade on a cautious tone in the 2nd session due to bearish sets of data on production growth and higher stockpiles. However, positive ITS 1-10 day export numbers will provide cushion on the downside. Support and resistance are pegged at 2080 and 2140 respectively

USDMYR has been on weakening trend. Now around 4.37.

source: Google, 10 Sep 2015, accessed 1pm

7 September 2015: Maybank lowers CPO outlook RM2400-2600/tonne for 2015-2017, Gapki plays down China effect, Indonesia CPO fund disbursement to spur the industry

Maybank Research lowers CPO average selling price Wednesday, 2 September 2015  KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Investment Bank (IB) Research has revised downwards its crude palm oil (CPO) average selling price (ASP) and maintained a “neutral” call on the plantations sector. “We  revise  down  our  2015/16/17  CPO ASP  forecasts  by -13/-8/-8% to  RM2,100, RM2,300, RM2,400 per tonne respectively (from RM2,400/2,500/2,600 per tonne).  For our US dollar forecasts, the revision was steeper at -19/-17/-16% incorporating a weaker ringgit of 3.80-3.90  (from 3.50).

ttp://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/02/Maybank-Research-lowers-CPO-average-selling-price/?style=biz

Palm oil industry group plays down China effect Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, September 03 2015, 5:15 PM; China’s economic slowdown has not affected our sales volume in any significant way,” said Gapki chairman Fadhil Hasan.Many palm oil exporters began sending out their crude palm oil (CPO) products to non-traditional markets such as Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan in recent years, he explained to The Jakarta Post recently.Citing data from the association, Fadhil said that demand for Indonesia’s CPO from China declined by only 5 percent to 1.9 million tons in the January-July period of this year, a drop from around 2 million tons in the same period of last year. This drop, however, was countered by exports to new and growing markets. CPO exports to the Middle East hit 1.25 million tons in the January-July period of this year, and is on course to hit last year’s export level of 2.3 million tons by the end of the year, according to the data. The data also revealed that CPO exports to Africa reached 1.3 million tons in the first seven months of this year, already close to the 1.7 million ton exported in 2014. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/03/palm-oil-industry-group-plays-down-china-effect.html#sthash.2NvqgMsv.dpuf

Disbursement of CPO funds ready to spur industry The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Mon, September 07 2015, 5:40 PM; The Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP) is preparing to disburse a crude palm oil (CPO) fund to give incentives to the domestic biodiesel industry and replant aging oil palms, as it has collected more than Rp 1 trillion (US$70.7 million) to date.The disbursement is approaching after state oil and gas firm Pertamina bought around 10,000 kiloliters (KL) of biodiesel from palm oil companies as of Aug. 31 for its new subsidized diesel B15, which has a mandatory 15 percent palm oil content to reduce fuel imports.BPDP president director Bayu Krisnamurthi said that the BPDP would pay a subsidy of Rp 2,700 per liter of biodiesel from the fund.“The funds we have collected are enough to fund the gap between the price in MOPS [Mean of Platts Singapore] and the biodiesel,” Bayu said on Friday.The CPO volume secured by Pertamina is part of the contract between the firm and petroleum and chemical distributor AKR Corporindo with palm oil producers to buy 339,000 KL of CPO from Aug. 17 to Oct. 31.For the rest of the year, the contract is targeted to secure 426,000 KL of CPO.Meanwhile, another BPDP executive, fund distribution director Dadan Kusdiana, said that the BPDP had collected more than Rp 1 trillion to date, which would partially be used for the subsidy. The body aimed to garner Rp 4.5 trillion this year. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/07/disbursement-cpo-funds-ready-spur-industry.html#sthash.Z7osZ4zu.dpuf

MPOC counters anti-palm oil propaganda in Paris Monday, 7 September 2015 By: DANIEL KHOO; KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is launching a palm oil branding campaign in Paris on Monday in a move to balance the anti palm oil lobby in parts of Western Europe. Its chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said on Monday that this was a necessary step as Europe was also an important and big market for palm oil products and exports.  "We will use both traditional and new media to do this. Athletes from Europe will also be our ambassadors who will help share nutritional benefits of palm oil," he said at a press conference here.  Officials at the MPOC said that other than the many nutritional benefits of palm oil, it's properties also include being one of the sole edible oils which is very stable at high temperatures, making it the choice oil for deep frying food....http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/09/07/MPOC-counters-anti-palm-oil-propaganda-in-Paris/?style=biz

 30 August 2015: Indonesia-Malaysia historic meeting on palm oil issues - to collaborate and coordinate strategies

Ministry hails positive outcome of palm oil Published on: Saturday, August 29, 2015 Kuala Lumpur: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry welcomes the positive outcome of the meeting on Thursday between Malaysia and Indonesia on palm oil issues.  In a statement Friday, it said the historic meeting was the first time that the two major oil palm producers reached concrete understanding to collaborate and coordinate strategies on issues related to palm oil. "The ministry is confident the decisions taken will augur well for the palm oil industry during these challenging times, especially towards assisting the smallholders," it said. – Bernama

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=102821

;

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/bu/newsbusiness.php?id=1166117

25 August 2015: VEGOILS-Palm trades at nearly 6-1/2-year low on Chinese economic woes - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm trades at nearly 6-1/2-year low on Chinese economic woes  24-Aug-2015 06:24:25 PM * Chinese woes dominate markets, weigh on palm * Further palm weakness expected in global sell-off * Palm touches 1,904 ringgit, lowest since March 2009.

22 August 2015: Indonesia New levy boosts exports of processed palm oils, Malaysia seeks strategies to boost palm oil price, Deere says lower crop prices are weakening the farm economy

Indonesia New levy boosts exports of processed palm oils The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, August 19 2015, 3:55 PM;...Indonesia Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP) president director Bayu Krisnamurthi said in Jakarta on Tuesday that the export of processed palm oil products had increased sharply following the launch of new levy policy in July.According to agency data, refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) crude palm oil and RBD palm olein accounted for 75 percent of total palm oil exports last month, while the share of CPO dropped to 25 percent from about 70 percent previously.....The new subsidized diesel, BI 15, officially launched by Pertamina Monday, has a 15 percent palm oil content, up from 10 percent.For the program, state-owned gas and oil firm Pertamina and petroleum and chemical distributor PT AKR Corporindo have secured contract with palm oil producers to buy 339,000 kiloliters (KL) of CPO from Aug. 17 until Oct. 31. This year, Pertamina plans to buy 765,000 KL of CPO this year for blending purpose and about 750,000 KL for non-subsidized diesel.With the current price, BPDP is required pay a subsidy of Rp 2,600 per liter of the subsidized biodiesel because its retail price is far below its market price. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/19/new-levy-boosts-exports-processed-palm-oils.html#sthash.hSV4uCxO.dpuf

MPIC to introduce strategies to boost palm oil price August 21, 2015, Friday; BAGAN DATOH: The Ministry Of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) plans to introduce strategies in an effort to boost palm oil price.... Its minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the ministry would make suggestions to the government to extend the use of palm oil in industries to re-implement the replanting incentive. “We will submit a Cabinet paper on the matter in two weeks,” he told reporters after a working visit to United Plantations Bhd (UPB) at Jenderata Estate near here yesterday.

Read more:

http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/08/21/mpic-to-introduce-strategies-to-boost-palm-oil-price/#ixzz3jXw5fqdW

Deere Cuts Full Year Profit Forecast As Farmers Reduce Spending - The world’s largest farm equipment maker says lower crop prices are weakening the farm economy; by Jack Kaskey and Shruti Singh August 21, 2015 — 7:07 PM HKTUpdated on August 21, 2015 — 9:54 PM HKT 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-21/deere-cuts-full-year-profit-forecast

13 August 2015: CPO drops below RM2000, soy and corn prices plunge, CNY 3-day drop, Ringgit falls through RM4 to USD, Malaysia starts banks limiting withdrawals? (checks show this is NOT TRUE)

2 year price chart,

http://bepi.mpob.gov.my/

, accessed 9am, 13 August 2015

Ambank Plantation Sector: Soybean and corn prices plunged yesterday on bearish USDA report, 13 August 2015; USDA’s report is not positive for vegetable oil prices. We also believe that the decline in soybean prices could have been exacerbated by the devaluation of the Yuan.  In the palm oil space, CPO prices for September fell yesterday to RM1,986/tonne in line with falling soybean prices. Based on the latest prices, the discount between CPO and soybean oil is 23.1% or US$148/tonne compared with the five-year average of 14.4%. In the short-term, we think that CPO production and inventory would peak in either September or October 2015....

The ringgit, having fallen through the psychologically important RM4:US$1 barrier, is one of the globe’s worst performing currencies. The raid on the currency from global traders appears to be picking up speed, with the ringgit weakening to RM4.25 to the US dollar before the central bank used enough reserves to drive it back down to RM4:03. Banks have begun to limit retail withdrawals to RM3,000 and currency traders say there is a shortage of foreign currencies as people seek safer havens in the dollar.... Malaysia’s Mahathir & Razaleigh Teaming Up to Sink Najib Posted on August 12, 2015By John Bertthelsen,

http://www.asiasentinel.com/blog/malaysias-mahathir-razaleigh-teaming-up-to-sink-najib/

Yuan Drops for Third Day After PBOC Reference Rate Declines 1.1%

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-13/pboc-s-yuan-reference-rate-drops-for-third-day-after-devaluation

USD vs SGD/Sing dollar, IDR/Rupiah, MYR/Ringgit, CNY/Yuan, INR/Rupee

30-days price chart,

http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates/

, accessed 10am, 13 August 2015

What a Weaker Chinese Yuan Means for the World - Move to allow the market a greater say in setting the yuan level is roiling currencies, commodities and stocks the world over  by Malcolm Scott and Ailing Tan

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-12/what-a-weaker-chinese-yuan-means-for-the-world?cmpid=BBD081215_BIZ

EL-ERIAN: China made the right move, but at the wrong time by Mohamed El-Erian, Contributor Aug. 12, 2015, 2:28 PM

http://www.businessinsider.com/el-erian-china-took-the-right-step-at-the-wrong-time-2015-8?IR=T

&

11 August 2015: VEGOILS-Palm oil continues decline amid caution over data - Reuters; BMD RM2030/US$517, BofAML sees no end to global soybean glut, but point out soybean farmers previously stock at US$9/bu; China devalues Yuan

VEGOILS-Palm oil continues decline amid caution over data  10-Aug-2015 07:14:54 PM  * Malaysia Aug. 1-10 exports up 57.6 pct -ITS  * MPOB reports

palm oil stocks up 5.29 pct in July  By Fergus Jensen  JAKARTA, Aug 10 (Reuters) ....By the close on Monday, the benchmark palm oil contract for October 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was 0.64 percent lower at 2,030 ringgit ($516.93) a tonne, erasing early gains...

Palm Reads: August 2015 vegetable oil trends - ASEAN - 23pp by BofAML points out: Palm stocks to grow on post Ramadan palm supply catchup, biological upcycle and weak demand on soy, Brent and EM weakness...We are yet to see enough from Indonesian biodiesel or El Nino to suggest they can help tighten the market anytime soon..... We see no end in sight to the global soybean glut with stocks-to-use likely to keep growing through the next twelve months with limited supply discipline likely from lower cost South American farmers. But soybean farmers have historically been able to withhold selling and offer downside price support for soybean/ soy oil at US$9/bu or US$660/tonne - which might somewhat limit the downside for vegetable oil prices despite the growing glut....

China Moves to Devalue the Yuan By Lingling Wei  Aug. 10, 2015 10:00 p.m. ET BEIJING—China’s central bank moved to devalue its tightly controlled currency Tuesday as the world’s second-largest economy continues to sputter.

In an apparent effort to blunt criticism over China’s exchange-rate policy, the People’s Bank of China took the step with an eye toward making the yuan’s value more market-based: the midpoint, or...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-moves-to-devalue-the-yuan-1439258401?mod=djemalertMARKET

8 August 2015: Important traders worried about demand destruction for palm oil? Reuters-VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 11-month low as demand worries persist, BMD RM2035/US$525; Bloomberg - Commodities Are Crashing Like It's 2008 All Over Again 

Note: Important traders worried about demand destruction for palm oil or the relative preference shift to other oils when prices in historical relative proximity. Note, an example here of higher incomes resulting in switch on sat fats concers: Khor Reports - fast food watch: Macdonalds in Singapore - trimming palm oil for canola and sun blends

/khorreports-palmoil/2015/08/khor-reports-fast-food-watch-macdonalds.html

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 11-month low as demand worries persist 05-Aug-2015 06:24:05 PM By Michael Taylor *Prices touch 2,023 ringgit, lowest since Sept. 11 *Concerns on India, China demand weigh on prices JAKARTA, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures reversed gains to hit an 11-month low on Wednesday as worries about rising production and falling demand offset initial support from a weak currency and firmer comparative vegetable oils. By the close, the benchmark palm oil contract for October on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had eased 1.3 percent to 2,035 ringgit ($525) a tonne.....

Commodities Are Crashing Like It's 2008 All Over Again  by Debarati Roy August 5, 2015 — 8:29 PM HKTUpdated on August 6, 2015 — 5:51 AM HKT

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-05/commodities-meltdown-hits-2008-levels-of-bearishness

24 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm slips for second day, tracks losses in overseas markets - Reuters; BMD RM2188/$575

VEGOILS-Palm slips for second day, tracks losses in overseas markets By Fergus Jensen 23-Jul-2015 07:18:45 PM ?Palm tracks drops in Dalian RBD palm oil -trader ?Russia considers limits on palm oil use in food production JAKARTA, July 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures declined in quiet trading on Thursday, extending losses into a second session after declines in competing markets, potential Russian limits on the use of the tropical oil and concerns over recent export data.

....By Thursday's close benchmark palm oil for October delivery on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives  was down 0.73 percent at 2,188 ringgit ($575.03) a tonne....

23 July 2015: Note on rising palm oil food use limits / nutrition concerns outside core developed markets and the soybean oil vs rapeseed oil tussle of high oleics; Reuters - VEGOILS-Palm edges down from one-week high as Q3 output eyed, Russia considers limits on palm oil use in food production, major food manufacturers in Thailand have moved from using palm oil to rice bran oil in potato crisps and snacks — a change that appears to be driven by the industry’s own assessment of health trends among Thai consumers?

VEGOILS-Palm edges down from one-week high as Q3 output eyed By Fergus Jensen 22-Jul-2015 07:12:30 PM * Palm oil also pressured by stronger ringgit * May drop to 2,190 rgt as failed to break 2,227 -analyst TECH/C

Note: The apparent food use limits or nutrition concerns (sat fats driven) about palm oil have been spreading beyond the core developed markets to Singapore, Iran and now possibly Russia? While palm oil hopes for US transfats ban boost, the expectation were limited as the expected ban had food manufacturers transitioning well ahead of time; also it appears that soybean and canola high oleics are going to be tussling over market shares too.

Cargill set to take on soybean oil campaign Posted Jul. 16th, 2015 by Sean Pratt; ...Willie Loh, vice-president of market development with Cargill, told the conference that the major players in the food service and packaged food industries have already made the switch from partially hydrogenated soy oil to high oleic canola oil.
 “The penetration of high oleic canola has been nothing short of remarkable,” he said.
... However, annual sales growth is flattening out. Sales that expanded at more than 10 percent per year from 2009-11 have slowed to four percent per year, which is equal to the population growth rate in North America.
 He said high oleic canola has been on the market since 1993, and food manufacturers have figured out when they need it and when they can use lower cost substitutes.
 “We believe that market penetration is near the maximum,” said Loh.
...Loh feels there is a good chance high oleic acreage will actually contract because of the looming competition from high oleic soybeans.
 “If you’re in the high oleic canola industry, look out the window, they’re all coming after you,” he said. ....The United Soybean Board is spending $12 million per year for five years promoting the new product in an attempt to regain the millions of acres it has lost to canola.


“This is a lot of money. They’re going to win. This is a big industry and there’s blood in the water,” said Loh.
...

http://www.producer.com/2015/07/cargill-set-to-take-on-soybean-oil-campaign/

Russia considers limits on palm oil use in food production MOSCOW, July 22; Russia is considering imposing limits on the use of palm oil in food production, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Wednesday. TASS news agency quoted Dvorkovich, who oversees the agriculture sector, as saying the government was yet to decide on what action to take. Proposals include tightening rules on use of the tropical oil and greater transparency in the sector, Interfax quoted Dvorkovich as telling reporters in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. The reports gave no indication as to why the government was considering the limits.

Russia banned most Western food imports in August 2014 in response to economic sanctions imposed by Western governments over Moscow's role in the crisis in Ukraine. Coupled with a decline by the rouble against the U.S. dollar, the ban has forced domestic food producers to use cheaper raw materials, including more palm oil, to try to cut costs, Vedomosti newspaper reported this week..... Russia has imported 512,000 tonnes of palm oil since the start of the marketing year on Oct. 1, Andrey Sizov, the head of SovEcon agriculture consultancy, told Reuters. The bulk of imports - 418,000 tonnes - came from Indonesia, the world's top producer of palm oil, while Malaysia was the second largest supplier....

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/22/russia-crisis-palmoil-idUKL5N1022DT20150722

How to end palm oil’s unsustainable rule by Bhavani Shankar 21/07/15; .... However, palm oil is higher in saturated fat than many other oils, and so linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. And large-scale oil palm cultivation has contributed to tropical deforestation, leading to higher greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.... The companies that have profited from the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations and palm oil production have done little to mitigate for these impacts and costs. Although palm oil could be produced more sustainably, this is difficult given the sheer scale of production in locations with extensive tropical forest and poor monitoring systems to prevent forest clearance. And efforts to reduce the health risks of highly saturated fat will inevitably mean some degree of substitution with other oils. .... A shift from palm oil -  These are all good reasons to move away from the palm oil-dominated status quo. To do this, researchers first need to better understand how the economic, environmental and health aspects of the problem relate to each other. Research in this area too often fails to promote understanding of how actions recommended in one area might play out in another — and this leads to uncertainty or lost opportunities for action. For example, lowering palm oil use by removing production subsidies could bring both health and environmental benefits, but these co-benefits may be missed when advocates focus only on one of these areas..... National trends such as changing consumer preferences could also be leveraged. For example,

major food manufacturers in Thailand have moved from using palm oil to rice bran oil in potato crisps and snacks — a change that appears to be driven by the industry’s own assessment of health trends among Thai consumers

. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity for public health messages to influence consumer opinion and promote a broader choice of oils....Bhavani Shankar is an applied economist and professor of international food, agriculture and health at SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom. He co-leads the Wellcome Trust-funded project Palm Oil: Sustainability, Health and Economics. He can be contacted at

b.shankar@soas.ac.uk

http://www.scidev.net/global/sustainability/opinion/palm-oil-unsustainable-rule-diversify.html

21 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm oil drops for 3rd day on falling exports, firm dollar  - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm oil drops for 3rd day on falling exports, firm dollar By Naveen Thukral 20-Jul-2015 07:02:57 PM *Futures drop to 2,165 ringgit, lowest since July 9 *Malaysia's July 1-20 palm oil exports down 15.5 pct -ITS...Palm oil may drop to 2,139 ringgit per tonne as it has breached support at 2,182 ringgit, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities technical

16 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm oil eases from 1-week top on worries about slowing demand  - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm oil eases from 1-week top on worries about slowing demand By Naveen Thukral 15-Jul-2015 06:19:14 PM *Palm oil falls 0.2 pct after climbing to 1-week top on Tuesday *Concerns about slowing demand, rising output pressure prices

Palm oil fund body eyes Rp 4.5 trillion in 2015 - Jakarta Post;

/khorreports-palmoil/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

15 July 2015: VEGOILS -Palm oil up for 4th day on short-covering, firmer soybeans - Reuters; CIMB - Regional Plantation - Indonesian biodiesel conundrum

VEGOILS -Palm oil up for 4th day on short-covering, firmer soybeans 14-Jul-2015 07:43:18 PM By Mayank Bhardwaj NEW DELHI, July 14 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose for the fourth consecutive session on short-covering ahead of holidays and strength in Chicago soybean futures. Chicago soybeans futures climbed 0.55 percent as U.S. crop conditions deteriorated slightly.  The September palm oil contract  on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange rose 0.14 percent, or 3 ringgit, to 2,204 ringgit a tonne by the close.

CIMB - Regional Plantation - Indonesian biodiesel conundrum; 15 July 2015 at 08:21....

/khorreports-palmoil/2014/07/biodiesel-news-update-5.html

14 July 2015: VEGOILS -Palm oil flat in thin trade, slowing exports pressure prices   - Reuters; Bloomberg articles: Singapore Economy Contracts Most Since 2012, China May Tip World Into Recession, Morgan Stanley’s Sharma Says, Five Charts Putting China's Stock Market Mayhem in Perspective

VEGOILS -Palm oil flat in thin trade, slowing exports pressure prices  By Mayank Bhardwaj 13-Jul-2015 06:54:34 PM  *Sharp decline in exports keep pressure on prices *Trading is expected remain slow this week

Singapore Economy Contracts Most Since 2012 on Manufacturing by Livia Yapand Sharon Chen July 14, 2015 — 8:00 AM HKTUpdated on July 14, 2015 — 8:46 AM HKT; Singapore’s economy contracted more than analysts predicted last quarter, underscoring the weakening outlook for Asian nations amid sluggish global growth. The local dollar weakened to its lowest level in more than a month.Gross domestic product fell an annualized 4.6 percent in the three months through June from the previous quarter, when it expanded a revised 4.2 percent, the trade ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The median of 13 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 1.5 percent contraction.

Growth in global trade has slowed in the last few years after outpacing world expansion for decades, according to the International Monetary Fund. A commodities slump, China’s slowdown and uneven recoveries in the U.S. and Europe have damped the exports that power many Asian economies.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-14/singapore-gdp-growth-contracts-most-since-2012-on-manufacturing

China May Tip World Into Recession, Morgan Stanley’s Sharma Says by Ye Xieand Gavin Serkin July 14, 2015 — 7:13 AM HKT; Forget about all the shoes, toys and other exports. China may soon have another thing to offer the world: a recession. That is the prediction from Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, who says a continuation of China’s slowdown in the next years may drag global economic growth below 2 percent, a threshold he views as equivalent to a world recession. It would be the first global slump over the past 50 years without the U.S. contracting....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/china-may-tip-world-into-recession-morgan-stanley-s-sharma-says

Five Charts Putting China's Stock Market Mayhem in Perspective - "Markets are allowed to operate on the way up, not on the way down"  by Malcolm Scott July 14, 2015 — 12:18 AM HKT

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/five-charts-putting-china-s-stock-market-mayhem-in-perspective

Greece and China Battle for Most Dangerous ETF - Who will win? Pop a Dramamine and check out this chart  by Eric Balchunas July 14, 2015 — 12:07 AM HKT;

Quick, which one's crazier, Greece or China? The collapse of Chinese stocks in the past month does indeed eclipse Greece's market turmoil. But when it comes to the volatility of the exchange-traded funds tracking those two markets, it's a (scary) toss-up. The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) and the Deutsche X-Trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR) appear to be vying for riskiest ETF1increase click area. Both have seen their volatility more than triple in the past 10 days, to levels that surpass even the most hard-core leveraged funds.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/greece-and-china-battle-for-most-dangerous-etf

13 July 2015: Thai govt to buy 100,000 tonnes palm oil from domestic producers, to relieve oversupply - Reuters

Thai govt to buy 100,000 T palm oil from domestic producers By Reuters / Reuters   | July 13, 2015 : 9:02 PM MYT; BANGKOK (July 13): Thailand will buy 100,000 tonnes of crude palm oil from domestic producers between June and November using a government fund of 2.9 billion baht ($85.2 million), a senior government official said on Monday....The government purchases aim to keep the domestic price of palm oil competitive and relieve oversupply, Lersak Rewtarkulpaiboon, a secretary general at the country's Office of Agricultural Economics told reporters.The domestic crude palm oil inventory has reached 300,000 tonnes recently, more than the 220,000 tonnes the government sees as adequate. The plan goes to the cabinet for approval at a meeting on Tuesday, he added....

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/my/article/thai-govt-buy-100000-t-palm-oil-domestic-producers

Background:

  • USDA GAIN Report: Palm Oil Production-Supply-Demand Update Thailand, June 2015, http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Palm%20Oil%20Production-Supply-Demand%20Update_Bangkok_Thailand_6-12-2015.pdf
  • Thai govt to buy 50,000 T palm oil after drought cuts domestic supply by Reuters January 19, 2015 5:24 AM; BANGKOK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Thailand plans to import around50,000 tonnes of crude palm oil from February due to a domesticshortage caused by drought, using a 1.5 billion baht ($46million) government fund, a deputy prime minister said onMonday....."This will be a short-term measure until we reach palm oilproduction season," Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters following ameeting in Bangkok. Palm oil output peaks in the second half ofthe year. Imports are expected to come from either Indonesia orMalaysia, Wiwan Boonyaprateeprat, secretary-general of the ThaiOil Palm and Palm Oil Association, told Reuters. The government would pay a maximum of $0.86 per kg,including delivery costs, he said. Thailand is experiencing drought in nine provinces, whichcut palm oil output in November and December 2014 by 27 percenton the year, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics... http://finance.yahoo.com/news/thai-govt-buy-50-000-102408822.html

10 July 2015: VEGOILS -Palm oil edges up on lower June output, stock drawdown, VEGOILS-Palm oil up from 6-week low on lower output expectations - Reuters

VEGOILS -Palm oil edges up on lower June output, stock drawdown By Mayank Bhardwaj 10-Jul-2015 07:11:17 PM *June stocks drop 4.33 pct from revised 2.24 mln T at end-May *Output in June falls 2.58 percent to 1.76 million tonnes *June exports rise 5.19 percent to 1.69 million tonnes

VEGOILS-Palm oil up from 6-week low on lower output expectations By Mayank Bhardwaj NEW DELHI, July 9 (Reuters)  *Palm ticks up after dropping 2.7 pct on Wednesday *Market lifted by expectations of lower June output data... The September palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange gained 1.6 percent to 2,185 ringgit ($573.2) a tonne by the close.... On the technical front, palm oil has found a support around 2,139 ringgit and is expected to bounce to 2,182 ringgit.... The support is provided by the 76.4 percent Fibonacci retracement on the uptrend from the April 29 low of 2,070 ringgit to the June 8 high of 2,362 ringgit, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities technicals.....

9 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm oil slides 3 pct on China markets turmoil, Greek crisis - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm oil slides 3 pct on China markets turmoil, Greek crisis *Palm falls to 6-week low on China, Greek crisis *China stocks tumble as regulator warns of "panic" By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, July 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures slid for a third session on Wednesday... (September BMD) 2,152 ringgit ($565.72) a tonne by the close...

8 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm oil drops for 2nd day on Greek concerns, weak soyoil  - Reuters; Sept BMD 2,210 ringgit ($581.6)

VEGOILS-Palm oil drops for 2nd day on Greek concerns, weak soyoil By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, July 7 (Reuters)  *Palm oil closes 1.1 pct lower on global concerns *Expectations of lower June output limit losses...The September palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange dropped 1.1 percent, or 25 ringgit, to 2,210 ringgit ($581.6) a tonne by close.

1 July 2015: VEGOILS-Palm gains on improved demand outlook; Greece concerns remain - Reuters, CPO RM 2,268 ringgit ($606); Governments try to support the price of rubber following a prolonged supply glut

VEGOILS-Palm gains on improved demand outlook; Greece concerns remain By Michael Taylor 01-Jul-2015 06:41:49 PM *Palm oil rises to 2,268 ringgit per tonne *Overnight USDA report bolsters palm oil *Greece uncertainty limits gains JAKARTA, July 1 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil finished in positive territory on Wednesday, tracking other vegetable oils higher after a bullish overnight U.S. agriculture department report but with traders remaining cautious after Greece's debt default. The September palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange extended earlier gains to close 1.8 percent higher at 2,268 ringgit ($606) a tonne after trading in a range of 2,234-2,268 ringgit.

Analysts neutral on natural rubber latex usage for roadbuilding Posted on June 29, 2015, Monday

KUCHING: Analysts are neutral on Malaysian government’s plans to use 10 per cent of its natural rubber latex output for roadbuilding from 2016. AmResearch Sdn Bhd (AmResearch) in a report, noted that a similar proposal had been made by the Thai government last year. “Back in August 2014,  it announced plans to increase the domestic consumption of rubber (for example in the construction of infrastructure) from 14 per cent to 20 per cent instead of engaging in costly market buybacks (such as back in 2012) to stabilise prices,” it explained. The research team added, “The moves are attempts by the respective governments to support the price of the commodity following a prolonged supply glut.... Read more:

http://www.theborneopost.com/

2015/06/29/analysts-neutral-

on-natural-rubber-latex-usage-

for-roadbuilding/#

ixzz3ePZhcUuT

26 June 2015:

VEGOILS-Palm oil ends lower as investors turn cautious on demand - Reuters;RM 2,264 / US$603

VEGOILS-Palm oil ends lower as investors turn cautious on demand 25-Jun-2015 06:54:06 PM  By Anuradha Raghu *Malaysia June 1-20 CPO output down 1.8 pct -growers' group  *Ringgit falls to 3.7670 per dollar... The Malaysian Palm Oil Association, a group of growers, estimates that production dipped by 1.8 percent between June 1-20 from a month earlier, with a drop in yields in top-growing state Sabah....  The September palm oil contract 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange ended 0.3 percent lower at 2,264 ringgit ($603) a tonne on Thursday, shaving off gains after climbing to their highest since June 17 at 2,285 ringgit earlier in the day....

25 June 2015:

Indonesia palm oil - levies for prices below $750 and export taxes if prices exceed $750; Gapki seeks CPO Fund support for replanting efforts as well as biodiesel subsidies and other industry development efforts; acknowledges short-term costs of levies but expects positive effects in one  year

26 June update note:

Traders point out that new Indonesia levies applies to corporates and NOT smallholders

See 25 June posting here:

/khorreports-palmoil/2014/11/eye-on-president-jokowi-asks-china-aiib.html

VEGOILS-Palm oil rises to 1-week high as ringgit dips further  24-Jun-2015 07:06:45 PM  By Anuradha Raghu  *Malaysian ringgit touches 3.7590 per U.S. dollar  *Indonesian CPO levies may be reviewed periodically - agency  *Malaysia's B10 programme implementation on track - minister

23 June 2015:

VEGOILS-Palm falls to 3-wk low as flat exports stoke uncertainty over demand, Sept BMD RM2220/USD595 - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm falls to 3-wk low as flat exports stoke uncertainty over demand 22-Jun-2015 06:23:45 PM By Anuradha Raghu *Malaysia's June 1-20 palm exports up 0.4-3.3 pct - cargo surveyors *Demand for palm uncertain in final week of June - traders...Production would need to ease to reduce stockpiles, which have swollen to a six-month high of 2.24 million tonnes, the trader added.....The September palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange had edged down 0.8 percent to 2,220 ringgit ($595.17) a tonne by Monday's close, after touching 2,218 ringgit in late trade, their lowest since May 29. Trading was relatively light as Chinese markets were closed for a holiday. ...Technicals show palm oil prices will probably see a target of 2,216 ringgit but face resistance at 2,250 ringgit, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao....

22 June 2015:

Palm oil eases to RM2240 / USD 599 at Friday close; U.S. Growth No Longer Lifting Asia's Exports

VEGOILS-Palm edges up as ringgit weakens, but posts 2nd weekly drop  By Anuradha Raghu  19-Jun-2015 06:30:58 PM  *Prices down 1.7 pct in 2nd weekly fall  *Ringgit down 0.8 pct to 3.7390 per dollar  *Palm production seen easing during Ramadan - traders  *Indonesia looking to impose $20/T levy on biodiesel - minister ........The September palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange slipped to 2,227 ringgit a tonne in early trade, its lowest since May 29, before settling 0.1 percent higher at 2,240 ringgit ($599.09) by Friday's close.     The pull-up was not enough to prevent palm from another weekly fall. Prices for the week were down 1.7 percent....  In other markets, oil eased below $64 a barrel on Friday...

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/markets-vegoils-idINL3N0Z53FO20150619

U.S. Growth No Longer Lifting Asia's Exports - Exports from China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore aren't tracking the Institute for Supply Management's U.S. factory index as closely by Sharon Chen June 22, 2015 — 11:57 AM HKT If you wanted to figure out where Asian exports were headed, U.S. manufacturing data used to be a logical place to start. Not anymore. The U.S. is buying more goods from neighbors such as Mexico instead of Asia, and the shale-gas boom has kept demand within the country, said Christy Tan, head of markets strategy for Asia at National Australia Bank Ltd. The recovery in the world's biggest economy is also more services-oriented this time, and some of the increase in wealth and employment is being used to pay off debt rather than on consumption, she said. "Asia's definitely lagging behind the U.S. recovery, and so if you're talking about an export-led recovery, I'm afraid that's not happening in Asia,'' said Tan. "It's the structural shift in terms of the U.S. recovery where demand is now  ore domestic oriented.''

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-22/u-s-growth-no-longer-lifting-asia-s-exports

20 June 2015:

Indonesia exports weakening trend - April-May decline with 17.5% drop in palm oil exports and import declines

Exports continue to weaken Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Tue, June 16 2015, 12:55 PM . By the end of May, overall exports declined 11.84 percent to $64.72 billion, underscoring a major challenge for the government to reach its 28 percent export growth target this year as part of its ambitious plan to triple exports within five years.“Indonesia should build efforts to increase exports in alternative products, especially in secondary and tertiary types, because people’s incomes are increasing globally,” said Sasmito Hadi Wibowo (BPS deputy head for distribution and service statistics) in reference to manufactured goods and services.BPS head Suryamin said the largest decline in non-oil and gas exports, equal to 17.54 percent month-on-month, occurred in animal fat and vegetable oil products, including palm oil..... From January to May, overall imports dropped 17.9 percent, with oil and gas deliveries shrinking 42.84 percent and non-oil and gas imports down 9.68 percent as weak domestic economic activities mean less demand for imported goods. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/16/exports-continue-weaken.html#sthash.sqLHND2g.dpuf

16 June 2015:

U.S. Bans Trans Fat (it was already well on route to voluntary phase out);

palm oil rally likely to fizzle as Ramadan demand fades, harvest supply looms - Reuters

U.S. Bans Trans Fat by Anna Edneyand Craig Giammona June 16, 2015 — 2:04 PM BSTUpdated on June 16, 2015 — 3:40 PM BST; Artificial trans fat will be removed from the U.S. food supply over the next three years under a ruling by regulators that the products pose health risks that contribute to heart disease. There’s no longer a scientific consensus that partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat, are generally recognized as safe, according to a final decision released Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration. The oils are used for frying and in baked goods as well as in confections. Food companies will be able to petition the FDA to gain approval of specific uses of partially hydrogenated oils if they have data proving the use isn’t harmful. Companies will have until June 2018 to comply with the FDA’s determination, either by removing trans fat or gaining a waiver. The FDA said it hasn’t seen any data to prove that even low levels of partially hydrogenated oils are safe.... The food industry has been using partially hydrogenated oils for decades, though many such as Kellogg Co., Kraft Foods Group Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc. have been phasing them out. Many baked goods such as pie crusts and biscuits as well as canned frosting still use partially hydrogenated oils because they help baked goods maintain their flakiness and frostings be spreadable. As for frying, palm oil is expected to be a go-to alternative, while modified soybean oil may catch on as well.........

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-16/u-s-bans-trans-fat-in-a-boost-for-palm-oil-and-a-blow-for-pie

Muslims in Malaysia begin Ramadan fast Thursday Updated: Tuesday June 16, 2015 MYT 8:42:46 PM 

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/06/16/Ramadan-Fasting-Thursday-Malaysia/

Palm oil rally likely to fizzle as Ramadan demand fades, harvest supply looms KUALA LUMPUR, June 12  |  By Anuradha Raghu  A rally in the price of palm oil to three month-highs may run out of steam as buying ahead of the Muslim festival of Ramadan fades and markets brace for growing supply as the main harvest approaches, traders and analysts said.

With only around a week left of what is typically the strongest demand period for the tropical oil, analysts said palm was unlikely to climb much beyond its current price of about 2,300 ringgit a tonne, with some saying it might fall.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/12/palmoil-prices-idINL3N0YX2K620150612

15 June 2015:

VEGOILS-Palm hits two-week low, falls most since March, on oversupply concerns  - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm hits two-week low, falls most since March, on oversupply concerns 12-Jun-2015 07:38:11 PM JAKARTA, June 12 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell to their lowest in two weeks on Friday and made their biggest weekly tumble in 12, as oversupply concerns were compounded by signs that buyers could switch to competing oils as the difference between prices has narrowed. By Friday's close the August palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange was down 0.7 percent at 2,277 ringgit ($605.91) a tonne....

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/vegoils-palm-hits-two-week-113811729.html

8 June 2015: 

VEGOILS-Palm ends higher on weak ringgit, records biggest weekly gain in 4 mths - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm ends higher on weak ringgit, records biggest weekly gain in 4 mths 05-Jun-2015 06:45:14 PM By Anuradha Raghu *Prices clock biggest weekly rise since Feb with 4.6 pct gain *Malaysia's May palm stocks seen easing to 2.14 mln T -Reuters poll *Ringgit falls to 7-wk low of 3.7200 per U.S. dollar *No damage to ports in Sabah after earthquake *Palm oil to retest resistance at 2,322 ringgit -technical

29 May 2015: 

VEGOILS-Palm hits two-week high on weak ringgit, competing markets - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm hits two-week high on weak ringgit, competing markets 28-May-2015 08:09:33 PM By Fergus Jensen * Rgt down around 1.65 pct against dollar this week * Palm oil may break resistance at 2,222 ringgit -technicals  JAKARTA, May 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rallied to a two-week high on Thursday as traders took advantage of a falling ringgit, supported by gains in competing markets and signs that the El Nino weather phenomenon could already be hurting output in East Malaysia. The August contract 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange was up 1.4 percent at 2,206 ringgit ($605.88) a tonne by Thursday's close. Prices earlier touched 2,219 ringgit, their highest since May 13. Total traded volume stood at 43,601 lots of 25 tonnes each, well above the average 35,000 lots traded by close. Benchmark palm prices have pulled up from more than three-week lows this week, following a surge in the Chinese and U.S. soy markets, with robust export demand so far in May also fuelling the rise.

28 May 2015:

Bahana - Indonesian plantations update: Gradual price recovery

Analysis: Indonesian plantations update: Gradual price recovery Agustinus Reza Kirana, Bahana, Jakarta | Business | Thu, May 28 2015, 8:08 AM - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/28/analysis-indonesian-plantations-update-gradual-price-recovery.html#sthash.lyXqYBRh.dpuf

26 May 2015:

VEGOILS-Palm ends higher as strong exports lift; delay to Indonesia CPO levy pressures  - Reuters

VEGOILS-Palm ends higher as strong exports lift; delay to Indonesia CPO levy pressures By Anuradha Raghu  25-May-2015 06:44:29 PM * Palm recovers some losses as jump in exports give boost * Malaysia May 1-25 palm oil exports rise 52.9 pct m/m - ITS  * Indonesia delays $50/T palm levy, could come in two weeks

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended higher on Monday after touching their lowest level this month, lifted by strong exports in the No.2 grower, but a delay to export levies in the world's top producer Indonesia mounted some pressure onto the contract.

23 May 2015:

Sime Darby sees palm oil at RM2,200-RM2,400 per tonne to year-end; Sime Darby reported a 54.7% plunge in its third-quarter net profit partly due to depressed palm oil pricesl Palm oil should not be seen as a threat 

Sime Darby sees palm oil at RM2,200-RM2,400 per tonne to year-end Published: 22 May 2015 4:50 PM Sime Darby expects palm oil prices to be between RM2,200 and RM2,400 per tonne. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 22, 2015. Palm oil prices will likely trade between RM2,200 and RM2,400 per tonne between now to the end of the year, said the chief executive of Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd, the world's top oil palm planter by land size. That would be higher than the current Malaysian benchmark palm prices of RM2,136 (US$596.31). Sime Darby CEO Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh had in February forecast prices between RM2,300 and RM2,500 until June 2015. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "If El Nino kicks in then the price could be higher. Otherwise, based on our readings of the markets, crop patterns, and production, it should support a RM2,200-RM2,400 price," Bakke said on Friday. He was speaking at a press conference after Sime Darby reported a 54.7% plunge in its third-quarter net profit partly due to depressed palm oil prices. Earnings for the current financial year are expected to come in at RM2-RM2.1 billion, short of a target of RM2.5 billion set earlier, Bakke said. Palm futures have shed more than 5% so far this year in the absence of a weather premium and due to bleak exports. Weak crude oil prices that make the tropical oil less attractive for blending into biofuels have also dragged on prices. - See more at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/sime-darby-sees-palm-oil-at-rm2200-rm2400-per-tonne-to-year-end#sthash.A81hnCqJ.dpuf

Palm oil should not be seen as a threat  By ZAIDI ISHAM ISMAIL - 21 May 2015 @ 4:25 PM KUALA LUMPUR: During the 1980s, the palm oil sector endured constant attack by Western-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which hurled the sector with a number of accusations. These accusations mainly focus on palm oil as being unhealthy thus making it dangerous for consumption. Subsequently, the Malaysian palm oil industry backed by the government went all out with guns blazing to counter all these accusations with scientific evidence at hand. The brickbats has somewhat simmered down but resurfaced again of late in particular in Europe with new claims that palm oil destroys the habitat of orangutans and is a contributing factor towards deforestation and global warming. But the Malaysian palm oil industry did not take it sitting down and continued dispelling all these negative connotations and thanks to all of its efforts, it can be safely said that all these accusations have dissipated as the NGOs no longer have t e ammunition to paint a negative picture on palm oil anymore. Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron said all these new accusations were partly due to the palm oil's popularity which has seen a volume spike in the last ten years. "Palm oil has been slowly replacing the edible oils in Europe and this has caused a serious concern to the edible oil producers over there and the NGOs to initiate the anti-palm oil campaigns in Europe.

http://www.nst.com.my/node/85005

17 Mary 2015:

India palm oil imports climb, Indonesia April CPO output up 11pct

Palm Imports by India Climb to Highest This Year as Prices Slump 'By'Swansy Afonso May 14, 2015 Palm oil imports by India, the world’s largest buyer, increased in April to the highest level this year after prices tumbled to a seven-month low.

Inbound shipments of crude and refined palm oil rose 7.5 percent to 718,091 metric tons from March, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in an e-mailed statement. That compares with the median estimate of 700,000 tons in a Bloomberg survey. Total vegetable oil imports, including for industrial use, rose 4.4 percent to 1.1 million tons, it said.

Prices in Kuala Lumpur fell in April to the lowest since September as record soybean supplies and lower crude oil costs weakened demand for the commodity used in everything from noodles to biofuel. Palm may slump to a six-year low in the second half as supplies expand and reserves accumulate, according to Dorab Mistry, director at Godrej International Ltd.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-14/palm-imports-by-india-climb-to-highest-this-year-as-prices-slump

Indonesia April crude palm oil output seen up 11 pct m/m -Reuters survey     By Michael Taylor Tue May 12, 2015 3:54am EDT * Indonesia produced 2.662 mln T CPO in April -median estimate     * Exports seen at highest since at least August last year     JAKARTA, May 12 Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) output likely rose 11 percent in April to its highest since September, a survey of leading industry officials showed, as trees entered a stronger period in the production cycle.     A rise in supply from the world's No.1 producer of the tropical oil could weigh on benchmark palm prices  currently trading near five-week peaks at 2,196 ringgit ($606) per tonne.      Indonesia produced 2.662 million tonnes of CPO in April, the median estimate in a Reuters survey of four Indonesian industry officials and plantation companies showed, versus 2.397 million tonnes in March.      "We have seen similar rises in Malaysia also," said Pawan Kumar, analyst at Rabobank International.      "We saw very subdued production in the lat six months - the production cycle was turning towards a better production month (in April) ... It's more to do with the biological cycle of the trees."     Malaysian palm oil stocks in April rose to a five-month high as accelerating crude palm o l output offset weaker exports, data from an industry regulator showed on Monday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/12/indonesia-palmoil-survey-idUST9N0NH04R20150512

14 May 2015:

El Nino declared by Australia - some analysts raise outlook, Palm oil faces resistance at 2,235 ringgit -technical, Reuters; strong Indonesia biofuel producer sector seek examption from palm oil levy; Masing - environmental issues are used to undermine palm oil to promote competitor oils

VEGOILS-Palm slips, comes off 5-week top on worries over export demand 13-May-2015 06:23:57 PM By Anuradha Raghu; *Prices touch 2,233 ringgit, highest since April 6 *Palm feels pressure due to profit-taking - trader *Palm oil faces resistance at 2,235 ringgit -technicals

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures briefly touched a five-week top on Wednesday on worries an El Nino weather pattern would curb yields, but expectations of weaker export demand in the second half of the month kept a lid on gains.

Biofuel producers demand exemption from palm oil  levy  by Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, May 08 2015, 8:19 AM; Domestic biofuel producers have demanded exemption from paying levies for the shipment of palm oil products overseas, as such policy will create more burdens for the industry. “We are hoping that we will be exempt from the rule of paying US$30 per metric ton of processed palm oil products  because the domestic sales price is already low,” Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) executive chairman Paulus Tjakrawan said on Thursday. Paulus said biofuel producers had suffered from margin compression following the slump in global CPO prices, which were currently traded at $614 per ton, as the government has also yet to set the newest benchmark price for biodiesel through export reference price (HPE).

The government is in the process of setting a new biodiesel price with a formula of CPO price plus $125 per ton and transport cost.  The $125 figure is based on the government’s recent calculation, lower than the previous $188. “The new benchmark price formula will not offer any profit for us and it will be heavier if the CPO price rebounds to above $750, which means we should also pay export tax besides paying the additional levy,” Paulus said. Under an existing rule, exporters will have to pay between 7.5 percent and 22.5 percent in export tax if the CPO price is higher than $750 per ton. If the CPO price is lower than $750 per ton, exporters will be exempt from the export tax.

However, they will have to pay the levy regardless of the CPO price, as stated in a regulation to take effect later this month. ....

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/08/biofuel-producers-demand-exemption-palm-oil-levy.html#sthash.Mo0GNETB.dpuf

El Nino May Spur Palm Oil Rally as UBS Highlights Impact  by hidden line after 'By'Ranjeetha Pakiamand Rishaad Salamat 12:49 PM HKT  May 13, 2015; Palm oil may rally should an El Nino weather pattern spur dry conditions across Southeast Asia, hurting output, while key buyers such as China bring forward purchases to guarantee supplies. Prices may advance to 2,500 ringgit ($694) a metric ton over the next three months, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd. analyst Ong Chee Ting said in a report on Wednesday. That’s 14 percent higher than Wednesday’s close on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives. The return of an El Nino for the first time since 2010 was declared on Tuesday by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, which said that the event could be substantial. El Ninos influence conditions across the globe and in Asia they can bake Indonesia and Malaysia, the two largest palm oil producers. Planters’ stocks including IOI Corp. Bhd. in Malaysia rose on Wednesday....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-13/el-nino-s-return-may-spur-palm-rally-amid-supply-crunch-concern

What an El Nino Means for Agriculture in Asia 11:30 AM HKT  May 13, 2015

UBS Wealth Management Executive Director of Commodities, Rates, FX Wayne Gordon discusses El Nino in the Pacific ocean, its impact on agriculture and how investors should play it. He speaks to Bloomberg’s Rishaad Salamat on “Trending Business.” (Source: Bloomberg)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-05-13/what-an-el-nino-means-for-agriculture-in-asia

Oil's Not Coming Back. Here's Why 'By'Moming Zhou 7:01 AM HKT   May 13, 2015

Global oil demand will grow just 1.3 million barrels a day to 94.58 million next year, the Energy Information Administration said Tuesday. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Oil bulls who’ve cheered a rebound of 40 percent from a six-year low should take heed: Unless demand accelerates, the rally is in danger. The omens aren’t good. The U.S. government expects global consumption to grow next year at less than half the rate of 2010, when the world was emerging from a previous recession. The growth is insufficient to close the gap with rising supply, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest energy producer. The last time oil crashed, during the 2008 financial crisis, China’s appetite for commodities seemed insatiable, and powered prices higher. This time, Chinese fuel use is growing at half the rate of the past decade, and sliding U.S. shale output could reverse as prices rise, smothering the gains. “The recent rally appears driven by investors looking at catching the bottom of the market and the expectation that U.S. oil production has reached a turning point,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, BNP Paribas SA’s London-based head of commodity markets strategy. “But fundamentals, notably in the U.S., have not changed much.”...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-12/china-is-missing-ingredient-in-oil-s-recovery-from-six-year-low

Supermarket ordered to remove products with anti-palm oil labels  by sharon ling Updated: Wednesday May 13, 2015 MYT 6:13:56 PM; KUCHING: A supermarket here has been directed to remove products with anti-palm oil labelling from its shelves following complaints from the oil palm industry. The state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has instructed the supermarket to stop selling the products after inspecting the premises on Wednesday.

It said the products were imported from Australia and were believed to have entered the market here about a week ago. The labels, which showed an orang utan urging shoppers to buy palm oil-free products to help save the animals, earned the ire of Land Development Minister Tan Sri James Masing when they were brought to his attention on Tuesday. He criticised the “unfriendly” labelling for being unfair to Malaysia’s palm oil industry and as being based on incorrect facts. “Our orang utan habitats are not where the oil palm plantations are. The areas where orang utans are found have been declared as wildlife sanctuaries and we don’t disturb them. “In Sarawak, we have one million hectares of totally protected areas and out of this 22% or 218,000ha are for orang utans. In fact, in Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary the population of orang utans has increased to 5,000 now,” he said. Masing also said anti-palm oil campaigns were due to economic rivalry with other vegetable oils like soya bean, sunflower and rapeseed. “It’s an economic issue camouflaged as an environmental issue. The campaigners are using the orang utan as an excuse to undermine palm oil and promote competitors,” he said....

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/13/Supermarket-Kuching-anti-palm-oil-label/

7 May 2015:

Palm oil hits 1-month high after Indonesia signs export levy - Reuters; wheat battle for market share drives US what prices down more than 20% ytd

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 1-month high after Indonesia signs export levy By Anuradha Raghu 06-May-2015 06:24:43 PM

* Price touches 2,200 ringgit in early trade

* Indonesia palm export levy approved, effective 3rd week of May

* Malaysia's April palm stocks seen at 5-mth high of 2.13 mln T- Reuters poll

* Palm oil targets 2,235 ringgit -technicals

Wheat heavyweights battle for global market share by Gregory Meyer in New York and Emiko Terazono in London Last updated: May 6, 2015 1:02 pm; Australia, Canada, Europe, Russia and the US are among the heavyweights battling for a piece of the global wheat market. Surplus stocks, sharp currency moves and large impending crops are reshaping trade flows of the staple grain, with winners and losers.  Aggressive sales by big exporters have pushed benchmark US wheat prices down more than 20 per cent this year to below $5 a bushel. Hedge funds have got the message, holding three bearish bets for every bullish one in Chicago’s futures and options markets. “You would have to search to find something to turn the wheat market around,” says Richard Feltes, vice-president at broker RJ O’Brien.  Wheat is a versatile crop, grown in a variety of climates and used in products from bread to noodles to animal feed. After years of high prices, farmers have grown two straight record harvests. A third year of production above 700m tonnes is on the cards, according to the International Grains Council.  Soren Schroder, chief executive of Bunge , a New York-listed grain trader and miller, says: “The decline in prices is just a reflection of the very good crop outlook everywhere. Many origins are competing against each other for the same business.”

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5 May 2015:

Reuters - Palm oil jumps over 3% as ringgit slumps

Reuters - Palm oil jumps over 3% as ringgit slumps Published: 5 May 2015 3:14 PM

Palm oil futures is up while the ringgit slides downwards. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 5, 2015.Palm oil futures is up while the ringgit slides downwards. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 5, 2015.Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 3% on Tuesday to their highest in nearly two weeks as the ringgit slid and overseas soyoil markets tracked by palm underpinned sentiment.

The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange rose as much as 3.1% to RM2,168 (US$601.89) a tonne, its highest since April 24, after reopening from a long weekend. It settled at RM2,152, up 2.4%, by the midday break.

After strong gains last week, the Malaysian ringgit slumped on Tuesday, touching 3.6100 per US dollar, which helped stoke buying interest from overseas palm investors.

The currency was down 1.2% at 3.6020 by 0553 GMT (1.53pm Malaysian time), marking its biggest intraday drop in more than three months.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/palm-oil-jumps-over-3-as-ringgit-slumps

More of Brazil’s sugar scooped up for ethanol, but sweet spot elusive By Patricia Manso | May 5, 2015 12:01 AM Comments (0); When you’re sitting on a shed load of sugarcane, it’s nice to know you have options. For Brazil, as the powerhouse of global sugar production, that choice falls into two broad areas — make sugar, or make ethanol. With Brazil’s car fleet thoroughly geared up for ethanol consumption, an estimated 26 billion liters of ethanol is set to be produced to meet that domestic demand. Brazilian drivers opt to fill their tanks with gasoline or hydrous ethanol depending on the price of the fuel at the pump. The price of hydrous ethanol, which has a lower energy content than gasoline, is considered an attractive alternative for consumers if it is less than 70% of the price of gasoline.blog-brazil-retail-ethanol But the competitiveness of ethanol versus gasoline at the pumps could yet shake out further demand from end users, while the relative profitability of ethanol versus sugar means that sugar stocks could dwindle in the key Center-South region. Maintaining the delicate equilibrium is key, as we ask the question whether 26 billion liters of ethanol will be enough for Center-South Brazil............

http://blogs.platts.com/2015/05/05/brazil-sugar-ethanol/

1 May 2015:

Reuters - palm records 2nd monthly drop to 30 April. CPO prices to remain soft amid lacklustre demand and weak crude oil prices? Malaysia palm oil exports to Korea.

VEGOILS-Palm rises for first time this week; records 2nd monthly drop 30-Apr-2015 06:32:17 PM By Anuradha Raghu

*    April marks second straight monthly drop, down 3.8 pct

*    Malaysia's April palm exports down 6-7 pct m/m -cargo surveyors

*    India could snap up bigger palm olein cargoes in May -trader

*    Palm oil to end bounce around 2,118 rgt - technicals

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose for the first time in a week on Thursday as investors squared positions ahead of a long holiday weekend, but the gains were not enough to prevent the contract from recording its second straight monthly drop.

A strong ringgit and worries over rising palm supplies in key growers had seen the tropical oil succumb to a six-day losing streak, which dragged benchmark prices to their weakest since September 2014... However, the closure of Malaysian markets from Friday to Monday prompted some investors to square positions, which helped reduce selling pressure, market players said.

The benchmark July contract 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange inched up 1 percent to 2,102 ringgit ($590) a tonne by Thursday's close... The gain, however, was not enough to overturn overall losses for April, with prices down 3.8 percent. Prices also notched their biggest weekly drop in six weeks.... Despite weak exports in April, anticipation of firmer demand from key customers next month also provided support for prices. "Olein demand from India is rumoured to pick up in May," said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in Malaysia.... "Prices will be ranging between 2,050-2,100 ringgit, unless the ringgit weakens to 3.70 again, which is highly unlikely." The Malaysian currency was trading at 3.5600 per U.S. dollar by 1005 GMT. It last hit 3.7000 on April 16.

RAM HOLDINGS BERHAD - CPO prices to remain soft amid lacklustre demand and weak crude oil prices Published on 29 April 2015; The price of crude palm oil (CPO) came in at the lower end of RAM’s price forecast of RM2,200/MT-RM2,400/MT for 1Q 2015, averaging RM2,204/MT. Notwithstanding the effects of a weak ringgit, the commodity’s price is expected to remain soft, as concerns over lacklustre demand amid competition from an ample supply of substitute oils and a weak crude oil-price environment weigh on prices. The still-narrow premium of soy oil to CPO (1Q 2015: c.USD90/MT, 2014: c.USD88/MT) could also reduce the appeal of CPO, dampening growth in demand for the commodity as consumers switch to competing oils.  A pick-up in CPO production, as yields recover after disruptions caused by floods and the effects of dry-weather that had depressed CPO production in January and February 2015, may lead to a build-up in Malaysia’s palm oil inventory to over 2 million MT in the near term, further pressuring prices. As at end-March 2015, palm oil stocks in Malaysia stood at 1.87 million MT, a respective 10.5% and 5.2% higher y-o-y and m-o-m........

http://www.ram.com.my/press_Release_View.aspx?ddlid=8ae146fc-cfd7-4860-b372-1813d4f69c83&catid=8ae146fc-cfd7-4860-b372-1813d4f69c83&returnURL=&id=1db7e2fb-0df9-4139-8e93-b3b11882e396

Malaysia to expand palm oil exports to Korea Updated : 2015-04-28 19:28; A top Malaysian official expressed hope that South Korea would import more palm oil products from the Southeast Asian country. “Korea is a very strategic trade partner and an important market for Malaysian palm oil,” said Dato’ Ar. Wan Khair-il Anuar, Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman in an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Monday.  The high-level official, who is also a member of parliament representing Kuala Kangsar, is on a five-day visit to Seoul to promote the nutritional excellence and industrial strength of Malaysian palm oil at the 2015 Malaysia-South Korea Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar, or POTS.  In 2014, Malaysia exported 855,000 tons of palm products to South Korea, generating about $500 million in export revenue, according to the Malaysian government data. Palm oil takes up about 44 percent, or 374,000 tons, and palm kernel cake, mostly used in South Korean animal feed, takes up about 40 percent, or 341,000 tons. Despite the success of the palm oil business, the industry has been constantly challenged by anti-palm oil campaigns alleging that it is saturated and unhealthy. “We have responded to these allegations accordingly by carrying out extensive research with globally recognized centers and proved that palm oil is indeed a nutritionally superior oil,” said Wan Khair-il Anuar.  A recent study by the Australian institute Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, revealed that palm oil is as healthy as olive oil in its effects on blood lipid. The board chairman also stressed palm oil’s sustainability as a source of bioenergy.  “We have also developed our own Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Standard to help the whole industry to achieve sustainability requirements,” he said........  

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20150428000990

26 April 2015:

Uggah - Malaysia  sellers of FFB must include names; trade news links

Uggah: Sellers of FFB must include names; Posted on April 18, 2015, Saturday; KUCHING: Sellers of palm oil fresh fruit bunches (FFB) are now required to put down their names and particulars to be sent to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) for monitoring and checking purposes.

This is a new strategy introduced with the aim to curb the never-ending thefts of fresh fruits bunch in the state, says Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah.

He said mills and collection centres were only initially required to record the quantity of the FFB sold to them but now they had to get the names of the sellers as well. “Failing to get their names means the collection centres are committing an offence and stern action will be taken against them,” he told a media conference after chairing a second meeting to discuss FFB issues here yesterday. Deputy Home Minister Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and representatives from other relevant agencies were also present; Uggah lamented that the FFB thefts in Sarawak was a matter of concern because despite the operation code-named Ops Sawit Kenyalang mounted from July 1 to December last year there was still no end to the problem. Ops Sawit Kenyalang 2015 was launched on April 2.

He said that from January to March this year the authority had received 82 reports of FFB thefts throughout the state involving a total area of 18,192 hectares including Samarahan, Sibu, Mukah, Kapit and Miri. “To prevent the sales of FFB from suspicious sources MPOB has issued a directive which restricts mills from buying more than two tonnes of FFB per hectare,” he said. Uggah said through the operation conducted by MPOB and various other enforcement agencies including the police from July to December last year a total of 278 compounds and 41 show cause letters had been issued to several operators to explain why their licences should not be suspended......

Read more:

http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/04/18/uggah-sellers-of-ffb-must-include-names/#ixzz3YNfDyJHM

Palm oil exports higher than expected in first quarter Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post | Business | Sat, April 18 2015, 11:58 AM; Business News Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch Eurozone express hopes that Greek criticism will bear fruit Public campaign Exports of palm oil from Indonesia rose higher than expected in the first quarter as demand from main buyers,particularly China,increased significantly.Shipments of palm oil, including crude and processed, climbed 13.7 percent to 5.6 million tons in the January-March period from last year as most key buyers, excluding China, purchased a higher volume of the commodity used to make a wide range of products, from cooking oil to cosmetics.Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) executive director Fadhil Hasan said on Friday that such a considerable increase was far higher than the association’s estimate.The business group earlier expected exports from Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, to gain only 2.5 percent to 22.3 million tons this year compared to last year as demand from two top buyers — China and India — would remain modest on the back of economic slowdown and a shift to other vegetable oils.“The first quarter result is quite surprising. But, as the price has stayed low, exports have expanded,” Fadhil told The Jakarta Post over the phone.India led the market as purchases increased by 18.75 percent to 1.17 million tons in the first three months of the year. Bigger demand also came from new markets, such as Pakistan and the Middle East, which surged by 19.38 percent to 358,380 tons and by 19.42 percent to 579,470 tons, respectively.Despite the positive growth, lower exports occurred in some main markets, including China and the EU. Shipments to China fell markedly by 35.27 percent to 531,890 tons, making it now the third-biggest destination after the EU. - See more at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/18/palm-oil-exports-higher-expected-first-quarter.html#sthash.9kclGobv.dpuf

Palm Exports by Indonesia in March Jump Most Since ‘08 on China 'By'Yoga Rusmana 2:47 PM HKT  April 17, 2015 Palm oil shipments from Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer, jumped in March by the most for the month in at least seven years as China led a surge in imports of the cooking oil used in food and fuel. Exports, that include palm and kernel oils, climbed 13.6 percent to 2.03 million metric tons from February, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, known as Gapki, which started publishing the data in 2008. The increase is the first since October and beats the median estimate of 1.8 million tons in a Bloomberg survey. Increasing demand may help curb a 19 percent decline in prices in the past year amid a plunge in crude oil costs that reduced palm’s allure as a biodiesel feedstock. Exports from Malaysia, the second-biggest producer, climbed 22 percent last month after posting an 18 percent drop in February, Malaysian Palm Oil Board data showed April 10. China is the world’s largest importer after India.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-17/palm-exports-by-indonesia-in-march-jump-most-since-08-on-china

India's March palm oil imports jump 25%: SEA Last Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 14:08

New Delhi: India's palm oil imports rose by 25 percent to 6,82,274 tonnes in March against the year-ago period due to cheaper shipments from Indonesia and Malaysia, Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) said on Wednesday. Palm oil make up 70 percent of the country's total vegetable oil imports. India meets 60 percent of its annual vegetable oil demand of 17-18 million tonnes via imports.

According to the SEA, palm oil imports have risen as Indonesia and Malaysia had zero export duty on palm products for the last five months to clear surplus stock amid reduced global demand of CPO for bio-diesel production. "Also, high prices of soybean and lesser realisation for soyabean oil and soyabean meal in export market has resulted in lower crushing and lesser oil availability in domestic market, leading to to higher imports," it said in a statement. Global prices of palm oil products have been ruling downward for the past one year, while rupee too has depreciated by 2.5 percent against the US dollar, it added.

http://zeenews.india.com/business/news/economy/indias-march-palm-oil-imports-jump-25-sea_123500.html

22 April 2015:

Europe could ban trans fats?

European trans fat report 'could lead to ban' 15 April 2015 by Joyeeta Basu

http://mobile.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Trans-fats-ban-in-Europe-possible-after-EU-debate#.VTb5gp2wobx

18 April 2015:

Indonesia exports jump on China, Malaysia buyers delay purchases, Thailand policy plans

Palm Exports by Indonesia in March Jump Most Since ‘08 on China 'By'Yoga Rusmana 2:47 PM HKT   April 17, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-17/palm-exports-by-indonesia-in-march-jump-most-since-08-on-china

Aiming for lower prices, Malaysian palm oil buyers to delay purchase Thursday April 16, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Malaysia’s move to scrap its crude palm oil export tax in May will likely prompt India and China, the biggest buyers of the edible oil, to delay purchases to next month to get cheaper cargoes, industry sources said today. Malaysia’s reduction of the export tax back to zero comes just as its biggest rival Indonesia, the top producer of the tropical oil, moves closer to laying on additional levies to its own palm exports to fund biodiesel subsidies and ambitious mandates rolled out earlier this year....... An Indonesian levy of US$50 a tonne on any crude palm exports shipped at a zero export tax rate will come into effect once signed by President Joko Widodo. ....... Sellers may also want to wait for the no-tax period in May before exporting, and that along with buyers waiting, could push up Malaysian inventories, traders said. “If I’m a CPO seller, I will wait until May, then only sell. Otherwise, I will be paying taxes for no reason,” said one trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur who declined to be named........

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/aiming-for-lower-prices-malaysian-palm-oil-buyers-to-delay-purchase#sthash.HAWn1Cf9.FfdRbJSP.dpuf

Thailand: No intervention to curb price slide of palm oil: Chatchai by Petchanet Pratruangkraiv The Nation April 10, 2015 1:00 am; In spite of the plunge in the price of palm oil, the Commerce Ministry insists on not intervening in the market. It will only call on companies to help farmers by purchasing palm nuts at a price not much below the current market price. The government will also promote more consumption of palm oil in the energy industry and help cut the cost of production for farmers.

After a meeting yesterday with palm oil enterprises, farmers, the Agriculture Ministry, biodiesel operators and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said that in the short run, buyers will help purchase palm nuts directly from small farmers having less than 50 rai of land, at market price and above the cost of production. Starting on Thursday, fertiliser traders have been asked to reduce their prices by 5-10 per cent to help farmers for six months, while palm oil for biodiesel production will be raised from B3 to B7. Egat will increase palm oil for its electricity production from 3,000 tonnes to 12,000 tonnes per month. In the long run, the government will propose a plan to balance supply and demand for palm fruits to avoid the glut plaguing the industry now.....

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/No-intervention-to-curb-price-slide-of-palm-oil-Ch-30257759.html

Corporate news: Fitch affirm ratings of GAR units, KLK raies RM1.6 billion multi-currency sukuk, Asahi Indofood's new beverage plant

/khorreports-palmoil/2015/04/corporate-news-indomie-morocco-delta.html

15 April 2015:

Mistry sees prices between 2,100 and 2,300 ringgit until May

Palm Seen Sinking to Six-Year Low by Mistry as Output Swells 'By'Ranjeetha Pakiam  April 13, 2015; Palm oil, the world’s most used cooking oil, may slump to a six-year low in the second half as supplies expand and reserves accumulate in producing countries, according to Dorab Mistry, director at Godrej International Ltd... Futures in Kuala Lumpur may retreat to 1,900 ringgit ($512) a metric ton, a level last seen in March 2009, Mistry said in remarks prepared for a conference in Beijing. Prices will trade between 2,100 and 2,300 ringgit until May, he said, abandoning a March forecast for a rally to 2,500 ringgit....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-13/palm-oil-seen-sinking-to-six-year-low-by-mistry-as-output-swells

13 April 2015:

Reuters - export data hopes on prices facing biggest loss in three weeks, technical point to RM2114-2146 range; CIMB notes production in surprise in March; AmBank highlights Platts report on negotiation for lower export levies and Jakarta Post report on biodiesel volume drops

VEGOILS-Palm ends higher but posts biggest weekly drop in three - RTRS By Anuradha Raghu 10-Apr-2015 18:54

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended higher on Friday, pulling up from a near 4-1/2-month low touched in late trade as robust export data boosted hopes that demand was improving, although weekly prices still posted their biggest loss in three weeks.

* Weekly prices fall 2.9 pct, biggest drop in three weeks

* Malaysia's April 1-10 palm oil exports up 24-29 pct m/m -cargo surveyors

* Palm to consolidate in 2,114-2,146 rgt range -technicals

* Malaysian March palm stocks rise to 1.87 mln T -MPOB

CIMB - Regional Plantations - Production surprise in March: "Malaysia’s end-Mar 15 palm oil inventories rose 7% mom to a 3-month high of 1.87m tonnes, which is above our and consensus estimates and negative for CPO price. The main surprise for us was the big jump in production at the estates. We expect output to rise seasonally in the coming months and palm oil stocks to trend higher unless exports pick up significantly...."

AmBank Plantation Sector (Neutral): Newsflow for week 6-10 April: "Platts reported that Indonesian Palm Oil Association and Indonesian Palm Oil Board (IPOB) are negotiating with the Finance Ministry to reduce the levies on exports of crude palm oil and olein. IPOB has proposed that the export levy on CPO be lowered from US$50/tonne to US$40/tonne and the export levy on olein be reduced from US$30/tonne to US$25/tonne.... trade sources said palm exporters and plantation owners will be the most affected by the palm oil export levies. A broker said that those who sold forward CPO before 1 April are technically out of pocket by US$50/tonne. Refiners will also be affected as buyers of olein will not be paying for the US$30/tonne levy." and  Jakarta Post reported that biofuel volume in Indonesia fell by 36% YoY to 224,025 kiloliters (79,114 tonnes) in 1Q2015 due to a lack of allocation of biofuel subsidy in the state budget and widening disparity between prices of fossil fuel and biofuel. Due to the uncertainty, Pertamina did not receive enough fatty acid methyl ester in March as a supplier declined to deliver around 900,000 kiloliters (317,832 tonnes) in volume. Pertamina is planning to hold a new auction for 3mil kiloliters (1.06mil tonnes) of fatty acid methyl ester in the future...." 

5 April 2015:

Indonesia palm oil prices to drop $30-50/tonne (processed - crude) on new export levy, but may recover if biodiesel program proves "really successful," new levy signing expected 6-7 April; Malaysia CPO export tax re-imposed at 4.5% for April

Indonesia to Impose Palm Oil Export Levy to Subsidize Biofuel 'By'Eko Listiyorini 4:31 PM HKT   April 4, 2015; Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, will impose export levies to fund biodiesel subsidies, replanting, research and development. Shippers will pay a levy of $50 a metric ton for palm oil and $30 for processed products starting this month, Sofyan Djalil, coordinating minister for economic affairs, said in Jakarta on Saturday. The government will keep the threshold for application of a separate export tax at $750 a ton, Djalil said........ Indonesia has promoted biofuel use to help absorb rising supplies of the world’s most-traded cooking oil and to cut carbon emissions. The country boosted the mandated amount of palm blending in diesel to 10 percent from 7.5 percent in 2013, and ordered power plants to mix 20 percent in 2014. The biodiesel subsidy was raised in February to 4,000 rupiah (31 U.S. cents) a liter from 1,500 rupiah and the mandated blending for diesel will be increased to 15 percent in April........ The levy will be paid even when the export tax is at zero and will be “taken from export tax proceeds when prices are above $750,” Djalil said on March 20. The government sets the tax monthly, based on average prices in Jakarta, Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur. Crude palm oil shipments attract no tax if the average is $750 or less over four weeks, with rates at 7.5 percent to 22.5 percent at higher prices....... Ivy Ng, an analyst at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, said the decision might hurt Indonesian producers in the short term as domestic prices could decline. “Local prices of crude palm oil will fall by close to $50 per ton while processed palm oil in local market will fall by $30 per ton,” Ng said by phone on Saturday. “In three to six months time if the biodiesel program becomes really successful then prices may recover.”........ Indonesia has maintained zero tax on most palm oil shipments for seven months through April because the reference price stayed below the $750 threshold, the Trade Ministry said March 30. The government decree regarding the new levy is expected to be signed on April 6 or 7 and the ruling will become effective upon signing, Djalil said...........

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-04/indonesia-to-impose-palm-oil-export-levy-to-subsidize-biofuel

CPO export tax brings cheers to palm oil refiners By: HANIM ADNAN Saturday, 4 April 2015

THE re-imposition of Malaysia’s export tax on crude palm oil (CPO) at 4.5% this month after its suspension since September last year, is seen as a mixed blessing by local palm oil industry players.

Palm oil refiners, whose margins are mostly affected by the zero duty on CPO exports imposed seven months ago have plenty to cheer about by this latest turn of event. Refiners have been experiencing negative processing margins due to the insufficient CPO supply by upstream plantation players, which have been taking advantage of the zero duty to push for more CPO exports. “Many refiners have to operate below optimal refining capacity to cut their losses. “But the re-imposition of a 4.5% CPO export tax will see more upstream planters channelling back their CPO output to local refiners just to avoid the export tax,” says a palm oil refiner with a local plantation company.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/04/04/CPO-export-tax-brings-cheers-to-palm-oil-refiners/?style=biz

3 April 2015:

Q4 2014 Indonesia corporate results: The worst in several years (plantations among "the ugly") - Bahana; Genting-Musim Mas refinery

Analysis: Q4 2014 corporate results: The worst in several years Harry Su, Bahana, Jakarta | Business | Thu, April 02 2015, 8:24 AM With 93 out of 95 stocks under our coverage (76 percent of the total market capitalization of the index) having already reported their financial results for the fourth quarter last year (Q4 2014), it is safe to say that the last quarter was one of the worst result seasons in the past few years for the Indonesian stock market. More than 50 percent or 48 stocks booked Q4 2014 performances below our expectations, suggesting a worse-than-expected economic downturn for Indonesia. On aggregate, operating profit growth for our basket of stocks only reached 1.8 percent year-on-year (yoy) (Table 1), a deceleration when compared to 8.1 percent yoy growth reported in Q4 2013. On the bottom line, Q4 2014’s net profit growth of -3.2 percent yoy also deteriorated versus Q4 2013’s level of 0.7 percent.... The ugly: Auto, plantations, oil-related, coal-related and poultry In Table 4, the poultry sector was the worst performer, with weak DOC prices as well as poor margins attributed to US dollar-linked costs that suffered due to the rupiah’s depreciation. However, we note that we expect a turnaround to take place starting in Q1 2015, supported by DOC and broiler price recoveries. In the automotive sector, poor performance stemmed from unexciting volumes and weak margins as a result of escalating competition, which we expect to persist in Q1 2015. For the plantation sector, operating performance was dragged down by a weak average selling price (ASP) due to the lower global oil price and weak production volumes due to unsupportive weather conditions. Looking forward, we expect these negative trends in crude palm oil (CPO) to continue in Q1 2015. In the oil-related sector, the operating performance was mainly dragged down by lower oil prices and asset write-downs. For coal, Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam Tbk’s (PTBA’s) sales of coal with higher calorific value to PLN supported the sector’s operating performance, while a poor bottom-line performance resulted from impairment losses due to new accounting standards that resulted in the mark-to-market of assets. In sum, we remain cautious on the Indonesian market in the lead-up to the expected US Federal Reserve rate hike, particularly given the weak rupiah. For every 1 percent of the rupiah’s depreciation against the US dollar, we estimate that Indonesia’s market earning per share (EPS) growth will decline by 0.8 percent.....

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/02/analysis-q4-2014-corporate-results-the-worst-several-years.html#sthash.mHCpt1KS.dpuf

Genting Plantations joins the big boys - It is now a full-fledged integrated planterBy: HANIM ADNAN Saturday, 28 March 2015; GENTING Plantations Bhd has finally joined the league of other vertically integrated top palm oil companies such as IOI Corp Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd following its recent maiden venture into the palm oil refinery business with Singapore-based global refiner, Musim Mas Group. Industry observers describe the venture as timely because it could help to reduce the high exposure to the volatile fluctuations in the crude palm oil (CPO) prices, which are trending lower to trade below RM2,200 per tonne currently. This explains why many upstream plantation players in Malaysia, including Genting Plantations, which produces mainly CPO, are inclined towards setting up refineries, which could provide steadier recurring income from value-added palm oil based products. Genting Plantations president and chief operating officer Yong Chee Kong tells StarBizWeek that the palm oil refinery that the group is setting up “is not solely for producing refined palm oil products for sale on a standalone basis.” “Instead, it will be a component of the group’s larger Genting Integrated Biorefinery Complex which is now being constructed in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Lahad Datu, Sabah which is in the same vicinity as the proposed refinery collaboration with Musim Mas.”.........

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/03/28/Genting-Plantations-joins-the-big-boys/?style=biz

1 April 2015:

Malaysia 1 April GST pushed product sales in March and April exports prospects seen as weak; export taxes review for another round for Indonesia-Malaysia cuts? Indonesia biodiesel policy contested and margin reduced in midst plans for big boost for domestic demand; India market challenge

VEGOILS-Palm falls; Indonesia, Malaysia tax policies in focus - RTRS By Fergus Jensen 31-Mar-2015 19:31

* Indonesia sets CPO export tax for April at zero

* Palm oil to fall to 2,146 ringgit -technicals

* Malaysian GST seen weakening April exports, prices

The market is also focusing on Malaysia's plans to implement a goods and services tax that is seen affecting shipments and sales of the edible oil in April.

"A lot of the plantations are pushing their products out this month. When it comes to April our exports are expected to be weak," the trader said. "The GST will have a huge impact on our whole economy."... While palm oil itself is exempt from the GST, exporters and traders will need to apply for tax refunds from customs, potentially reducing their operations' liquidity, he said.... "From crude to the refinery they can claim back, but the process and duration for claims is unknown.".....

Govt may cut reference price of CPO Linda Yulisman/Tama Salim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, March 19 2015, 6:10 AM; As palm oil prices continue their downward trend in the global market, the government is considering lowering the price reference of crude palm oil (CPO) used as the basis in calculating export tax, the Trade Ministry’s head of trade policy research and development, Tjahya Widayanti, has said.Tjahya said the measure would be necessary as the volume of CPO had doubled recently and growth needed to be spurred in the downstream industry.“To fulfill domestic needs we need to charge export taxes and this is under discussion. We will lower the threshold,” she explained. At present, the government charges taxes on CPO shipments above US$750 a ton. However, in October last year, duties were cut to zero as CPO prices dipped below the reference price.In recent years, the progressive export tax regime has helped the domestic refining industry to grow, as it help keeps supply at home..... Even so, Derom predicted diminished exports to India this year if the price difference between soybean oil and palm oil continued to dwindle. Since 2008, there has been a $150 gap between palm oil and the more expensive soybean oil, prompting buyers to favor the former for use in everything from noodles to cosmetics. “Now the deficit has narrowed to just $50, because of India’s rising demand for vegetable oil,” he said.According to Derom, India’s need for oilseed has increased from 12.3 million tons to 12.6 million tons this year, buoyed by consumer demand.As a result, India’s CPO imports from Indonesia and Malaysia this year will decrease by around 700,000 tons to 8.25 million tons, while soybean oil and sunflower oil demand is expected to rise to 2.5 million tons and 1.3 million tons, respectively.....

http://www.thejakartapost.com/

news/2015/03/19/govt-may-cut-

reference-price-cpo.html#

sthash.bzpfKsqV.dpuf

New formula rolled out to lower biodiesel price Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, March 24 2015, 5:40 AM; In a move to support a rise in the proportion of biofuel that must be added to diesel, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has introduced a new formula aiming to lower the price of the mixed substance purchased by distributors...... Under the new formula, the biodiesel index price will be calculated based on the crude palm oil (CPO) base price plus US$125 per ton. The added $125 is the cost of converting CPO into fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which is used to produce biodiesel. The conversion cost is lower than a previous formula that put it at $188 per ton..... Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil has also said that the government might ask CPO producers to earmark 15 percent of their output for domestic usage to ensure the certainty of the supply of CPO to support the mandatory biodiesel policy..... According to palm oil producers association GAPKI, Indonesia produced 31.5 million tons of CPO last year, rising by around 5 percent from a year earlier. Of the total production, 21.7 million tons were exported last year. If the 15 percent mandatory mix is fully implemented, the country will need 5.3 million kiloliters of biofuel to be blended into diesel. The figure is equal to CPO needs of 4.8 million tons.....

http://www.thejakartapost.com/

news/2015/03/24/new-formula-

rolled-out-lower-biodiesel-

price.html#sthash.fDmus3aD.

dpuf

15 March 2015:

Sugar falls to 6-year lows

Sugar Prices Fall to Near Six-Year Low on Weak Brazilian Currency - Real’s issues add more woes to market suffering from growing global oversupply By by Christian Berthelsen  Updated March 13, 2015 4:14 p.m. ET; “It’s been a complete debacle,” said Michael McDougall, a senior vice president at wholesale brokerage Newedge in New York. The market is watching the currency fall and betting on continued sugar sales from Brazil, he said. Sugar prices are down more than 30% since last summer. On Friday, the most actively traded May contract fell 3.9%, to 12.70 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, their lowest level since April 8, 2009....

http://www.wsj.com/articles/sugar-slides-to-new-nearly-six-year-low-on-rains-brazilian-real-1426255974

14 March 2015:

Indonesia palm oil trade with India and Pakistan

Indonesia Greets India Rate Cut as Good for Exports By Tabita Diela & Arientha Primanita on 09:50 pm Mar 08, 2015; The Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan. The Reserve Bank of India lowered its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent in February, the second time it has cut the rate this year. It followed that up two days later by easing requirements for home loans. Indonesian commodity producers and economists have hailed the Indian central bank’s rate cut as good for boosting exports from Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to one of its major markets....;

Jakarta. Indonesian commodity producers and economists have hailed the Indian central bank’s rate cut as good for boosting exports from Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to one of its major markets.

“In the past year, India has been the biggest importer of coal from Indonesia, after China’s imports slowed down,” said Supriatna Suhala, executive director of the Indonesian coal miners’ association, or APBI, adding that India’s lower interest rate was “good news” for Indonesia.... Market players have responded well to the structural reform in India. Even the direct investments are rushing into india,” he said, adding that this should, in turn, drive up demand for commodities from Indonesia.

That includes palm oil, of which Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer and India its biggest export market.... Shipments of the palm oil and palm kernels to India fell 17 percent in 2014 to 5.1 million metric tons, according to the Indonesian association of palm oil producers, or Gapki.

“There’s an indication that India will boost its vegetable oil imports [...] but we have to compete with other countries as well such as Malaysia,” said Fadhil Hasan, the Gapki executive director.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesia-greets-india-rate-cut-good-exports/

Indonesian Entrepreneur Delegation Heads to Karachi By Jakarta Globe on 11:10 pm Feb 24, 2015 Jakarta. A group of 20 Indonesian entrepreneurs led by Mufti Hamka Hasan, vice chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin, is slated to attend  the Pakistan Expo 2015, a business and trade show, which kicks off in Karachi on Thursday and runs through March 1.

According to a press release from the Pakistani Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian delegates represent Kadin Indonesia, Kadin Jakarta, the Indonesian Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association and leading Indonesian companies from a variety of sectors.

Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Indonesia surged from $466.5 million in 2004 to  $2.207 billion in 2014. .. “For the first time in history, Indonesia-Pakistan bilateral trade crossed the $2 billion mark in only a year — the same year the Indonesia Pakistan preferential trade agreement came into effect,” the embassy said.... The trade deal has also allowed Pakistan to bring in palm oil from Indonesia at a cheaper rate, boosting imports from $839 million in 2013 to $1377 million in 2014, according to the embassy....

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesian-entrepreneur-delegation-heads-karachi/

28 February 2015:

FGV issues go beyond accounting standards - The Star

FGV’s ills go beyond accounting standards Saturday, 28 February 2015; FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) worst enemy is turning out to be the new accounting standards, so say the top executives of the plantation giant that draws more attention for its political prowess than commercial interest..... But is this really the case, or is the suffering of the plantation company now due to the lack of medication and care rendered to the plantation assets and related investments when it was under Felda? And is it because FGV is viewed as a political entity rather than a listed company?

Right from the beginning, FGV was a tricky listing proposition because it had some elements that would not have gone down well by normal commercial standards. An example is the age profile of its trees, which is 20 years and above that forms some 50% of its total plantation assets.... It had a downstream crushing plant in Canada that was bleeding so bad that it brought down the entire operations of the division. Any other ordinary plantation group would have replanted the ageing trees and sold the Canadian crushing plant long before going for a listing. But no, this did not apply to FGV.... No matter how professionally the management of FGV conducts its business, it will always be associated with the Felda settlers, who form the bastion of support for the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition and decide the fate of some 54 parliamentary and 92 state seats.... FGV had raised proceeds of some RM4.5bil from its listing in 2012. It acquired a few assets and is left now with some RM446mil. One of the largest purchases was Asian Plantations Ltd, amounting to RM568mil....

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/02/28/FGVs-ills-go-beyond-accounting-standards/?style=biz

17 February 2015:

KLK 1Q2014 earnings - unrealized gain on derivative contract but oleochemical business challenges on synthetic alcohol price drops affect fatty alcohol and surfactant business, outlook for lower profit in FY2015 from palm oil business

KLK issues profit warning amid weak palm oil prices Tuesday, 17 February 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation group Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), which saw its net profit fall 26.8% to RM214.2mil in the first quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, expects profit from its palm oil business for the current financial year ending Sept 30 (FY15), to be lower than that of last financial year on weaker prices.... “The current palm oil price is buoyed by the weak ringgit and tight supply. However, the palm oil price will be affected by the current high soybean production,” it said.

In addition, KLK said the current low petroleum price had affected the fatty alcohol and surfactant businesses of its oleochemical division.... However, the recognition of an unrealised gain of RM26.3mil arising from the changes in fair value on outstanding derivative contracts had mitigated the decline in profit.... Even though revenue was 11.8% higher at RM1.41bil, the results of this sector were affected by the negative margins from the fatty alcohol and surfactant businesses. The low petroleum price had made synthetic alcohol very competitive and destabilised fatty alcohol price.

The oleochemical division’s profit dropped 61.3% to RM28.8mil while and the other manufacturing units reported a lower profit of RM706,000....

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/02/17/KLK-issues-profit-warning-amid-weak-CPO-prices/?style=biz

16 February 2015:

Update: surprise move to keep zero export tax for March. Reuters reports trader bearish view on mooted March export tax for Malaysia, aggressive price movement on pre-Lunar New Year buying, India refiners switching to sunflower and soyoil; IOI 2Q profit down on unrealised forex losses on forex forward contracts and large US$ borrowings on Ringgit weakness; Matto Grosso prohibits planting of second-crop soybeans and increases time without re-growth

UPDATE 1-Malaysia surprises by keeping crude palm oil exports tax free; KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia has kept tax on exports of crude palm oil at zero for March, a government circular showed on Monday, extending a duty-free policy held since October. The move, which is likely to underpin prices, comes as a surprise as Malaysia's plantation industries and commodities minister said last week the country was planning to resume taxing exports from March...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/16/malaysia-palmoil-tax-idUSL4N0VQ12W20150216

VEGOILS-Palm dips on Malaysian export tax, Lunar New Year lull 1FCPOc3 - Reuters, By Fergus Jensen 13-Feb-2015 18:46; JAKARTA, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures edged down on Friday as the market digested recent news of Malaysia's plans to re-impose taxes on palm oil exports and traders prepared for the Lunar New Year long weekend next week.... "Come March they will be imposing taxes, so that piece of news is actually bearish," a trader with a foreign brokerage in Kuala Lumpur said referring to news on Malaysia's plans to resume taxing exports of crude palm oil in March that were seen supporting prices on Thursday... "One of the main reasons for the aggressive movement of late is the buying up of palm oil for the festive season, because during the holiday most of the plantations will be closed and there will be no production," the trader said.... Top buyer India's palm oil imports in January dropped more than one fifth from a month earlier to 658,670 tonnes as refiners increased overseas purchases of sunflower and soyoil....

IOI’s 2Q profit plunges 96% on unrealised forex losses By Shalini Kumar / theedgemarkets.com   | February 13, 2015 : 6:19 PM MYT; For the resource-based manufacturing segment, profit came in 19% lower at RM215 million from RM265 million previously, due mainly to lower margin from the oleo-chemicals sub-segment.... On prospects, IOI expects CPO prices to hover within the range of RM2,150 to RM2,370 per tonne over the next two months, underpinned by the wet-weather induced lower production and lower stock levels, but capped by the record high soybean production.... "Going forward, our Indonesian plantation subsidiary is expected to increase its fresh fruit bunch production substantially due to the young age profile of its trees.... "In the resource-based manufacturing segment, the group expects its specialty oils and fats and oleo-chemicals sub-segments to perform satisfactorily given the resilient demand from both the food and oleo-chemicals sectors," it said in a Bursa Malaysia filing this evening....

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/my/article/ioi%E2%80%99s-2q-profit-plunges-96-unrealised-forex-losses?google_editors_picks=true

Analysts also note in addition to unrealised fair value loss in foreign currency forward contracts in the manufacturing division, an unrealised translation loss on foreign borrowings of RM273.6mil.  IOI has US$476.4mil borrowings; most of its borrowings are in US$. Ambank notes that "Core manufacturing profit margin would have shrunk from 7.8% in 1HFY14 to 6.0% in 1HFY15. The erosion in margins can be attributed to the refining and oleochemical segments."

MT prohibits planting of second-crop soybeans and increases time without re-growth  11/02/2015

MT prohibits planting of second-crop soybeans and increases time without cultivation. Mato Grosso's soybean farmers are forbidden to make the second crop of soybeans -- called off-season. They must follow a longer period for the fallowing --períod without re-growth soybean plants. The decision was taken by the Economic Development offices and Family Agriculture and Indea (agriculture Defense Institute of Mato Grosso).

14 February 2015:

Malaysia to resume export duty I March, details on 16 Feb

UPDATE 1-Malaysia to resume taxing palm oil exports in March By Yantoultra Ngui  Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:27am EST; KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Malaysia will resume taxing exports of crude palm oil in March, a minister said on Thursday, after scrapping the duty for five months in a bid to spur demand and reduce bloated stockpiles. "After studying various scenarios ... the government has decided that the export tax regime will continue from March," Malaysian plantation industries and commodities minister Douglas Uggah Embas told reporters. Uggah said the tax rate would depend on palm oil prices, adding that the government would announce details on the tax policy on Feb. 16....

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/12/malaysia-palmoil-exports-idUSL4N0VM2FG20150212

India's Jan palm oil imports drop, soyoil surge-trade body Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:29pm IST

* Soyoil imports surge 131 pct, sunflower oil up 3 pct m/m

* Soyoil imports could rise in Feb too on lower soybean crushing

* Malaysia export duty from March could up Feb palm oil imports (Adds details, quotes)

MUMBAI, Feb 13 (Reuters) - India's palm oil imports in January dropped more than a fifth from a month earlier to 658,670 tonnes as refiners increased overseas purchases of sunflower and soyoil, data from the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) showed on Friday.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/13/india-edibleoil-imports-idINL4N0VN41Z20150213

10 February 2015:

Malaysia palm oil sales decreased 22 percent to 1.18 million metric tons

Ambank notes: Palm oil exports fell by 22.1% from 1.5mil tonnes in December 2014 to 1.18mil tonnes in January 2015. Against January 2014, palm oil exports declined by 13.4%. Exports of palm oil to China shrank by 29.3% YoY in January 2015 while India’s imports eased by 15.4%. After stocking up ahead of the hike in import duties late last year, India’s palm oil purchases are softening. 

Palm Oil Shipments From Malaysia Tumble Most in Seven Years 'By' Ranjeetha Pakiam 4:29 PM AWST  February 10, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Palm oil exports in Malaysia, the world’s biggest producer after Indonesia, slumped the most in seven years in January as a plunge in energy prices and record global oilseed supply cut demand.... Sales decreased 22 percent to 1.18 million metric tons from a month earlier, the Malaysia Palm Oil Board said in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. That’s the biggest drop since January 2008 and the least shipped since February 2011, MPOB data show. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey published Feb. 6 was for a 15 percent decline to 1.29 million tons. Imports fell 0.5 percent to 89,908 tons, according to board data....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-10/palm-oil-shipments-from-malaysia-tumble-most-in-seven-years

20 January 2015:

Indonesia LC mandatory from April to increase export earnings and get accurate records on commodity sales, palm oil inventories climb as exports drop 14% versus 12% output slowing, Pelindo to develop Kuala Tanjung Port and challenge Singapore transshipment. Retail investors active in local futures exchanges.

Small-time traders drive Southeast Asia futures volumes by Jeremy Grant January 27, 2015 8:59 am

High in a building in central Kuala Lumpur, not far from the twin Petronas Towers that dominate the Malaysian capital’s skyline, staff at Oriental Pacific Futures are busy broking futures for some of the group’s roughly 1,000 clients... In Thailand, retail investors accounted for 55 per cent of volume last year on the local futures exchange. Brokers say that the high proportion of retail participation in Asia’s derivatives markets is down to speculative appetite among ordinary investors in many Asian countries....

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/35996632-a120-11e4-b8b9-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Q7fpar5X

Palm Oil Inventories Climb in Indonesia as Exports Tumble By Eko Listiyorini on 09:10 pm Jan 21, 2015; Palm oil stockpiles in Indonesia, the world’s largest supplier, probably expanded to a four-month high in December after a rally in prices curbed demand and exports tumbled the most since April.... Reserves may have jumped 8.9 percent to 2.45 million metric tons from 2.25 million tons in November, according to the median of estimates from four planters and refiners and one analyst compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments may have declined 14 percent to 1.97 million tons, while output may have dropped 12 percent to 2.07 million tons, the lowest level since February, median estimates show.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/palm-oil-inventories-climb-indonesia-exports-tumble/

L/C required for exports of key commodities Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, January 16 2015, 9:18 AM . A new regulation set to take effect in April will require exporters of the country’s key commodities to use letters of credit (L/C) in their overseas shipments, a move that will help generate a reliable record of export earnings. The rule, issued by the Trade Ministry last week, is set to affect four primary commodities: coal; palm oil and palm-kernel oil; oil and gas; and minerals, including tin. On average these items accounted for 41 percent of overall exports in the five years from 2009 to 2013 with an average of US$71.04 billion a year, according to the ministry’s statistics.“By demanding the application of L/C in exports, we want to increase export earnings and at the same time get accurate records, particularly from sales of natural resources,” Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said in a press conference on Wednesday evening. Based on the rule, the prices in the L/C should reflect actual transaction value. It also stipulates that without the letters, overseas delivery cannot be executed.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/16/lc-required-exports-key-commodities.html#sthash.O0IKDRbH.dpuf

Pelindo has high hopes for Kuala Tanjung Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, January 22 2015, 10:07 AM . With investments of US$1.2 billion, North Sumatra’s Kuala Tanjung Port will become one of the world’s largest ports, according to state port operator Pelindo I.Pelindo I president director Bambang Eka Cahyana said on Wednesday that Kuala Tanjung Port could reach 30th position in the Best Port List.Located in Batubara regency, home to resources such as oil palm and aluminum, Kuala Tanjung Port would become a transit hub for shipments to Europe, he said, adding that with its modern facilities, and strategic location, the port could even compete with Singapore’s largest port.“Once the port has been fully developed, then many large ships heading to Europe can transit via Kuala Tanjung Port instead of via Singapore,” Bambang said...  

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/22/pelindo-has-high-hopes-kuala-tanjung.html#sthash.O8ieyplz.dpuf

19 January 2015:

Palm oil price expected to be volatile

Rising Palm Output Seen Suppressing Prices With Crude Slump By Ranjeetha Pakiam  Jan 19, 2015 5:14 PM GMT+0800... Rising production and reserves of palm oil combined with the slump in crude will suppress prices, said a minister in Malaysia, the second-largest supplier of the tropical oil used in food and biofuels. Futures fell.... While futures have rallied 20 percent from a five-year low in September after Malaysia’s worst floods in four decades, prices still declined 15 percent decline in 2014. That’s the third drop in four years as stockpiles in Malaysia reached a 21-month high and U.S. farmers harvested a record soybean crop, used to make an alternative oil. Crude prices dropped almost 50 percent last year, eroding demand for biofuel.... The “price will continue to be volatile” during the first half of 2015, Choo Yuen May, director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, said at the conference. Production will probably climb to 20.09 million tons this year, said Ramli Abdullah, the director of MPOB’s economics and industry development division. Output in 2014 reached an all-time high of 19.67 million tons, board data show.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-19/palm-seen-pressured-by-rising-production-slump-in-petroleum-1-.html

8 January 2015:

Ringgit weakness

Weak ringgit translates to higher revenue for oil palm planters Wednesday, 7 January 2015

PETALING JAYA: The weaker ringgit is a boon for oil palm planters. At RM2,284 a tonne yesterday, crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Derivatives, which is quoted in ringgit, has risen 18.4% from the recent low in August. Over the same period, rival soybean oil gained 1.7%. Palm oil and soybean oil are substitutes and their price movements usually track each other.

But as the ringgit depreciates and the US dollar appreciates, palm oil’s appeal to cost-conscious consumers increases. Malaysia ranks second after Indonesia as the world’s top palm oil exporter.

The ringgit slumped 0.65% yesterday to 3.5567 against the US dollar, it weakest level in more than five years. The local currency has fallen 12.7% against the greenback since the beginning of September.....

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/01/07/Boon-for-oil-palm-planters-Weak-ringgit-translates-to-higher-revenue-for-companies/?style=biz

7 January 2015

: India raises import duties, Indonesia waiver continues

India Raises Import Duty on Palm Oil as Indonesia Keeps Waiver By Pratik Parija and Prabhudatta Mishra  Dec 26, 2014 5:10 PM GMT+0800 ; India, the world’s biggest buyer of palm oil, raised import duties on crude and refined varieties in a move to protect farmers from declining oilseed prices. ...  The tax on crude palm oil was raised to 7.5 percent from 2.5 percent, while the duty on refined grades was increased to 15 percent from 10 percent, the Central Board of Excise & Customs said on its website in a notice dated Dec. 24. The increase may counter the benefits shippers were expecting to gain from the scrapping of export taxes by Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for about 86 percent of world supply. Indonesia extended today its zero duty for a fourth month to January, while Malaysia has already prolonged its duty exemption through February. Both countries are seeking to cut reserves in a year of unprecedented oilseed supply.... “The duty difference will help value addition” in India, B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association, said by phone. “Rising imports are hurting domestic farmers as they’re not getting remunerative prices.”

Palm imports rose for a fifth month in November from a year earlier, the association said Dec. 12. Purchases in the year started Nov. 1 may rise 13 percent to 8.75 million tons, Dorab Mistry, director at Godrej International Ltd., said last month......

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-26/india-raises-import-duty-on-palm-oil-as-indonesia-keeps-waiver.html

22 December 2014:

Malaysia CPO exports duty free to end Feb 2015

Malaysia to keep crude palm oil exports tax-free until end-Feb: govt official 19 Dec11:23 PM by Reuters; [KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia will keep exports of crude palm oil duty-free until end-February, a senior government official said on Friday, as the world's second-largest grower tries to boost demand and cut stockpiles that have ballooned to a 21-month high.

Tax-exempted exports for a sixth straight month may provide some relief to benchmark Malaysian palm prices that have tumbled 20 per cent this year on fears of record supplies of rival oilseeds and a rout in crude oil markets.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/malaysia-to-keep-crude-palm-oil-exports-tax-free-until-end-feb-govt-official

5 November 2014:

Palm Enters Bull Market as Soybeans Rally, Biofuels Drive Demand  By Ranjeetha Pakiam  Nov 3, 2014 6:39 PM GMT+0800 ; "Palm oil entered a bull market on expectations that an increase in the biodiesel mandate in Malaysia and the biggest monthly rally in soybeans since 2012 would boost demand for the world’s most used cooking oil... Futures closed at 2,336 ringgit ($704) a metric ton on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, more than 20 percent above the 1,929 ringgit settlement on Aug. 29, meeting the common definition of a bull market. Prices advanced 1.3 percent today to settle at the highest level for a most-active contract since July 11.... Palm rallied from a five-year low as Indonesia and Malaysia scrapped export taxes to lure buyers and trim inventories amid a global glut in cooking oils. Soybeans rose 15 percent last month as rain slowed harvesting in the U.S. and planting was delayed in Brazil...."

2 November 2014:

UPDATE 1-India considers raising import taxes on vegetable oils By Mayank Bhardwaj Mon, Oct 27 08:58 AM EDT * May hike duties on crude, refined vegoils by 5 pct points * Finance Ministry to take final call * Falling inflation would make move easier * Indian vegoil refiners operating at 40 pct capacity -trade * Extension of sugar export incentives under consideration (Writes through, wraps in sugar export incentives);

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL4N0SM3JR20141027?irpc=932

13 October 2014: Malaysia extends CPO tax-free exports to end 2014

Malaysia Seeks to Boost Palm Oil by With Tax-Free Extension  By Ranjeetha Pakiam  Oct 13, 2014 9:28 AM GMT+0800; "Malaysia’s extension of tax-free exports of crude palm oil until the year-end is intended to support prices and curb the buildup of reserves, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Douglas Uggah Embas... Futures lost 18 percent this year amid a global glut in edible oil supplies, hurting producers’ profits in Malaysia and Indonesia, the two largest suppliers. The Malaysian government initially waived the export tax for September and October after prices dropped to a five-year low, and Indonesia’s tariff was also set to zero for this month, boosting competition. While some Malaysian growers including Sime Darby Bhd. (SIME) welcomed the extension, the decision was criticized by a refiners’ group...."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-13/malaysia-seeks-to-boost-palm-oil-by-extending-tax-free-shipments.html

29 September 2014:

Export taxes cut to zero on lower prices

Top Palm Oil Growers Scrap Export Tariffs in Buyer Battle By Yoga Rusmana, Eko Listiyorini and Ranjeetha Pakiam  Sep 26, 2014 6:27 PM GMT+0800; "The world’s two biggest palm oil producers cut export taxes on most shipments to zero, seeking to lure buyers amid a global glut in edible oils that sent prices to a five-year low.... Crude shipments of the most-used cooking oil from Indonesia will not attract any tariff in October, down from 9 percent this month, said Bayu Krisnamurthi, the deputy trade minister. It’s the first time since December 2009 that the rate has been zero in Indonesia, the biggest producer, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Malaysia, the second-largest, earlier this month made exports tax-free for two months through October.... “There’s plenty of stock of vegetable oils more broadly around the world and these prices are going to have to trade against each other in the relative sense to effectively buy demand away from the other oils,” Wayne Gordon, a commodity analyst at UBS AG in Singapore, said by phone today. “In many ways palm oil is hitting against the threshold of where it’s mostly competitive against other vegetable oils.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-26/top-palm-oil-growers-scrap-export-tariffs-in-buyer-battle.html

M’sia eyes capturing 70% of China's palm oil imports  by tho xin yi Updated: Monday September 29, 2014 MYT 5:50:37 PM; SHANGHAI: Malaysia aims to capture a bigger share of China’s palm oil imports, according to Plantation Industries and Commodities minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. He said Malaysia currently accounted for 58.8% of the total imports, and the target was to increase the figure to 70%. “China is Malaysia’s largest export destination for palm oil products, taking up 20.4% of Malaysia’s global exports,” he said when opening the Malaysia-China Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar (POTS) here recently....

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2014/09/29/Msia-eyes-bigger-share-in-China-It-aims-to-capture-70-of-the-republics-palm-oil-imports/

Indonesia: the rise of the politics of palm oil by Khor Yu Leng

Editor's note: I have been anticipating the rise of the politics of palm oil for Indonesia. I've been tracking the importance of smallholders to Malaysia's UMNO-BN in electoral politics for a few years now.

A few things are coming together for Indonesia:

a) The young BPDP/palm oil fund will become an increasingly contested area. There will be a political policy tussle on allocation of funds for independent smallholder replanting versus allocation for biodiesel subsidy. The latter goes directly to a handful of conglomerate quota holders, albeit for the purpose of supporting palm oil prices for all.

b) We have the coming of a more populist Presidential election in 2019 as the timing shift of the Presidential election to coincide with national legislative elections diminishes the previous system that let political party coalitions decide the Presidency. So we have Jokowi on big tours of Sumatra in 2017 and Kalimantan in 2018, to reach out to the rural voter-base.

c) Watch for the important smallholder associations like Apkasindo and plantation worker unions. While union leaders have tried to strike deals with politicians, these don't always work out such as recently on the minimum wage tussle.

Watch out for how this will affect the balance of political-economic power between the center and the periphery in Indonesia's decentralised political system. 

In the case of Thailand, the need to support domestic prices for oil palm smallholders has caused narrowing margins for millers, sometimes causing millers to shut down operations for a while.


On the allocation of BPDP funds:
  • https://www.cnnindonesia.com/ekonomi/20180126165425-85-271834/petani-sawit-kritik-subsidi-biodiesel-untuk-konglomerat
  • https://www.cnnindonesia.com/ekonomi/20180116202504-92-269411/lima-konglomerat-sawit-disuntik-subsidi-mega-rp75-triliun/ 
On supporting palm oil farmers with replanting, seeds, land titles:
  • http://www.tribunnews.com/bisnis/2017/10/13/dari-sumatra-presiden-jokowi-awali-peremajaan-sawit






Biodiesel news: EU Parliament has voted to exclude palm oil from the EU-RED. What's next? What can you do?

We shall post here some pieces on biofuels that catch the eye.

18 Jan 2017: EU Parliament has voted to exclude palm oil from the EU-RED. What's next? What can you do?


Editor's note: 

We've been working on ways to quantify "no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation" (NDPE) in the last few months, in view of the escalating issues on market access. It was back in April 2017 that the EU policy-level warning shot came, and the 17 January 2018 vote result is no surprise, especially in light of years of poor sentiment and volume challenges faced in the EU. A few months ago, we checked with EU company experts who told us that the process may culminate in year-end legislation. Producer countries will focus on "unfair discrimination" and the international lawyers will be very keen to assist. Don't be surprised if more smallholder protests are organised. 

For those with your feet on the ground, what can you do next? I believe there will have to be an evolution to quantify NDPE, to offer different buyers what they seek. What if some buyers are keen on smallholder palm oil that comes from areas planted by 1970 (decades ahead of popular certification cut-offs)? That's identifiable. Indeed there's 100s thousand hectares of this; and you only need 300,000 hectares to get over 1 million tonnes of 1970 no-deforestation material; or how about looking at the 2000 no-deforestation zones of Kelantan (see below)? What if buyers want to implement a direct worker reporting system, so you can generate data and work on "no exploitation"? It'll come down to how keen are palm oil producers to put their best foot forward, and explore how to best market.

Yu Leng of Khor Report's posting in LinkedIn and sample of Kelantan potential zones (yellow):
 

News links:

  • European Parliament draws a RED line under palm oil, sets biofuels position JANUARY 17, 2018 https://biofuels-news.com/display_news/13337/european_parliament_draws_a_red_line_under_palm_oil_sets_biofuels_position/
  • Bursa Malaysia crude palm oil futures fall on concerns over EU Parliament vote on RED II provisions Singapore (Platts)--17 Jan 2018  https://www.platts.com/latest-news/agriculture/singapore/bursa-malaysia-crude-palm-oil-futures-fall-on-27906122
  • M’sian oil palm smallholders protest against Europe’s ‘crop apartheid’ Erika Benjamin / The Edge Financial Daily  January 17, 2018 http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/msian-oil-palm-smallholders-protest-against-europes-crop-apartheid
  • EU heading for ‘zero palm oil’ in transport by 2021 By Frédéric Simon | EURACTIV.com https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-heading-for-zero-palm-oil-in-transport-by-2021/

29 Dec 2017: China stops production of 553 passenger-car models not meeting fuel-consumption limits, Khor Reports confirms diesel non-compliance faces production stop and those produced face fines 


Editor's note: Just two days ago, Dr. Sathia Varqa, Owner and Co-founder at Palm Oil Analytics wrote on my LinkedIn posting "China unveiled a new barometer of the health of its regional economies based on environment-related indicators" (news link below) the following: "Thanks for posting. Indicators offer a chance to explore the problem. Well done to China. National bioethanol mandate in 2020 is just one of the many solutions. I doubt if similar national biodiesel program is launched in China." I replied, "I also doubt that biodiesel fits their policy imperatives." And today, I have news from a senior executive in the China automobile sector that 1 Jan 2018,  all diesel non-compliance will be production stopped; and for those already produced, a fine imposed (Khor Reports' interview, 29 Dec 2017 with senior executive in China automobile sector). I was checking as China just published its first list of pollution offending car models-production ban. My auto industry expert noted that this is low-key news in China. Notable that China has taken a decisive stance on the diesel emissions scandal that broke out in September 2015 on VW's cheating (that started in 2005). Blow back on biodiesel prospects not surprising. 


China to Stop Production of 553 Vehicle Models Over Fuel Use by Bloomberg News December 28, 2017, 5:37 PM GMT+8 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-28/china-to-stop-production-of-553-vehicle-models-over-fuel-use.... "China will end the production of 553 passenger-car models that don’t meet fuel-consumption limits amid efforts by the nation to curb pollution. The halt in production will begin Jan. 1, the China Vehicle Technology Service Center said in a statement Thursday. Models include FAW VW’s Audi FV7145LCDBG sedan, Beijing Benz’s Benz BJ7302ETAL2 sedan and Shanghai GM’s Chevrolet SGM7161DAA2 sedan..." 

China Ranks Provincial Economies With New Environment Index by Bloomberg News December 26, 2017 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-26/china-ranks-provincial-economies-with-new-environment-index

Engineering a Deception: What Led to Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal By JACK EWING MARCH 16, 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/business/volkswagen-diesel-emissions-timeline.html

Timeline: Volkswagen's long road to a U.S. Dieselgate settlement by Reuters Staff JANUARY 11, 2017 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-timeline/timeline-volkswagens-long-road-to-a-u-s-dieselgate-settlement-idUSKBN14V100


VW’s Diesel Scandal Could Hurt Biodiesel by JOHN DAVIS SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 http://energy.agwired.com/2015/09/23/vws-diesel-scandal-could-hurt-biodiesel/




22 Dec 2017: European Council position on renewable energy use.  Australia vs Canada and Croatia canola entry to EU. 


Editor's note: 

The European Council news is seen as gloomy to renewable energy experts in palm. "Up to 7%" with the Council's 27% target (instead of 35%) means that a member state could choose 0% first generation biofuels to lower its transport fuel total to 20%. On the power generation side, palm seems to have things easier. Refer to the Japan situation too. Notable that Australia canola gets ahead of Canada and Croatia for European biodiesel ahead of the new threshold. An RE specialist said this:"the problem palm faces is that they (destinations) see a difference between 'cannot do' and 'will not do'..." Origins have been talking strongly about smallholder interests and rattle the 'trade war' talk. Presumably, there is also some good NEW work going on to present suitable data evidence. Australia shows not all canola origins are the same, and the same is true for other feedstocks. And at a corporate level there is strong differentiation, with lead palm suppliers offering 70% GHG-savings material to the most discerning destinations and efforts to measure GHG savings with alternative processing methods.

Indonesia biodiesel has come in weaker than targeted, which is to be expected. However, we should keep an eye on the change in the Indonesia election cycle. The next Presidential election will be the first (post-Suharto) where the incumbent can really make use of the power of incumbency. The BPDP has been used almost fully to fund the domestic biodiesel mandate. However, there may be increased pressure for it go toward smallholder replanting, as the incumbent builds his rural support base for re-election; and there are strong fiscal deficit limits in Indonesia. The balancing of BPDP funding for biodiesel (price support) and smallholder replanting will be interesting to watch relative to palm oil - gas oil spreads and levels.



Promoting renewable energy use – Council adopts its position 18/12/2017 The EU is committed to reach a target of at least 27% renewable energy of its overall energy consumption by 2030....In the transport sector, the renewables target for 2030 is set at 14% for each member state, and there is a sub-target of 3% for ‘advanced biofuels’, for which double-counting will be allowed. This advanced biofuels target has an intermediate binding milestone of 1% in 2025 to increase investment security and guarantee the availability of fuels throughout the period. Electromobility is strongly encouraged by two multipliers of 5x for renewable electricity used in road transport, and of 2x for rail transport.... The existing 7% cap on first-generation biofuels is maintained to provide certainty to investors. If a member state sets a lower cap, it will be rewarded with the option of lowering its overall target for renewables in transport.... http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/12/18/promoting-renewable-energy-use-council-adopts-its-position/

Where Green Incentives Led to a Surge in Palm Oil By Chisaki Watanabe November 8, 2017 -- Japan approvals surge for biomass plants using palm oil. Fuel blamed for destroying rain forests, Indonesian peat lands. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-07/where-green-incentives-chop-down-palm-trees-in-search-for-fuel


Australian canola for European biodiesel emits half the greenhouse gas of fossil fuels By Sarina Locke 18 Dec 2017 -- Australia has secured access to a billion-dollar European biodiesel market for canola, just two weeks away from a cut-off date. ..Dr Eady said it took Europe 12 months from when it received the CSIRO and Lifecycle's report on canola to approve and legislate it. She said it had come close to being a disaster for Australian canola growers...Canada and Croatia are also significant suppliers into the EU, and they were not able to get their country report accepted by the EU because they had significant issues still to be addressed http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-18/australian-canola-approved-as-low-emission-fuel-for-europe/9269232


4 Dec 2017: European Parliament ITRE disappoints palm exporters. Air pollution (pro-electric, anti-diesel) news flow


Editor's note: Palm exporters had some hopes that the ITRE might be more positive on the use of palm oil in the EU, but this hope was dashed last week.  Palm oil producers should also be interested in the EU Forest Strategy which has its public hearing today.  The political view on palm oil has been on the cards. Some EU corporate experts point to an end-2018 legislative timeframe if this gets through to the wider vote, and other processes including the Council of Ministers. Data-driven approaches used so far by exporting countries have had limited impact in turning policy maker views in destinations like the EU. Some local palm oil experts say that "serious work in making palm oil the healthy super food of the future should begin from now." There are however evident business interests sceptical of the food contaminant allegations (calling it a sham argument; and lacking data rebuttals) and preferring to sell to "less fussy" markets as few are interested to change production practices. I feel that it is important to understand rural political realities. Palm oil won in the cooking oil, oleocehmicals and energy sector against other oils-oilseeds but faces pushback. It has also positioned itself as a competitor to the dairy sector. This is a great concern. The risk is that the political fights expands from oilseed growing centers to contestation across the dairy belt. Dairy is an important income component for many (including temperate zone) farmers*; an important interest group, just as oil palm farmers are important voters in some tropical countries. Trade problems have arisen for palm not just in the EU and US, but also in the likes of Turkey, Iran, Russia and India. There are over 3 million oil palm farmers worldwide, and there are 75 million diary farms in India and 1.35 million in Brazil. Moreover, China (and India?) policy efforts to enhance rural incomes, will be a headwind for palm imports as domestic feedstocks are the focus. 
*Faostat reports top 10 milk producers: USA, India, China, Russian Federation, Brazil, Germany, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Turkey. Top 10 dairy cow populations: India, Brazil, Sudan, China, Pakistan, Kenya, USA, Russian Federation, Tanzania, Ethiopia. Note: 2012 data.

Ban on palm oil biofuels a step backwards on EU-Malaysia relations, says Mah -- The government describes European Union (EU) Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) to endorse the ban palm oil biofuels as a step backwards for EU-Malaysia trade relations.
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/11/309139/ban-palm-oil-biofuels-step-backwards-eu-malaysia-relations-says-mah

European Parliament news, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/itre/home.html:

  • Joint ENVI-ITRE-AGRI public hearing on the EU Forest Strategy 30-11-2017 - 15:04 - On 4 December, the ENVI-ITRE-AGRI committees will hold a joint public hearing. The objective of this event is to provide input to the review to be carried out by 2018 in order to assess progress in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy. 
  • During its 28 November meeting, ITRE voted on two reports on the Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (Recast) and Energy Efficiency, which are key files of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package. 


23 October 2017, there was an Environment Committee vote that calls for a phase-out use of palm oil in biofuels by 2021 (EU Environment MEP's vote on RED II – mixed reactions on upgraded proposal, https://bioenergyinternational.com/opinion-commentary/eu-environment-meps-vote-red-ii-mixed-reactions-upgraded-proposal).

Air pollution; pure electric cars to be cheapest? The researchers analysed the total cost of ownership of cars over four years, including the purchase price and depreciation, fuel, insurance, taxation and maintenance. They were surprised to find that pure electric cars came out cheapest in all the markets they examined: UK, Japan, Texas and California....At the moment the cost is partly because of government support, but electric cars are expected to become the cheapest option without subsidies in a few years.....Air pollution concerns are especially acute in China, which is now the biggest market for electric cars and growing rapidly, mainly driven by domestic manufacturers including BYD, Geely and Beijing Auto. “China is stealing the march on everybody and they will be the leaders of that market,” said Tate. “The European and US motor industry have been caught napping.”.... https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/01/electric-cars-already-cheaper-to-own-and-run-than-petrol-or-diesel-study

Transport tops US pollution. "America crowns a new pollution king. For the first time in 40 years, power plants are no longer the biggest source of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. That dubious distinction now belongs to the transport sector: cars, tracks, planes, trains and boats. The big change didn’t come from increasing transportation emissions, but instead from the cleanup of America’s electric grid."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/america-crowns-a-new-pollution-king?

UK pollution and diesel scrappage? Five cities and 23 local authorities have been selected in the new plan to come up with measures to reduce illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide by December 2018. But the government refused to legislate for more “clean air zones” that would charge the dirtiest vehicles to enter the UK’s most polluted cities and has stopped short of bringing in a diesel scrappage scheme. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/30/uk-government-being-dragged-screaming-to-tackle-air-pollution

Delhi air pollution and vomiting cricketers. A cricket Test match between India and Sri Lanka was repeatedly interrupted on Sunday with claims players were “continuously vomiting” due to hazardous pollution levels in the Indian capital. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/03/pollution-stops-play-at-delhi-test-match-as-bowlers-struggle-to-breathe

27 Nov 2017: Epure talks about phase out of bad biofuels like palm 


Phasing-out biofuels: What’s really at stake? 06/10/2017 -- A new Euractiv Special Report focuses on the biofuels debate now under way in the EU, and what the European Commission’s proposal to phase out crop-based biofuels would mean for Europe’s energy and climate goals, as well as its agriculture sector. http://epure.org/news-and-media/news/phasing-out-biofuels-what-s-really-at-stake/

28 Oct 2017: EU politicians moving on palm oil in transport fuel by 2021?


Editor's note: 1) The Environment Committee vote is a warning of things to come. Drafting is proceeding in the next few weeks for a wider vote by the EU Parliament. Proponents typically do not like trade and industry committee views and may be opposed by Poland and other East European interests. The Council of Ministers will weigh in. Experts point to a one year time frame to reach policy. 2) What prospect for China biodiesel? So far uncertain. Read,  China pushes for full scale bio-fuel ethanol E10 by 2020
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/china-pushes-full-scale-bio-fuel-ethanol-e10-2020-yu-leng-khor-%E8%A8%B1%E5%B9%BC%E7%8E%B2 
3) Indonesia biodiesel has been below target on various issues. Looking ahead how will decision on allocation to subsidise biodiesel, pay for smallholder replanting and other expense needs pan out? Indonesia election cycle is gearing up. 

The environment committee of the European Parliament voted today to phase out the support for biodiesel from vegetable oils in 2030 and terminate the use of palm oil biodiesel as early as 2021. However, MEPs decided to exempt some food-based biofuels such as bioethanol and crops grown on marginal land from this phase out. They also voted to increase the overall target for advanced fuels to 9% of fuels supplied in 2030. https://www.transportenvironment.org/press/meps-vote-end-public-support-food-based-biodiesel-including-palm-oil


Indonesia Issues 1.4 Million Kiloliters Palm Biodiesel Quotas 2017-10-24 06:22:00.212 GMT

27 Sep 2017:  US EPA opens door to cutting biodiesel and RFQs, BMD palm oil futures dip with soy (palm, -12% YTD), Icahn-refiners litigation fight starts, Indonesia biodiesel dumping allegations faces 29 Dec measures


Editor's note: Icahn versus biofuels point of obligation, versus soy barons & palm tycoons?

source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-28/icahn-sees-biofuels-fight-deepening-as-refinery-losses-mount


27 Sep: Palm oil for Dec. delivery drops as much as 1.1% to RM2,718/ton on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives before trading at RM2,730 by 11:11am in Kuala Lumpur. Futures -12% YTD Market went lower, tracking losses in Tuesday’s soybean oil trade due the impact of the EPA notice - EPA Opens Door to Cutting Biodiesel, Renewable Fuel Quotas. http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/palm-oil-futures-drop-after-soy-falls-epas-biofuel-notice

22 Sep: Pruitt Responds To Senators’ Request For Details On Icahn’s Advisory Role https://www.natlawreview.com/article/pruitt-responds-to-senators-request-details-icahn-s-advisory-role

29 Aug: Icahn Sees Biofuels Fight Deepening as Refinery Losses Mount. Billionaire Carl Icahn says an oil industry push for structural changes to the U.S. biofuels mandate will persist, even if the Environmental Protection Agency rebuffs requests from refiners to relieve them of the regulatory burden. Icahn’s remarks came as convenience store owners took the fight to federal court and mark the investor’s first public comments since an Aug. 18 open letter announcing his departure as a special regulatory adviser to President Donald Trump.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-28/icahn-sees-biofuels-fight-deepening-as-refinery-losses-mount.

25 Aug: Trump and Pruitt, Making America Polluted Again by Paul Krugman, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/opinion/trump-pruitt-polluted-climate-.html

24 Aug: Indonesia denies biodiesel dumping allegation in US. The US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced Tuesday its preliminary anti-dumping determination on biodiesel from Indonesia and Argentina. Its preliminary investigation claims that Wilmar International Ltd. has benefitted from a 41.06 percent subsidy from the government, while PT Musim Mas received a 44.92 percent subsidy and all other local producers 44.92 percent. Indonesian producers would, therefore, be required to pay a fee to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) based on those preliminary rates. Petitions against Indonesian and Argentinian biodiesel were filed last March and the US government has been investigating the case. Should the claims be proven correct, an order for anti-dumping measures will be issued on Dec. 29 this year. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/08/24/indonesia-denies-biodiesel-dumping-allegation-in-us.html

4 Aug: The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to formally deny requests by Valero Energy Corp., Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc. and other oil companies to shift the compliance burden for using ethanol and other biofuels away from refiners, moving it to fuel blenders and other entities instead. The people asked not to be identified discussing the policy action before it was announced, possibly before the end of this week. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-03/trump-s-epa-is-said-to-reject-icahn-backed-biofuel-program-tweak

6 July: Ethanol gets 15-billion-gallon guarantee.  Oil gets a gift:  Instead of increasing the required volume of advanced biofuels, he decided to cut them by 40 million gallons, reducing the overall amount of biofuel required under the program. Advanced biofuels gets … rocks: Pruitt reduced overall advanced biofuels in 2017, held advanced biodiesel steady in 2019, and cut the cellulosic ethanol mandate (which requires fuel made from agricultural leavings and switchgrass and has a much smaller carbon footprint) by almost a quarter. Changes on the horizon?: Pruitt also started the path for significant changes to such guidelines. He is launching an analysis for a "reset" of the volumes allowed under the law, asking for comment on imported ethanol and biodiesel, and opening the door to an examination of the market for zero percent ethanol. It’s not over until the final rule. The EPA often modifies the volumes it proposes in a final rule. Now the agency has until Nov. 30 to accept comments, analyze them and produce a final rule. http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-agriculture/2017/07/06/rfs-2018-a-mixed-bag-221181


20 Sep 2017: The technology transition outlook (is oil the new coal?), US import duties on Musim Mas, Wilmar and others, "abject coalfields"


Editor's note: In the words of Michael Taussig in Becoming Palm (2017), "Palm oil is an elixir from which all manner of being emerges. The metamorphic sublime.... in this green desert... Poor palm, once heralded, still heralded, as world-saving "biofuel," salvation of ecocide. Now it is becoming the equivalent of the abject coalfields.."


Riding the Energy Transition : Oil Beyond 2040, May 22, 2017 -- Summary: Recent technological developments and past technology transitions suggest that the world could be on the verge of a profound shift in transportation technology. The return of the electric car and its adoption, like that of the motor vehicle in place of horses in early 20th century, could cut oil consumption substantially in the coming decades. Our analysis suggests that oil as the main fuel for transportation could have a much shorter life span left than commonly assumed. In the fast adoption scenario, oil prices could converge to the level of coal prices, about $15 per barrel in 2015 prices by the early 2040s. In this possible future, oil could become the new coal.
http://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2017/05/22/Riding-the-Energy-Transition-Oil-Beyond-2040-44932

Ambank report: Bloomberg reported that US has proposed import duties on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Initial results of a Commerce Department probe indicated that the duties should be 50.3% to 64.2% on Argentine biodiesel imports and 41.1% to 68.3% on Indonesian biodiesel imports. The Commerce Department will announce on 7 November if the duties are finalised. Separate action by the International Trade Commission will follow thereafter... The interesting thing about the duties is that US set import duty rates specifically for certain companies. US has proposed an import duty rate of 68.3% for Musim Mas and 41.1% for Wilmar International. All other Indonesian exporters are subjected to an import duty of 44.9%.

U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, 22 August 2017 for United States Department of Commerce
http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/us-department-commerce-issues-affirmative-preliminary-countervailing-duty-determinations-biodiesel

More here, Palm oil trade & market news: Dr James Fry presentation, China policy favours domestic ethanol, IOI de-integrates Loders Croklaan, trade tussles and the "unhealthy commodity" label, Brent Crude $55.14 http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/09/export-taxes-and-markets-news.html

10 August 2016: Malaysia eyes China biodiesel programme

Ministry Invites Tianjin Palm Oil Industry Players To Look In Tie-ups  From S. Joan Santani -- TIANJIN, Aug 9 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities is inviting Tianjin palm oil industry players to look into collaborating with Malaysians in the biodiesel programme besides palm oil.....Tianjin City is the third largest palm oil entry point into China, after Jiangsu Province and Guangdong Province.... He said Malaysia was looking forward to this joint-venture with Tianjin for the implementation of the biodiesel programme.  "Malaysia, which has 18 biodiesel plants, has implemented B7 biodiesel and was in talks about moving the start of B10 later this year. "The implementation of B10 and B7 programmes are expected to lead to an annual consumption of 709,000 metric tonnes t of biodiesel," he said.... Mah said he was confident the collaborations would augur well for both countries as they would lead to a saving of 820 million litres of gasoil and carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 2.16 million tonnes. "We can export more B7 into states like Tianjin and Beijing, as these two cities are polluted," he said.  China is also committed to having a biodiesel programme in 2020, hence the ministry was looking ways to export biodiesel to China, he said....http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/bu/newsbusiness.php?

25 July 2016: BPDP fund raises Rp5.6 trillion in 1H2016, EU special report says its certification system is "not fully reliable"

Cara BPDP Jaga Produksi Sawit Saat Moratorium by Pebrianto Eko Wicaksono 21 Jul 2016  http://bisnis.liputan6.com/read/2558220/cara-bpdp-jaga-produksi-sawit-saat-moratorium

Note: Pak Bayu says the moratorium decision of President Jokowi (if it comes into regulation) will be respected. Bayu, notes there are many estates that level of production is only one ton per hectare against a potential fo seven tons, blaming bad planting materials (seeds) in large part. Also, trees over 30 years old must be replanted. Bayu said for Jan-June 2016 the oil fund has raised to Rp 5.6 trillion, against this year's target of Rp 11 trillion. The realized oil fund levy for 1H2016 was lower than 2H2016's (July to December 2015) Rp 6.9 trillion likely because of oil exports have dropped slightly.


Special Report - The EU system for the certification of sustainable biofuels: "The audit addressed the question ‘Have the Commission and Member States set up a reliable certification system for sustainable biofuels?’ We conclude that, because of weaknesses in the Commission’s recognition procedure and subsequent supervision of voluntary schemes, the EU certification system for the sustainability of biofuels is not fully reliable...."

INVESTOR KORSEL BAKAL BANGUN PABRIK BIODIESEL DI KALBAR Berita Utama | 25 July 2016 http://www.infosawit.com/news/4995/investor-korsel-bakal-bangun-pabrik-biodiesel-di-kalbar


12 July 2016: Indonesia's PLN Says Biofuel Regulation Unworkable - machinery gets clogged with residue


State Power Firm PLN Says Biofuel Regulation Unworkable - Indonesian state power firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) says it cannot comply with government rules on burning diesel with a bio content of at least 30 percent as it would damage generators By : Bernadette Christina Munthe and Wilda Asmarini | on 1:42 PM July 11, 2016 -- Less-than-expected growth in bio consumption by Indonesia's largest diesel buyer could weigh on palm prices as more supplies are diverted to the global market.  "It's risky if we use B30 (because) machinery can shut down," Chairani Rachmatullah, head of PLN's fuel and gas procurement division, told Reuters in an interview late last month.  "Eventually the machinery gets clogged with residue like slagging causing blockages, and then it breaks down," she said, adding that diesel with a bio content of 20 percent would be "safer"..... The official in charge of government biofuel policy said the biodiesel rule should be no problem for PLN, and that his office would investigate the issue and could apply sanctions. He did not specify what measures the ministry could take.  "If there's no problem for vehicles, logically there should be no problem for power," said New and Renewable Energy Director Rida Mulyana. "I definitely don't want to pull back from this mandatory regulation."  Indonesia's automotive industry association has said high biodiesel concentrations can lead to engines overheating and greater fuel consumption.  Indonesia's efforts to diversify energy sources have faced criticism from power station developers. http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/state-power-firm-pln-says-biofuel-regulation-unworkable/

11 July 2016: Malaysia haulier trucks still lacking of warranty for B10 use, CPO-biodiesel breakeven level is RM1,287 per tonne without government subsidy


Ambank 11 July 2016: In Malaysia, it was reported that the Association of Malaysian Hauliers, whose members have not received warranty from truck manufacturers on B10, have appealed to the government to conduct trials on prime movers and trailers to verify the impact of B10 on engines. An official was told that B10 is of higher acidity and hence, it is too aggressive on the plastic and rubber seals in the engine.  

CIMB Analysing the steep fall in CPO prices, 10 July 2016:  Brent crude oil prices fell 7% during the week to US$46.76 per barrel. The sharp drop in crude oil prices may trigger concerns of potentially weaker biodiesel demand. We estimate that at the current crude oil price level of US$47 per barrel and exchange rate of RM4/US$1, the CPO-biodiesel breakeven level is RM1,287 per tonne without government subsidy, and RM1,887 per tonne with government subsidy.


14 June 2016: Malaysia auto sector players negative on B10 adoption


Painful diesel plan BY DANIEL KHOO 14 June 2016 -- Some automotive players are crying foul over the upgrading of the B7 (petroleum diesel blend consisting of 7% palm methyl ester) to the B10 (10% palm methyl ester) biodiesel blend to be used for the transportation sector progressively effective this month. Industry sources said diesel-powered vehicles are not ready for this regulatory move and that the B7 blend is still preferred, given the many unknown factors with the B10 adoption so far... It is learnt that most auto players are shocked by the announcement and the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) is compiling more feedback from its members.... “A higher Fame blending in diesel increases the tendency of deposits at swirl ducts, inlet valves, air ducts, cylinder heads, cylinder crankcase, oil sludge accumulation at roller levers and the camshaft,” MAA said in its list of concerns. Adding to the concerns, said industry sources, was that vehicle sales were already low and this ruling would worsen the situation.... Despite widespread concerns, one marque is ready, but it is believed to be a vehicle for the high-end market.....  http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/06/14/painful-diesel-plan/


1 June 2016: Malaysia raises biodiesel mandates to B10 and B7, Europe worries and Britain eschews palm biodiesel?


CIMB May 31, 2016:  Malaysia has agreed to raise the biodiesel blend for the transport sector to B10 and implement B7 in the industrial sector progressively, starting 1 Jun 2016.... The implementation of B10 for the transport sector and B7 for the industrial sector is expected to contribute to annual consumption of 709,000 tonnes of biodiesel in Malaysia and lead to savings of 820m litres of diesel as well as 2.16m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. ....the more conservative figure provided for biodiesel consumption could be due to lower diesel usage in Malaysia, following the removal of fuel subsidies.....


Forest-destroying palm oil powers cars in EU: report AFP | Jun 1, 2016 -- PARIS:  Palm oil  produced on tropical plantations that drive deforestation has become a major biofuel for vehicles in the European Union, industry figures released on Tuesday by an environmental group revealed.   In 2014, nearly half of the palm oil used in Europe wound up in the gas tanks of cars and trucks, according to data compiled by the EU vegetable oil industry association Fediol, and obtained by Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment.   Second only to rapeseed as a biofuel, overall palm oil use in EU countries jumped six-fold from 2010 to 2015, accounting for a 34 per centincrease in biodiesel consumption during that period, the figures showed.  Palm oil is also found in food, animal feed and cosmetics, but use in these sectors has dropped in Europe, in part due to pressure from environmental groups on major corporations. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/Forest-destroying-palm-oil-powers-cars-in-EU-report/articleshow/52533099.cms

Biodieselgate? British industry leads EU on elimination of palm oil biofuels, says REA 1 June 2016, source edie newsroom -- The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has revealed that UK importation and consumption of palm oil-based biodiesel for use as a feedstock for vehicles still stands at 'zero' for 2015/16, in light of new data which shows that cars and trucks were responsible for almost half of all of the palm oil used across Europe in 2014. http://www.edie.net/news/7/Biodieselgate-EU-palm-oil-biofuel-transport-environment-report-2016/

30 May 2016: Bloomberg report on the Indonesia Estate Crop Fund


Ambank note: Bloomberg reported that the Indonesia Estate Crop Fund has collected Rph4 trillion (US$294.6mil) from January to April this year. So far, the fund has disbursed Rph1.5 trillion (US$110.5mil) of biodiesel subsidies. Pertamina absorbed about 874,000 kiloliters (761,324 tonnes) of biodiesel in the first four months of this year.

18 May 2016: Indonesia non-subsidized transport fuel segment at 4% of target


Indonesia - Biodiesel blending in non-subsidized segment far below target. Published: 13 May 2016 08:05 AM... Government agency BPDP pointed to a lack of biodiesel demand from the non-subsidized transport fuel segment. In Jan/Apr 2016, a mere 106 mln litres were blended, around 93,000 tonnes and 4% of the consumption target.... https://www.agra-net.com/agra/world-ethanol-and-biofuels-report/biofuel-news/biodiesel/indonesia---biodiesel-blending-in-non-subsidized-segment-far-below-target.-515014.htm

25 April 2016: Indonesia biodiesel news updates


Updates from AmBank news alert today:
·     Bloomberg cited a government official as saying that Indonesia’s biodiesel production amounted to 884,000 kiloliters (770,035 tonnes) in 1Q2016. In terms of usage, Indonesia consumed 710,103 kiloliters (618,557 tonnes) of PSO (Public Service Obligation) and non-PSO biodiesel in 1Q2016. In contrast, the country’s diesel consumption declined by 10% to 15% YoY in 1Q2016.
·     Also, Indonesia Estate Crops Fund has collected 2.8trillion Rupiah so far (US$213.1mil). The fund will subsidise biodiesel by about Rupiah5,000/litre in April and May 2016. Pertamina bought about 200,000 kiloliters (174,216 tonnes) of biodiesel per month in 1Q2016. Indonesia is targeting biodiesel usage of about 2.5mil to 2.7mil (2.18mil to 2.35mil tonnes) under the PSO in 2016F. 
·     Pertamina and AKR Corporindo have signed for the delivery of 1.5mil to 1.6mil kiloliters (1.3mil to 1.4mil tonnes) of biodiesel from May to October 2016. Wilmar International was the largest producer, accounting for 39% or 590,113 kiloliters of Pertamina’s supply while Musim Mas accounted for another 16.9%.


22 April 2016: Indonesia Domestic Gasoil Surplus at 140,000 Barrels per Month, Bayu: slumping demand for biodiesel from the transportation sector, LDC biodiesel plant, WTO sides with Argentina on some biodiesel anti-dumping duties, US Biodiesel Tax Credit and Trump 


Indonesia Domestic Gasoil Surplus at 140,000 Barrels per Month: Pertamina - Pertamina launched a new diesel product called Dexlite on Friday, and hopes 20 percent of diesel consumers will have switched to the new non-subsidised fuel in 2017. By : Wilda Asmarini | April 15, 2016  http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesia-domestic-gasoil-surplus-140000-barrels-per-month-pertamina/

Indonesia's Pertamina, AKR to buy up to 1.6 mln kl of biodiesel -official Apr 18, 2016; JAKARTA, April 18 (Reuters) - Indonesia state oil company Pertamina and AKR Corporindo will buy up to 1.6 million kilolitres of unblended biodiesel for May to October, the head of the country's biodiesel subsidy program operator said Monday.... That's down from the 1.87 million kilolitres (kl) in supply quotas the two companies awarded for November 2015 to April this year.... The decline follows slumping demand for biodiesel from the transportation sector, Bayu Krisnamurthi, the head of Indonesia's Estate Crop Fund agency told reporters.
The Estate Crop Fund agency is in charge of Indonesia's biodiesel subsidies and oversees how much unblended biodiesel is procured for domestic consumption. Pertamina and AKR report their biodiesel sales to the Fund to reimburse the subsidies... Unblended biodiesel, or palm methyl ester (PME), is the raw component of finished biodiesel. Indonesia's consumption of unblended biodiesel in 2015 declined to 863,000 kl from 1.78 million kl in 2014. Last week, officials at the energy ministry said Indonesia could miss its 2016 target.... The decline in the biodiesel buying is in spite of Indonesia, the world biggest palm oil producer, requiring a 20 percent blend of biodiesel into domestic gasoil supplies in 2016 as it aims reduce its crude oil import bill, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create more demand for the edible oil.... 
http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N17L2KD

Indonesia - Large biodiesel plant started 07 April 2016; Agribusiness major Louis Dreyfus Commodities said a local unit has started a palm oil methyl ester production line, adjacent to one of its palm oil refineries. The Lampung-based plant has an annual production capacity of 420,000 tonnes  https://www.agra-net.com/agra/world-ethanol-and-biofuels-report/biofuel-news/biodiesel/indonesia---large-biodiesel-plant-started--1.htm

US Biodiesel Tax Credit: Why Trump’s Attack on Unbalanced Trade Policies Resonates With Voters  04/21/2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-alexander/biodiesel-tax-credit-why_b_9746468.html

EBB reacts to WTO panel report on Argentine complaint By The European Biodiesel Board | March 31, 2016 http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/945067/ebb-reacts-to-wto-panel-report-on-argentine-complaint

WTO sides with Argentina on some biodiesel anti-dumping duties 3/31/2016 - by World Grain Staff http://www.world-grain.com/articles/news_home/World_Grain_News/2016/03/WTO_sides_with_Argentina_on_so.aspx?ID=%7B2CA8ACFF-8192-4B6F-A235-305E1A290676%7D&cck=1


18 April 2016: Indonesia biodiesel output to miss target on wide price differential (recently over $300 a tonne)? Watch fall out from crude oil talks fail.


Editor's note: Reuters article from 8 March just added - "Indonesia may produce about 2.5 million tonnes of palm oil-based biodiesel in 2016, about a third of its targeted volume." Also note crude oil plunge as output restricting talks fail.



Oil price & macro: Bloomberg - Oil Plunges After Output Talks Fail Amid Saudi Demands Over Iran, Brent Crude 40.87 http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/10/oil-price-news-its-fallen-from-105-110.html


INTERVIEW-Indonesia 2016 biodiesel output to miss target -industry official Mar 8, 2016 By Naveen Thukral  * Biodiesel output seen at 2.5 mln T vs 6.6 mln T target * Wide biodiesel-gasoil spread to limit biodiesel use * Malaysia industry urging govt raise blend to 10 pct by April... Indonesia may produce about 2.5 million tonnes of palm oil-based biodiesel in 2016, about a third of its targeted volume, because of the widening spread between biodiesel and gasoil, a Malaysian industry official said on Tuesday..."It will be difficult for Indonesia to fulfil its biofuel targets, given the fact that current differential between biodiesel and gasoil is well over $300 a tonne," U.R. Unnithan, deputy president of Malaysian Biodiesel Association told Reuters. Prices for palm methyl ester, the raw component of biodiesel, in Southeast Asia are currently at $630 a tonne versus gasoil prices in Singapore, the regional benchmark, at $44.07 a barrel, or about $328 a tonne.... http://uk.reuters.com/article/palmoil-southeast-asia-idUKL3N16C2M3 

14 April 2016: Thomas Mielke sees gradual policy shift away from biodiesel and advocates no more investment in biodiesel facilities and urgency of food demand

Thomas Mielke at MPOB PAC Forum this morning. Message of challenge of sufficient oils and oilseeds supply, including palm oil (calling for urgent labour policy adjustment in Malaysia). Points to India shortfall and sky-rocketing imports. He expects a need to change the biodiesel viewpoint - it will become a luxury that will no longer be supported by policy and the public. This would likely happen in 5-10 years. There is weak price elasticity on the supply side and in periods of tight supply, he expects mandates not to be enforced. When there is a surplus biodiesel supply would happen. The adjustment will happen first in importing regions, notably Europe; later in producing countries - this shift to flexible mandates. He suggests no more investment in biodiesel facilities. Priority must be on food demand. 



13 Mar 2016: Illegal UCO cartels hinder biofuel program: observers - Jakarta Post


Illegal UCO cartels hinder biofuel program: observers by Anton Hermansyah thejakartapost.com, Jakarta | March 12 2016; .... According to the energy advisor of the British Embassy, Rizka Sari, illegal cartels are buying UCO from hotels and restaurants and then reprocessing it and mixing it with new cooking oil before selling it as NBCO. "Instead of selling it for biodiesel, the restaurants and hotels are selling it to the illegal cartels,"   Currently, she continued, the cartels are disrupting the UCO supply for biodiesel as they are buying up the UCO for Rp 6,000 per liter and selling it as NBCO for Rp 10,000.... http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/12/illegal-uco-cartels-hinder-biofuel-program-observers.html#sthash.7dzI4RkF.dpuf


3 Mar 2016: Indonesia BPDP reports Jan tax revenues above projections, 2016 budget IDR16.4 tln with carry over from last year


Indonesia - Palm oil export tax revenues exceed expectations 02 March 2016; BPDP reported that tax revenues from palm oil and product exports in January 2016 were above its projections.The agency said it collected around IDR1 tln ($1=IDR13,351), pointing to seasonally accelerated exports at the beginning of the year to de-stock.... The agency targets tax revenues of IDR9.5 tln and an annual budget of IDR16.4 tln, including IDR6.9 tln left over from last year, due to a weaker biodiesel demand following delayed legislation... https://www.agra-net.com/agra/world-ethanol-and-biofuels-report/biofuel-news/biodiesel/indonesia---palm-oil-export-tax-revenues-exceed-expectations--1.htm

22 Feb 2016: CIMB - Indonesia biodiesel benefits Wilmar tropical oils division, Wilmar and First Resources are key beneficiaries of biodiesel program.


Editor's note: Please review CIMB reports.

Indonesia makes progress in biodiesel usage CIMB 21 Feb 2016 - This is positive for CPO prices, and we estimate the CPO Fund could support up to  3.19m kls of biodiesel in 2016, higher than the usage of 863,000 kls in 2015. Wilmar and First Resources are key beneficiaries of Indonesia’s biodiesel program.

Wilmar International CIMB 21 Feb 2016: Key takeaways from results briefing
The key takeaways from Wilmar’s results briefing are: (1) concerns over its unwinding of carry trade proved unfounded; (2) rice and flour businesses in China have turned profitable; (3) higher biodiesel consumption in Indonesia will benefit its tropical oils division; (4) no plans to venture into property in the immediate term; and (5) keen on M&A at the right price.... Oilseeds and grains post strong profits. Tropical oils earnings slumped to its lowest since 2007. Final core net profit 3-4% above due to higher oilseeds and grain earnings....

20 Jan 2016: Bloomberg - Oil Rout Threatens to Scupper Demand for Palm Oil in Biofuel  - government mandates may miss


Oil Rout Threatens to Scupper Demand for Palm Oil in Biofuel by Anuradha Raghu and Yoga Rusmana  January 19, 2016. Indonesia may miss blending-mandate of 20% as crude below $30. Malaysia's biodiesel program impacted by crude slump: Embas....Oil is down about 21 percent this year amid volatility in Chinese markets and speculation the removal of restrictions that capped Iran’s crude sales will help to prolong a global glut. That’s sent the premium of crude palm oil over low sulphur gasoil futures to almost $290 a metric ton from the five-year average of a $13 discount...The government subsidy may rise to 5,000 rupiah (36 cents) per liter from 2,230 rupiah per liter, Fadhil said. The government may face a shortfall of 2 trillion rupiah in biodiesel subsidies, estimated at total of 18 trillion rupiah for this year, he said..... The Malaysian cabinet will discuss next month the B10 mandate that was expected to absorb 1 million metric tons of palm oil, Embas said. The country has capacity to produce 2.6 million tons of biodiesel, he said.... 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-19/oil-rout-threatens-to-scupper-demand-for-palm-oil-in-biodiesel


15 January 2016: Reuters - Crude oil tumble hits Southeast Asia's biodiesel ambitions - industry experts say it doesn't make sense for Malaysia and Indonesia levy fund would be insufficient to cover the target amount


Editor's note: Oil price and macro blog posting is here - http://khorreports-palmoil.blogspot.my/2014/10/oil-price-news-its-fallen-from-105-110.html


Crude oil tumble hits Southeast Asia's biodiesel ambitions SINGAPORE | BY NAVEEN THUKRAL, Jan 14, 2016; The world's top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia may have to curb plans to channel more of the commodity into biodiesel as tumbling crude oil prices render the edible oil twice as expensive as its fossil fuel alternative. Indonesia expects to raise the minimum bio content of gasoil in the country by a quarter to 20 percent in 2016, while Malaysia has said it plans a 10-percent blend, up from the 7-percent targetted in 2015....But industry officials and analysts said they were sceptical about both countries' plans, with crude oil prices plunging to 12-year lows, while palm oil gained 34 percent in the last quarter of 2015.... Indonesian government officials told Reuters they stood by their blending plan, while Malaysia's plantations ministry declined to comment.... "I think both Malaysia and Indonesia will have to review their biodiesel mandates since both countries are also oil and gas producers and exporters," said M.R. Chandran, a veteran palm oil industry official who works as a consultant in Kuala Lumpur. "It doesn't make economic sense the way oil prices are falling, gasoil now costs just half of palm oil."...nalysts said the growing gap between palm oil and crude prices has ramped up the amount the Indonesian and Malaysian governments would have to pay in subsidies to blenders as part of their schemes to move towards biofuels. Palm was quoted at about $550 a tonne on Thursday, with gasoil selling at around $283 a tonne. The new targets would require subsidies of more than $900 million in Indonesia and $260 million in Malaysia at current market prices, according to Reuters calculations based on the price spread between the two products.... Indonesian officials said most of the subsidies in their country could be funded by a $50 a tonne tax on palm oil exports, but some in the industry said that was unrealistic. "The funds wouldn't be sufficient to cover subsidies for the targetted volume," said Fadhil Hasan, executive director at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association.... "Subsidies are an issue for both Malaysia and Indonesia as the economic growth forecast is weak and currencies are under pressure," Chandran said... http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southeast-asia-biodiesel-idUSKCN0US0VX20160114


12 December 2015: Malaysia’s biodiesel exports flux to monthly low


Malaysia’s biodiesel exports plunge to three-year low in Nov at 82 MT: MPOB 11/12/2015  Malaysia’s biodiesel exports fell to a three-year low of 82 mt in November, official statistics released Thursday by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed. This was less than 1% of the 11,334 mt shipped out from the Southeast Asian producer during October. The contrast was even more pronounced compared with November 2014, when exports reached 22,753 mt. Exports were last seen lower in October 2012 at 60 mt, according to MPOB data. Over January-November, Malaysia exported 168,917 mt of biodiesel, more than double from exports of 66,740 mt seen in the year-ago period. The November figure further adds into the wild fluctuation in exports seen over the year. The previous low for the year was at 186 mt in April. http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/malaysias-biodiesel-exports-plunge-to-three-year-low-in-nov-at-82-mt-mpob/

26 November 2015: James Fry says Malaysia B10 Mandate Not 'Wildly Ambitious'


B10 Mandate Not 'Wildly Ambitious' by Global Standards: LMC, by Bloomberg TV Malaysia, Published on Nov 22, 2015 -  November 20, 2015 (Kuala Lumpur) -- LMC International chairman James Fry says implementing the B10 mandate in Malaysia requires agreement from auto manufacturers. The agribusiness expert also discusses why there is limited downside risk to his palm oil predictions with Bloomberg TV Malaysia's  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md-R0eAKaLw

6 November 2015: Indonesia energy ministry announces biodiesel quota winners and B20 diesel ready to enter market next year  


TABLE-Indonesia energy ministry announces biodiesel quota winners Nov 4, 2015; Indonesia's energy and mineral resources ministry has published the names of the companies that have won quotas to supply biodiesel to state energy company Pertamina for the period November 2015 to April 2016: Company Volume (kilolitres) Cemerlang Energi Perkasa 148,016 Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia 386,324 Pelita Agung Agriindustri 90,552 Ciliandra Perkasa 73,078 Musim Mas (Batam) 257,061
Musim Mas (North Sumatra) 81,921 Darmex Biofuels 130,744 Energi Baharu Lestari 20,078 Anugerahinti Gemanusa 49,361 Wilmar Nabati Indonesia 534,087 Bioenergi Pratama Jaya 33,375
Primanusa Palma Energi 44,189
Below are the names of the companies that have won quotas to supply biodiesel to PT AKR Corporindo for the period November 2015 to April 2016: Company Volume (kilolitres) Musim Mas 3,070 Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia 1,980 Wilmar Nabati Indonesia 13,420
Source: (www.ebtke.esdm.go.id)
Read more at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/05/indonesia-pertamina-biodiesel-idUSL3N13021J20151105#Y2fd8uJewmZWsxt8.99

B20 diesel ready to enter market next year Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Medan | Business | Wed, November 04 2015; ...The government is optimistic that B20 biodiesel fuel will be ready to enter the market next year in accordance with an initial schedule, as no technical or quality problems were found in the new variant of the diesel fuel during a recent test.Indonesia Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP) fund distribution director Dadan Kusdiana said in Medan over the weekend that the use of B20 diesel had been through a series of trials, including a 3,383 kilometer vehicle road test from Jakarta to Medan.The test results showed no problems in the utilization of the biodiesel variant despite the fact that the vehicles’ fuel consumption had increased while engine power decreased compared to those using regular diesel, he said. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/11/04/b20-diesel-ready-enter-market-next-year.html#sthash.ihLhL0eB.A2NLC8q9.dpuf

19 October 2015: Indonesia biodiesel blending, LMC International - Dr James Fry's PME forecast, Indonesia tax breaks grants, Wilmar China Inventure waste oil biofuels, Malaysia targets 2 million tonne stocks 


Editor's note: Also reading this morning AmBank's plantations news highlight that points out "Bloomberg reported that Indonesia would start B20 blending in 2016F. Pertamina’s biodiesel consumption may rise to 5.1mil kilolitres (1.8mil tonnes) in 2016F. In November and December 2015, demand for subsidised biodiesel from Pertamina and Listrik Negara is expected to be 330,000 kilolitres (116,538 tonnes) per month." So here's the expectation of LMC International's Dr James Fry on Indonesia biodiesel:
source: LMC International, Dr James Fry - editor's photo at MPOB PIPOC, October 2015
   

Mid-to-long-term CPO price outlook improving — Analysts October 12, 2015, Monday KUCHING: The mid-to-long-term crude palm oil (CPO) price has been viewed as improving as on-going droughts and less fertilisation activity will likely lead to the decline in production early next year and subsequently, the decline of supply. Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd’s research arm (Kenanga Research) said in a report following the MPOB International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition 2015 (PIPOC2015) in Kuala Lumpur, “According to speaker Dr James Fry (chairman, LMC International), CPO prices are likely to be on an uptrend, potentially reaching US$600 per metric tonne (circa RM2,540 per metric tonne) by end of the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). “This is excluding potential El Nino impact, as on-going droughts and less fertilisation activity will lead to declining production early next year and therefore tightens supply. “While we agree that 1Q16 is likely to see stronger CPO prices due to the above reasons, we think prices are likely to decline later in the year on seasonal production trends and ample supply of competing soybean oil (SBO), to average RM2,400 per metric tonne (MT) for the full-year,” the research team said. During his talk, Dr Fry also stressed the importance of mandated biodiesel production to support CPO prices going forward. Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/10/12/mid-to-long-term-cpo-price-outlook-improving-analysts/#ixzz3osmbP2ZR

Dairy, Palm Oil Firms Granted Tax Incentives to Help Expansion; By : Damiana Simanjuntak & Tabita Diela | on 8:19 PM September 21, 2015; Jakarta. One dairy and two palm oil companies have been granted tax allowances that will let them enjoy reduced income tax bills for up to 15 years. Fonterra Brands Manufacturing Indonesia, Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia and Wilmar Nabati Indonesia were approved for the privilege after a Finance Ministry decree issued recently, according to Industry Ministry official Haris Munandar. Corporate income tax in Indonesia is typically set at 25 percent, with a discount offered to companies that invest heavily in the country. Haris did not provide details on how much of a discount the companies would enjoy. Fonterra Brands Manufacturing Indonesia plans to invest $29.6 million for a plant in Bekasi, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, to produce powdered milk. Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia is pouring $36.1 million into its oil palm plantation in Dumai, Riau province, and Wilmar Nabati Indonesia is investing Rp 828.43 billion ($57 million) for its organic chemical base plant, also in Dumai. Haris said the government had extended the tax breaks to other companies and was currently reviewing two other requests.  http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/dairy-palm-oil-firms-granted-tax-incentives-help-expansion/

Inventure Renewables to build commercial scale waste oil biofuel plant for Wilmar in China  September 24, 2015   | Meghan Sapp;  In Alabama, Inventure Renewables, Inc. has announced construction of a commercial scale plant for Wilmar (China) Oleochemicals Co., Ltd. The commercial scale plant will be used to convert a waste vegetable oil byproduct into intermediate materials, which can be further processed into higher value food, feed and industrial products, including biodiesel. “We’re very excited to be working with Wilmar (China) Oleochemicals Co., Ltd.,” said Mark Tegen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inventure Renewables. “The recent selection of Inventure’s Mixed Super Critical Fluid (MSCF) technology over competing alternatives is notable and would not have been possible without the compelling case for improved operational efficiencies that our technology offers.” Inventure has provided a complete solution for Wilmar including basic engineering, detailed engineering, equipment design, fabricat on, supervision of installation and start up support. It’s the company’s goal to provide comprehensive client solutions. http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2015/09/24/inventure-renewables-to-build-commercials-scale-waste-oil-biofuel-plant-for-wilmar-in-china/

M'sia to maintain palm oil stock at 2m tonnes: Uggah Published on: Wednesday, October 07, 2015; Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia hopes to maintain palm oil stocks at about two million tonnes from the 2.49 million tonnes recorded as at end-August by implementing replanting incentives and minimising imports. Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the replanting incentives, to be implemented on Oct 1, aims to reduce by 83,000 hectares, the area planted with oil palm and drop production by 250,000 tonnes. "We will also minimise palm oil imports until our stocks reach about two million tonnes. This is a temporary measure and tere is no timeline for the target. "To strengthen long-term palm oil prices, Malaysia and Indonesia, which together account for 85 per cent of global production, will also implement a higher biodiesel blend programme," he said. He said this at a press conference after officiating the International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2015 here Tuesday. He said the three measures were put in place to curb the production level from going higher as some parties are projecting it to reach three million tonnes by November. His ministry, he added, was committed to managing the stocks level as Malaysian statistics have been accepted as one of the main data to indicate crude palm oil (CPO) supply globally. On the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiation in Atlanta on Monday, he said while yet to be passed by Parliament, it would create easier access for CPO exports in other markets and give more remunerative prices…. Meanwhile, when asked if declining CPO demand from China would affect the local sector, Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said imports from India would help sustain Malaysia's palm oil exports volume….  http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=103623

16 September 2015: EU approves Wilmar-Fox Petrolifera JV

European Commission OKs Wilmar JV with Fox Petrolifera for Italian biodiesel plant September 14, 2015 | Meghan Sapp http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2015/09/14/european-commission-oks-wilmar-jv-with-fox-petrolifera-for-italian-biodiesel-plant/

24 August 2015: Aviation fuel plans, Malaysia B7 to expand to industrial sector, PERTAMINA and AKR 765,000 L buy by end 2015, Indonesia Euro IV contestation?


Editor's note: Had some useful updates from RSB on renewable aviation fuel certification efforts in the making. Contact, if interested!

This Pond Scum May Fuel Your Airplane by  Tom Redmond and Yuko Takeo July 8, 2015 — 5:00 AM HKTUpdated on July 8, 2015 — 3:18 PM HKT http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-07/this-pond-scum-already-in-your-smoothie-may-fuel-your-airplane

AmBank Plantation Sector: Newsflow for week 17-21 August: Bloomberg quoted the CEO of Indonesia Estate Crop Fund Palmoil ... Non-subsidised biodiesel usage is estimated at 750,000 kiloliters (264,860 tonnes) until year-end. ... the Indonesian Palm Oil Association said that while the export levy may hurt CPO prices in Indonesia in the short term, they will help boost prices in the long term if the biodiesel mandate is enforced effectively. About 5.5mil tonnes of palm oil are expected to be used in the domestic market for biodiesel. ..... Malaysia plans to expand B7 to the industrial sector. The proposal will be presented to the cabinet in three weeks’ time. The usage of B7 in the industrial sector is envisaged to take up 280,000 tonnes to 300,0000 tonnes of palm oil annually. Currently, usage of B7 in the automotive sector is absorbing about 500,000 tonnes of palm oil annually. The government is also mulling reinstating replanting incentives to smallholders, who have oil palm trees that are more than 25 years old.....

Pertamina and AKR to purchase 765,000 kiloliters of biodiesel to satisfy B15 before year’s end August 18, 2015   | Meghan Sapp; In Indonesia, Pertamina and AKR say they will purchase 765,000 kiloliters of biodiesel to satisfy the new B15 blending mandate for the rest of 2015, with 339,000 kl to be purchased between now and October and the remaining to be purchased later in the year, predominantly from Wilmar, Eterindo, Musim Mas, Pelita Agung and Darmex Agro. The Indonesia Estate Crop Fund has received $54.3 million from the levy attached to palm oil exports since July 16...http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2015/08/18/pertamina-and-akr-to-purchase-765000-kiloliters-of-biodiesel-to-satisfy-b15-before-years-end/


Bid for cleaner fuel blocked by Pertamina Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, August 22 2015, 5:16 PM; “We already tried drafting a ministerial decree for Euro IV. The problem that we face is the availability of [clean] fuel,” the ministry’s environmental pollution and damage control director general, MR Karliansyah, said during a conference on air pollution held by the University of Indonesia (UI) in Jakarta. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/22/bid-cleaner-fuel-blocked-pertamina.html#sthash.zHAGgwZe.dpuf

22 August 2015: Golden Agri Resources to invest $150 million in two Indonesian biodiesel plants, Pertamina to construct bioavtur plant in 2017, PERTAMINA sets aside $200 million to enter plantation business 




Golden Agri Resources to invest $150 million in two Indonesian biodiesel plants  August 17, 2015   | Meghan Sapp; ...Each facility will produce 300,000 tons of biodiesel annually and will be online as soon as next year. The two facilities will be located in Marunda in North Jakarta and Tarjun in South Kalimantan...http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2015/08/17/golden-agri-resources-to-invest-150-million-in-two-indonesian-biodiesel-plants/ 


Pertamina to construct bioavtur plant in 2017 Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, August 13 2015, 3:48 PM; State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina is planning to construct a bioavtur plant in 2017 in support of the government’s program to reduce the use of fossil fuel in the aviation industry, an official has said.Pertamina technology and product development manager Andianto Hidayat said that the company was finalizing a feasibility study for the bioavtur plant.“The feasibility study will be completed within the next six to eight months, and [the plant] will be ready for groundbreaking in 2017. The construction itself may take up two years. Hopefully, the bioavtur plant will be on stream in 2018,” Andianto told a discussion on green aviation at the Transportation Ministry on Wednesday.The company, he said, could not yet reveal the location of the plant, but hinted that it would be built near an international airport in Java or Sumatra.Investment between US$450 million and US$480 million with a production capacity of 260 million liters per year were the plant’s current estimates, the official went on. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/13/pertamina-construct-bioavtur-plant-2017.html#sthash.ZdttNlhN.dpuf


Pertamina Setting Aside $200m to Enter Plantation Business for Biofuels; “We will target investment in plantation that will be planted by any energy-producing plants,” said Andianto Hidayat, manager of technology and product development at Pertamina’s renewable and non-renewable energy directorate, on Thursday. “We are exploring any potential cooperation through merger or acquisition, we are open to a co-partnership opportunity. We are setting aside $200 million as investment for five years,” he added. Andianto said Pertamina has explored entering the plantation business with state-owned agribusiness company Perkebunan Nusantara for a location in Sumatra and Kalimantan for plantation... http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/pertamina-setting-aside-200m-enter-plantation-business-biofuels/





31 July 2015: USA Senate Finance Committee passes a tax extenders package that includes two-year extensions of tax credits for cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel with amendment to change the biodiesel fuels tax credit from a mixture credit to a production credit  - imports from Argentina, Singapore, the European Union and South Korea etc. will not benefit

Tax extenders package benefiting biofuels passes Senate committee  By Erin Voegele | July 21, 2015
The Senate Finance Committee has passed a tax extenders package that includes two-year extensions of tax credits for cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel. The next step for the legislation is consideration by the full U.S. Senate, which has not yet been scheduled.  The bill contains a provision extending the $1.01 per gallon production tax credit for cellulosic biofuels, which expired at the end of last year. Under the legislation, the cellulosic biofuels producer tax credit would be extended for two years, through 2016.  The bill would also extend incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel for two years, through 2016. The extension would apply to the $1.00 per gallons credit for biodiesel, the 10-cent-per-gallon small agri-biodiesel producers credit, and the $1.00 per gallon tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass.....During the hearing to address the extenders package, the committee accepted an amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to change the biodiesel fuels tax credit from a mixture credit to a production credit. During the hearing, Grassley explained that the amendment would help ensure the credit benefits only domestic biodiesel production and doesn’t subsidize imported biofuels. “It’s projected that imports from Argentina, Singapore, the European Union and South Korea could exceed 1 billion gallons in the years 2016 and 2017,” Grassley said, noting the tax incentive should not apply to these imported fuels. “By restricting the credit to domestic production, we’ll save tax payers money and reduce the cost of the extension by $90 million,” he continued....
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/12204/tax-extenders-package-benefiting-biofuels-passes-senate-committee

21 July 2015: Pertamina pushes for switch from gasoline to LNG, for the mining sector and others


Pertamina pushes for switch from gasoline to LNG Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, July 16 2015, 11:20 AM; State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina is pushing forward with its move to shift the country’s high usage of oil fuel toward gas, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG), for the mining sector.The company signed an LNG purchase and selling agreement on Tuesday with the contractors of Mahakam block, Total E&P Indonesia and Inpex. Under the agreement as many as 660 tons of LNG would be delivered this year for mining and commercial industries in East Kalimantan.“We are facing limited oil resources and therefore we need to switch to gas and also from fossil fuels to renewable resources,” Pertamina president director Dwi Soetjipto said.... The company’s vice president for LNG, Didik Sasongko Widi, estimated that Pertamina would need 6.5 million tons of LNG per year by 2020.“Out of the total figure, we have secured 4 million tons, which includes deliveries from the US [Cheniere Energy] and Jangkrik [gas field in Kalimantan developed by ENI],” Didik said.Along with the commencement of operations of the filling plant, Pertamina also launched the operation of seven other downstream oil and gas infrastructure facilities. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/16/pertamina-pushes-switch-gasoline-lng.html#sthash.u8JgRkhp.dpuf

16 July 2015: CPO Fund eyes $337 million in 2015and $730 million in next full year. Says priority is replanting 2,000 ha of smallholder area in Pekanbaru and Jambi (overall 300,000 ha need replanting ) and next priority is biodiesel subsidy.


Palm oil fund body eyes Rp 4.5 trillion in 2015 Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, July 15 2015, 3:57 PM; An organization newly launched to collect a palm oil levy will soon start operation, aiming to garner up to Rp 4.5 trillion (US$337.36 million) in funds this year to revitalize aging oil palm plantations and incentivize the domestic biodiesel industry. The body, set up as a public service agency under the Finance Ministry, will begin charging exporters taxes on Thursday following the appointment of its full management team earlier this week.Former deputy trade minister Bayu Krisnamurthi, who leads the agency, named the Indonesia Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP), said that it aimed to generate between Rp 3.5 trillion and Rp 4.5 trillion up to the end of this year from palm oil shipments, an expectation that he said was based on the optimism of exporters. “Annually we hope that the funds collected in the future will reach around Rp 9.5 trillion to Rp 10 trillion based on current exchange rates and 2014 export data,” Bayu said Tuesday in a press conference at the agency’s office.... As its initial move, the agency plans to replant at least 2,000 hectares of oil palm plantations run by small holders in Pekanbaru and Jambi in Sumatra, with each hectare costing around Rp 60 million, according to Bayu.The area is a part of 300,000 hectares of plantations that Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, has to revitalize as most of them have been operating for more than 30 years....The next priority would be to subsidize biodiesel in a bid to help domestic consumption reach between 1.8 million and 2 million kiloliters (KL) in the next four months. A total consumption of 5.2 million KL is targeted for the whole of 2015, Bayu said, saying the incentive will amount to between Rp 600 and Rp 700 per liter.“The calculation of around Rp 600 to Rp 700 per liter is based on the price movement of CPO on top of the capped diesel fuel subsidy of Rp 1,000 per liter in the 2015 revised state budget,” Bayu said.He added that Finance Ministry was also revising the current palm oil export tax rule to avoid double taxes being charged to palm oil exporters. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/15/palm-oil-fund-body-eyes-rp-45-trillion-2015.html#sthash.ZlPP0H1m.dpuf

15 July 2015: CIMB - Regional Plantation - Indonesian biodiesel conundrum - subsidy may not be sufficient to cover price gap in Indonesia; how much of CPO Fund goes to biodiesel? Will CPO Fund board be checking on differential pricing for smallholders?

Khor Reports note: Our earlier checks with Jakarta sources on how much of the CPO Fund goes to biodiesel initially yielded answer of c.40% and most recent news is of 80-90%. Clearly the usage of the CPO Fund has been (and may be) a contested policy issue. Experts reckon that the estimated money collected should be $750 million per year; the rest goes to replanting, smallholder, promotion, R&D etc. Notably smallholders are to be excluded from the CPO Fund levy price impact (not clear how they avoid the market re-pricing that is expected to ensue - and actually preceded and anticipated the levies); specialists note that there might even be regional price variations depending export-intensity of different zones (perhaps CPO Fund board will be checking for the economic impact on smallholders).
For reference: Serika Petani Kelapa Sawit's analysis of the CPO Fund (in Bahasa): http://www.spks.or.id/berita-analisis--cpo-fund-.html

CIMB - Regional Plantation - Indonesian biodiesel conundrum; 15 July 2015 at 08:21; "Indonesia announced that it will impose a levy on palm oil exports starting 16 July, after weeks of delay. We are positive that the government is progressing with its plans to lift biodiesel demand in the country. However, our concern is that the biodiesel subsidy of Rp600-700 litre may not be sufficient to cover the current biodiesel and diesel price gap in Indonesia, which we estimate to be at Rp 913 per litre(corrected from Rp3,423 per litre). This could affect the pace of implementation..."


22 June 2015: Range of Indonesia palm oil product levies adjusted to $10-50? Biodiesel levy trimmed to $20? Several Malaysia auto units line up against B10 biodiesel proposal.

VEGOILS-Palm edges up as ringgit weakens, but posts 2nd weekly drop  By Anuradha Raghu  19-Jun-2015 06:30:58 PM  *Prices down 1.7 pct in 2nd weekly fall  *Ringgit down 0.8 pct to 3.7390 per dollar  *Palm production seen easing during Ramadan - traders  *Indonesia looking to impose $20/T levy on biodiesel - minister ....Indonesia is considering levies on 24 palm products, including kernel shells and biodiesel, in a regulation that will take effect from July 1, senior government officials said. The range of the levies will be between $10 and $50, and the levy considered for biodiesel is $20 per tonne, Minister of Industry Saleh Husin said.  Indonesian crude palm oil Public Service Agency President-Director Bayu Krisnamurthi said the levies are unlikely to impact Indonesia's biodiesel competitiveness in the global markets.  "On the other hand, we are creating a new huge domestic market...we are encouraging higher domestic consumption," he said.  In other markets, oil eased below $64 a barrel on Friday... http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/markets-vegoils-idINL3N0Z53FO20150619

Note earlier related news: Biofuel producers demand exemption from palm oil  levy  by Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, May 08 2015, 8:19 AM; Domestic biofuel producers have demanded exemption from paying levies for the shipment of palm oil products overseas, as such policy will create more burdens for the industry. “We are hoping that we will be exempt from the rule of paying US$30 per metric ton of processed palm oil products, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/08/biofuel-producers-demand-exemption-palm-oil-levy.html#sthash.Mo0GNETB.dpuf

Mercedes, Toyota, Isuzu, VW – B10 biodiesel no go By Jonathan James Tan / 18 June 2015 11:26 am / 29 comments; Following BMW Malaysia announcing it found “technical challenges” running its diesel engines on B10 biodiesel (10% palm-based biodiesel/90% petroleum diesel blend, will reportedly be implemented nationwide by October), and that its engines can take up to B7, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, UMW Toyota and Volkswagen Malaysia have issued responses that echo the same sentiments.... http://paultan.org/2015/06/18/mercedes-toyota-vw-malaysia-b10-biodiesel/

20 June 2015: Launch of special agency, collector and manager of the $30-50 levy on farmers / producers, called the Crude Palm Oil Supporting Fund (CPO Fund) - in large part to directly support biodiesel producer segment (and hoping to support international CPO prices in longer term)

CPO tax body officially launched Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, June 16 2015, 9:07 AM ; The government launched on Monday a special public service agency (BLU) in charge of a new levy on exports of palm oil to support development of the commodity. The special agency will act as a collector and manager of the levy, called the Crude Palm Oil Supporting Fund (CPO Fund), which will be used to develop the palm oil industry and pay for biodiesel subsidies in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer. “The special agency will start operating on July 1 under the management of six directors. We are currently preparing appointments to the board of directors that will be completed next week,” Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said in a press conference.  The government has appointed Bayu Krisnamurthi and Yuniar Yanuar Rasyid as the agency’s president director and finance director, respectively. Bayu was deputy trade minister during the administration of then president Suso Bambang Yudhoyono, while Yuniar is director of accounting and financial reporting at the Finance Ministry’s treasury directorate general.  - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/16/cpo-tax-body-officially-launched.html#sthash.s6kThCrG.dpuf

15 June 2015: Indonesia delays start date for palm export levy to July 1  - Reuters

Indonesia delays start date for palm export levy to July 1 -minister 15-Jun-2015 14:37:42 JAKARTA, June 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia has delayed the implementation date for its planned levy on crude palm oil exports to July 1 from June 15 due to administrative issues, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Sofyan Djalil told reporters on Monday.
http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/indonesia-delays-start-date-for-palm-export-levy-to-july-1-minister

10 June 2015:  New Indonesia agency (BLU) under Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister to be completed this week for near term start of $20-50 levy; Malaysia plans to expand to B10 in October, to consume 1 million tonnes of oil locally but faces BMW Malaysia engine damage concern

Palm-oil levy collector to be established next week Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, June 09 2015, 9:15 AM; The government expects to soon complete the establishment of a special public service agency (BLU) that will collect and manage a new levy on exports of palm oil, a minister says. The special agency, which will work under the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister, will act as a collector and manager of the palm oil levy to help develop the palm industry and pay for biodiesel subsidies in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer.“The establishment of the special agency will be completed this week. We will hold several meetings tomorrow and the days after,” Industry Minister Saleh Husin told reporters after a meeting at the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister on Monday.Saleh said in the next meetings, the ministries would discuss regulations and tariffs for the palm oil levy, which were expected to be finalized this week so that the agency could start operating shortly afterward .Delays in the establishment of the BLU, which was initially planned for the end of May, as well as a new biofuel index price (HIP), are feared to disrupt the government’s biodiesel push this year that aims to boost domestic consumption of the more environmentally friendly fuel and reduce dependence on oil imports.The Industry Ministry’s director general for agro-industry Panggah Susanto said the levy imposed on palm oil exporters would vary between US$20 to $50 per ton of crude palm oil (CPO) regulated under a Finance Ministry regulation. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/09/palm-oil-levy-collector-be-established-next-week.html#sthash.g310PTWT.dpuf

BMW Drops Wrench Into Palm Energy Plan as Engine Damage Seen  by Ranjeetha Pakiamand En Han Choong June 9, 2015 — 8:37 AM BSTUpdated on June 9, 2015 — 10:18 AM BST  A drive to introduce a blend that uses 10 percent palm oil, up from 7 percent, risks causing severe engine damage, according to BMW Group Malaysia. The largest palm producer after Indonesia promotes the crop for use in foods and energy, and has been stepping up the amount that’s blended into local fuels. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said this week the so-called B10 program will be implemented from October. The government is in the midst of consultations on the B10 mandate, Uggah said in Bangi, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday. With B10 in place, consumption of palm will rise to 1 million metric tons from about 700,000 with B7, he said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-09/bmw-drops-wrench-into-palm-energy-plan-as-engine-damage-seen


26 May 2015: Indonesia not ready for new palm levy, it could come (as late as August, or "hopefully") in two weeks - Reuters; some trade specialists reckon on this after Eid (as this lowers Indonesia domestic prices and 40% comes from smallholders, the authorities might not want to "spoil" their situation during Ramadhan fasting and Eid celebrations)

The news stream on the Indonesia new biodiesel and downstream support levy (earlier news of revised levy proposals and now the implementation date uncertainty) suggests a level of ambivalence that has been confirmed by various Jakarta sources of internal palm oil industry and inter-ministry opinion differences over it. The upstream palm oil industry has to subsidise its own levy as those outside have been unwilling. Interestingly, the Jokowi-Kalla manifesto called for a fairer distribution of economic gains from biodiesel to involve (oil palm) farmers. Presumably the hoped for higher prices will help, but the immediate and certain impact is a transfer from upstream / farmers to downstream corporate asset owners.

Indonesia delays $50/T palm levy, could come (as late as August, or "hopefully") in two weeks Mon May 25, 2015 12:27am EDT;  JAKARTA May 25 A regulation that will force exporters in Indonesia to pay a levy of $50 per tonne on shipments of crude palm oil has been delayed, the finance minister in the world's top producer of the edible oil said on Sunday. Earlier this month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed the regulation, which will require exporters to pay a tax of $50 per tonne of crude palm oil (CPO) and $30 for processed palm oil product shipments, with proceeds used to fund recently announced biodiesel subsidies. Senior government ministers had said the levy would be introduced in the fourth week of May, but last week the Indonesian Palm Oil Association told Reuters that delays in establishing guidelines and a new biodiesel fund or agency meant this would be pushed back as far as August. "It's no problem," Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told reporters on Sunday. "When the BLU (Public Service Agency) is ready, it will be imposed," he said, referring to the public body that will collect the palm levy. "The BLU is under preparation. Hopefully it will be finished in two weeks."
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/25/indonesia-palm-levy-idUSL3N0YG1O120150525

22 May 2015: Malaysia targets B15 by 2020

CIMB - Plantation update - Malaysia targets B15 by 2020 by Ivy Ng CIMB
The Malaysian government has revealed plans to raise the country’s biodiesel blend mandate from 7% to 15% by 2020, under the 11th Malaysia Plan’s initiative to implement clean fuel in the transport sector. This is the first time it has revealed its target of implementing a B15 biodiesel programme and provided a timeline for this. We are medium-term positive on this news as it could raise biodiesel usage in Malaysia from around 200k-300k tonnes in 2014 to 1.2m-1.5m tonnes by 2020

14 May 2015: Biofuel producers demand exemption from palm oil  levy 

Biofuel producers demand exemption from palm oil  levy  by Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, May 08 2015, 8:19 AM; Domestic biofuel producers have demanded exemption from paying levies for the shipment of palm oil products overseas, as such policy will create more burdens for the industry. “We are hoping that we will be exempt from the rule of paying US$30 per metric ton of processed palm oil products  because the domestic sales price is already low,” Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) executive chairman Paulus Tjakrawan said on Thursday. Paulus said biofuel producers had suffered from margin compression following the slump in global CPO prices, which were currently traded at $614 per ton, as the government has also yet to set the newest benchmark price for biodiesel through export reference price (HPE).
The government is in the process of setting a new biodiesel price with a formula of CPO price plus $125 per ton and transport cost.  The $125 figure is based on the government’s recent calculation, lower than the previous $188. “The new benchmark price formula will not offer any profit for us and it will be heavier if the CPO price rebounds to above $750, which means we should also pay export tax besides paying the additional levy,” Paulus said. Under an existing rule, exporters will have to pay between 7.5 percent and 22.5 percent in export tax if the CPO price is higher than $750 per ton. If the CPO price is lower than $750 per ton, exporters will be exempt from the export tax.
However, they will have to pay the levy regardless of the CPO price, as stated in a regulation to take effect later this month. .... http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/08/biofuel-producers-demand-exemption-palm-oil-levy.html#sthash.Mo0GNETB.dpuf

1 May 2015: Aprobi hopes for Indonesia 4 million KL this year, US biodiesel scammers lose Picasso, Renoir, Miro, Dalis and other art works

Local biodiesel use to reach up to four million KL this year Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, April 30 2015, 8:16 AM; A recent move to increase the proportion of palm oil-based derivatives in mandatory fuel blending will push up domestic biodiesel consumption this year significantly, an industry group says.Biodiesel consumption in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, may reach between 3 million and 4 million kiloliters from the second quarter to the end of the year, according to Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) secretary-general Togar Sitanggang.Half of the figure will be absorbed by state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina for its public service obligation, while the rest will be taken by private firms.Both Pertamina and private firms are still in talks with biofuel makers, particularly on pricing schemes.“For now the program still cannot work because there’s no subsidy, without which biodiesel producers cannot supply,” Togar told reporters on Tuesday during the inauguration of the new Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) organizational structure.Effective this month, the government has raised the biofuel stipulation in the fuel mix from 10 percent to 15 percent as part of its measures to reduce dependence on oil imports, which have put heavy pressure on the nation’s trade balance and contributed to the weakening rupiah.The government plans to charge levies of US$50 per metric ton of crude palm oil (CPO) shipments and $30 for processed palm oil products when prices dip below $750 per ton to subsidize biodiesel and incentivize oil palm growers. The funds will be collected and managed by a special public service agency within the Finance Ministry, to be established later. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/30/local-biodiesel-use-reach-four-million-kl-year.html#sthash.oJDjlh2A.dpuf
Biodiesel scammer forfeits Picasso by  Seth Slabaugh, seths@muncie.gannett.com 9:11 a.m. EDT April 29, 2015; MIDDLETOWN –  A defendant in an interstate biodiesel scam has agreed to forfeit a Picasso, a Renoir, a Leroy Nieman, a Miro, five Salvador Dalis and other art work to the federal government. When he pleaded guilty on April 11, Joseph Furando, 49, Bergen County, N.J., also agreed to give up other property that was the subject of a restraining order after his indictment, including 19 diamond, sapphire, ruby, emerald and gold pieces of jewelry, two Rolex watches, two ultra-luxury Patek Philippe watches, a 7,447-square-feet home worth $3.5 million, a Schimmel grand piano, two Orange County Choppers custom motorcycles, a BMW and other property. Furando has admitted that he conspired with the owners/operators of a biodiesel production facility in the northwestern Henry County community of Middletown, south of Daleville, in a renewable fuels fraud scheme. We (also) were able to secure forfeiture agreements for approximately $100 million (in cash) but most of the money in the (bank) accounts is already gone," said Tim Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis. "So we only have a few million in hand." Furando signed a plea agreement acknowledging that all of the property and funds to be forfeited constituted proceeds of the crimes to which he pleaded guilty......The scheme added more than $55 million in fraudulent value to about 35 million gallons of biodiesel and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in fraudulent tax credits, prosecutors say. Other forfeited art work included a Gumbo-Carlos Comesanas, a George Braque, several Katia Pissaros and an Itzchak Tarkey, along with two rugs....... http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2015/04/28/biodiesel-scammer-forfeits-picasso/26528141/


29 April 2015: Malaysia's biodiesel formula - special price of RBD plus RM515 per tonne (and transport subsidies)

Analysts are quite interested in how much has been paid out by Malaysia in subsidies related to biodiesel. Formally speaking, it sounds like subsidies are via the petroleum companies who pay RBD plus RM515. In chats with regional players, it is obvious that Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia biodiesel players have all looked with envy at the Malaysia situation ("generous" is the general opinion). See below Platts article referring to Malaysia formula. These figures are also widely cited in analyst reports.

Indonesia's Pertamina in talks with biodiesel producers to switch PME price formula
Singapore (Platts)--23Jan2015/610 am EST/1110 GMT; Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina is in talks with biodiesel producers and the government to switch the oil-linked price formula for its palm methyl ester purchases to one based on palm oil prices, trade sources said Friday, January 23. Togar Sitanggang, secretary-general of the Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association, or Aprobi that is involved in the discussions, said the proposed switch is "for the calculation of the subsidy on biodiesel." Indonesia has a fixed biodiesel subsidy of Rupiah 3,000/kiloliter (24 cents/kl).
The subsidy is given to Pertamina to compensate for the difference between the market price of biodiesel and the retail price of subsidized gasoil. When asked if the new proposed reference price was similar to the Malaysian formula where petroleum companies buy PME at a premium of MR515/mt ($143/mt) over refined, bleached and deodorized palm oil,  Sitanggang said it was.
"We proposed CPO [crude palm oil] plus processing cost," he said.......

22 April 2015: Carmaker worries on higher biofuel mix, as does PLN, Coordinating Economic Minister says new levy on palm oil will strictly fine those exporters not complying and funds will be managed by special agency under the Finance Ministry

Carmakers worry higher biofuel mix could damage engines Raras Cahyafitri and Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, April 16 2015, 7:48 AM; The automotive industry is worried that the government’s policy to increase mandatory blending of biofuel into diesel could affect engines.“The usage of biodiesel is good. However, we are still worried about the impacts. There are engines that can accept 15 percent or even 20 percent [biofuel] content, however, some other engines cannot accept that,” Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) deputy chairman Jongkie Sugiarto said...State-owned oil and gas giant PT Pertamina, which is the biggest fuel distributor in the country, admitted that it had received complaints from automotive producers that their engines would not be able to adapt to higher biocontent.“There is a recommendation from one of them that its engines can only receive 12.5 percent at the maximum level. [State-owned electricity firm] PLN is also worried about an obligation of up to 25 percent biofuel to be mixed for power plants,” Pertamina marketing director Ahmad Bambang said. He added that Pertamina would comply with the mandatory blending policy. While worries emerge over the higher biofuel blending policy, the government continues its efforts to boost the biofuel industry.... On Wednesday, Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said that the government was finalizing a presidential regulation to levy palm-oil exports, the proceeds of which would be used to subsidize biofuel so that it could incentivize more producers and consumers. Crude palm oil (CPO) shipments would be charged with levies of US$50 per metric ton, while processed products would be levied $30 when prices dip below $750 each ton.“We will strictly fine those [exporters] who do not comply and they will even be prohibited from exports and their licenses will be revoked,” he said after a coordinating meeting at his office, adding that the presidential regulation might be signed within the week.Sofyan further said that the funds collected from the taxes would be managed by a special public service agency under the Finance Ministry, which would be set up soon. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/16/carmakers-worry-higher-biofuel-mix-could-damage-engines.html#sthash.Szutaz4f.dpuf

2 April 2015: Domestic subsidies criticized for causing deforestation, GHG reduction from bioethanol depends on food consumption cuts in developing world (Searchinger in new research published by Science)

Subsidies to industries that cause deforestation worth 100 times more than aid to prevent it by Arthur Neslen  Tuesday 31 March 2015 16.48 BST Last modified on Tuesday 31 March 2015 17.59 BST
Brazil and Indonesia paid over $40bn in subsidies to industries that drive rainforest destruction between 2009 and 2012 - compared to $346m in conservation aid they received to protect forests, according to new research.... More than half of the world’s forest loss between 1990 and 2010 took place in Brazil and Indonesia......Brazil and Indonesia spent over 100 times more in subsidies to industries that cause deforestation than they received in international conservation aid to prevent it, according to a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).....  The two countries handed out over $40bn (£27bn) in subsidies to the palm oil, timber, soy, beef and biofuels sectors between 2009 and 2012 – 126 times more than the $346m they received to preserve their rainforests from the United Nations’ (UN) REDD+ scheme, mostly from Norway and Germany. .... “The fact that domestic subsidies for commodities that cause deforestation so vastly outweigh international aid seeking to prevent it shows we need a radical rethink,” Will McFarland, one of the report’s authors told the Guardian. “By making the cost of producing these commodities cheaper, subsidies increase their profitability and make them more desirable to investors. That in turn artificially inflates their growth, and threatens the rainforests further. With subsides running at over 100 times that of forest aid, we should be urgently trying to reform this system.”... Asad Rehman, a senior international climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth compared Brazil and Indonesia to “cancer charities asking for donations whilst subsidising cigarette production at the same time”. ...“Deforestation is ultimately driven by consumption demands in the North,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to tackle the businesses that are colluding in this destruction. The only real solution to this failure is empowering communities to safeguard their forests.” ... McFarland said the phenomenon was “incredibly contradictory” and demanded the conditioning of future aid on environmental protection measures. “Through subsidy reform, modest sums of forest finance can be used to ensure that any subsidies are provided in a manner that both protects forests and the poor,” he said.... But an ODI finding that Brazil spent $2.7m in biofuel subsidies in 2009 – mostly for ethanol – illustrates how contentious such conditions may be in practice. New research by Timothy Searchinger published in the journal Science last week, found that any greenhouse gas reductions from bioethanol would depend on cuts to food consumption in the developing world.... http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/31/subsidies-to-industries-that-cause-deforestation-worth-100-times-more-than-aid-to-prevent-it


Source: Subsidies to key commodities driving forest loss - Implications for private climate finance. Working Paper March 2015 by Will McFarland, Shelagh Whitley and Gabrielle Kissinger. Overseas Development Institute. 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ

1 April 2015: Indonesia new biodiesel formula awaited to boost domestic demand - margins reduced on contestation

Industry specialists say that this will all depend on Indonesia Ministry of Finance. This is part of big Indonesia policy plan to boost domestic demand in face of poor export prospects for biodiesel.

New formula rolled out to lower biodiesel price Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, March 24 2015, 5:40 AM; In a move to support a rise in the proportion of biofuel that must be added to diesel, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has introduced a new formula aiming to lower the price of the mixed substance purchased by distributors...... Under the new formula, the biodiesel index price will be calculated based on the crude palm oil (CPO) base price plus US$125 per ton. The added $125 is the cost of converting CPO into fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which is used to produce biodiesel. The conversion cost is lower than a previous formula that put it at $188 per ton..... Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil has also said that the government might ask CPO producers to earmark 15 percent of their output for domestic usage to ensure the certainty of the supply of CPO to support the mandatory biodiesel policy..... According to palm oil producers association GAPKI, Indonesia produced 31.5 million tons of CPO last year, rising by around 5 percent from a year earlier. Of the total production, 21.7 million tons were exported last year. If the 15 percent mandatory mix is fully implemented, the country will need 5.3 million kiloliters of biofuel to be blended into diesel. The figure is equal to CPO needs of 4.8 million tons..... http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/24/new-formula-rolled-out-lower-biodiesel-price.html#sthash.fDmus3aD.dpuf

14 March 2015: Indonesia may notify higher blending rule soon

Indonesia to Expand Biodiesel Blending to Boost Palm Oil Prices by Eko Listiyoriniand Agus Salim Suhana 8:08 PM HKT  March 13, 2015 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia plans to increase blending of palm oil with diesel this year to cut costs of importing fossil fuel and shore up prices of the world’s most-used vegetable oil. The world’s largest palm oil producer will raise the blending rate to 15 percent this year from 10 percent and subsequently to 20 percent, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Sofyan Djalil said in Jakarta on Friday.... The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry may notify higher blending rule next week and it will be effective immediately, Djalil said. Increased use of palm oil in biodiesel may reduce supply of the vegetable oil and support prices, he said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-13/indonesia-to-expand-biodiesel-blending-to-boost-palm-oil-prices


25 February 2015: EU may cap biofuel at 6% of transport fuel instead of the current 10%

EU lawmakers back new limit for food-based biofuel By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:52pm EST; BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A European Parliamentary committee on Tuesday backed a new limit on traditional biofuels made from food crops that critics say stoke inflation and do more harm than good to the environment.... But those who have invested in biofuels made from crops such as maize or rapeseed say it puts jobs at risk.... Current legislation requires EU member states to ensure that renewable sources account for at least 10 percent of energy in transport by 2020.... The European Parliament's environment committee on Tuesday agreed that biofuel from food crops should not exceed 6 percent of final energy use in transport - a tougher limit than the 7 percent backed by member states last year.... http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/us-eu-biofuels-idUSKBN0LS2D620150224

Today is a defining moment for Europe’s flawed biofuels policy - MEPs set to vote on whether to limit the use of palm oil and other food crops in biofuels, which campaigners claim is fuelling deforestation in Indonesia by Laili Khairnur Laili Khairnur is executive director of Gemawan Institute, Indonesia Tuesday 24 February 2015 07.10 GMT; Their judgment will have serious repercussions, affecting some of the most vulnerable people and ecosystems in Indonesia.... When I visited Brussels last year to talk with EU decision-makers about Europe’s policy to promote biofuels, my message to them was clear: by using and promoting crops such as palm oil for biofuels, Europe shares responsibility for deforestation and the increase in carbon emissions in Indonesia, not to mention human rights abuses. It’s time for Europe to step up and fix the problem... In my home of West Kalimantan, Borneo, around five million hectares of land – an area larger than Denmark – have been reserved for oil palm plantations. This represents almost one third of our total land in the region. Fifteen per cent of this will be in areas that are currently forested. The rest of the region is almost entirely earmarked by the government for other extractive industries, such as bauxite mining. There will be little, if any, land remaining as forests, for agriculture or for local people to live and farm.... The palm oil debate is funded by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/feb/24/today-is-a-defining-moment-for-europes-flawed-biofuels-policy

6 February 2015: ALERT - legislators cut requested USD1.4 billion biofuel subsidy to USD0.55 billion or 39%, do not agree to support non-subsidized sector. Finalisation of Indonesia new subsidy at IDR 4,000/liter for US$86 operating profit for biodiesel producers?

News has been trickling out and this one is important to note that the level of subsidy given is reported by Jakarta Post at 39% of what was requested (thus, rather less generous than was earlier apparent to traders) -  reducing the volume of subsidized biodiesel by half, from 3.41mil kilolitres to 1.7mil kilolitre or about 600,000 tonnes of palm oil  according to analysts. Analysts are also mulling over the volume for the non-subsidized biodiesel sector.

Bottom-line: Biodiesel off-take impact on stock levels are a key concern on immediate palm oil price outlook. Beyond the short term, traders are eyeing the 16% of global palm oil that goes into biodiesel - on say 55 million tonnes, 16% is 8.8 million. While trying to boost implementation of the Indonesia biofuels program, it's interesting and important to note the significant amendments apparently made by the legislators on the rather more generous government proposals for biodiesel producers.

Legislators cut biodiesel subsidy to Rp 4,000 per liter by Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, February 06 2015, 8:34 AM; The House of Representatives has lowered the subsidy proposed by the government for the sale of biodiesel, saying that the required amount was too high....  The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry allocated about Rp 17.4 trillion (US$1.4 billion) to subsidies in the sale of biofuel so that producers of renewable energy such as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and ethanol used in biofuel can continue their operations despite the sharp drop in oil prices....  However, in the deliberation of the proposed revision to the 2015 State Budget on Wednesday, House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy cut the allocation to Rp 6.8 trillion. With the amount approved by the legislators, the subsidy for biodiesel is lowered to Rp 4,000 per liter from Rp 5,000 per liter as proposed by the government, while the bioethanol subsidy is fixed at Rp 3,000 per liter in line with the proposal....“The government has also proposed to provide subsidies for non-subsidized biodiesel, but we do not agree,” Commission VII head Kardaya Warnika said....http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/06/legislators-cut-biodiesel-subsidy-rp-4000-liter.html#sthash.JjGu4X8t.dpuf

Earlier:

Ambank writes: "Platts reported that Indonesia’s Parliamentary Panel has allocated Rupiah 4,000/liter (32 US cents/liter) as subsidy for biodiesel production and Rupiah 3,000/liter for ethanol in the 2015 state budget. Previously, a biodiesel subsidy of Rupiah 5,000/liter was proposed..... Based on the subsidy of Rupiah 4,000/liter, the subsidy bill would come up to Rupiah 10.4trilllion (US$821.6mil) versus Rupiah 17.4trillion (US$1.37bil) previously.... We estimate that without the subsidy, biodiesel producers would be making an operating loss of US$240/tonne. With the subsidy, the operating profit would be about US$86/tonne...."

BofA on 4 February notes that "Higher Indonesian biodiesel subsidies should support 2015 growth in Indonesian biodiesel demand in-line with our forecasts. But this alone cannot offset industry challenges from falling Brent and record soybean. Stay cautious on CPO price outlook. We prefer young growth names....and Wilmar who can benefit from Indonesian biodiesel mandate growth....."

Reactions from palm oil specialists we hear: Consistent surprised comments about generosity. The less optimistic ask it will really work this time - as the biodiesel story has not lasted, in the past.

5 February 2015: Am hearing from Jakarta sources a generous biofuels subsidy (in large part for palm biodiesel) has been approved.

Palm Oil Climbs Most in Four Years on Indonesian Biofuel Subsidy by Ranjeetha Pakiam 5:25 PM BNT  February 5, 2015 (Bloomberg) -- Palm oil advanced the most in more than four years on Indonesia’s plans to boost biodiesel subsidies, which would expand palm demand in the largest producer and consumer.... Futures climbed 5.1 percent to 2,310 ringgit ($648) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives on Thursday, the biggest advance at close since October 2010.... The biodiesel mandate is feasible with the increased subsidy, said Hariyanto Wijaya, a Jakarta-based analyst at PT Mandiri Sekuritas. It will boost palm demand for biodiesel to 1.7 million tons this year from 800,000 tons in 2014, he wrote in a report on Thursday.... The country’s target for biodiesel production is 2015 is 3.4 million kiloliters, said Dadan Kusdiana, director of bioenergy at the Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry. Output last year was 1.7 million kiloliters, half the 3.4 million goal, he said in a text message.... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-05/palm-oil-climbs-most-in-28-months-on-indonesian-biofuel-subsidy

Elsewhere, other government support for commodities too. Notably Thailand for rubber.

Thai Interventions in Rubber Market Propping Prices, Tightening Supply
Purchases Exacerbating Rubber-Market Supply Shortages By  Huileng Tan Feb. 5, 2015 4:09 a.m.  ET ; Thailand’s big interventions in the natural-rubber market are propping up prices and keeping supplies tight for the world’s largest producer and exporter of the raw material.
Global benchmark natural rubber futures on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange posted 7% gains this week, hitting a one-month high on Wednesday before settling 1.2% lower at ¥206.4 a kilogram on Thursday.  Thai government purchases currently account for 5% to 20% of daily rubber sales in the local market, according to Pongsak Kerdvongbundit, managing director at Von Bundit Co., one of Thailand’s biggest rubber exporters. Last October, Thailand’s junta government approved a budget of up to 30 billion baht ($919 million) for buying rubber, and has been purchasing the commodity aggressively from farmers at the country’s central rubber markets.... http://www.wsj.com/articles/thai-interventions-in-rubber-market-propping-prices-tightening-supply-1423127349


4 February 2015: Biodiesel seeks US$441/tonne subsidy (over US$650 million?) to improve implementation of Indonesia mandate, House of Representatives approval needed

Please note our 13 January alert on this item, for which there is now more news and analyst reactions which include those summarized below. The subsidy to biodiesel producers would amount to over US$650 million. Indonesia biodiesel producers seek strong support, not dissimilar to that enjoyed by Malaysian biodiesel producers. Reuters also reports that Indonesia downstream also asks for review of export duty to be more competitive against Malaysia.

CIMB writes: "proposal to raise the subsidy for biodiesel in Indonesia by 333% to Rp5k per litre. The higher subsidy will significantly raise the CPO-biodiesel breakeven price level and revive biodiesel consumption. Indonesia plans to blend up to 3.41m kl of biodiesel in 2015. If successful, we believe it will boost CPO demand by 1.5m tonnes. This news is positive for CPO prices and biodiesel producers in Indonesia..."

Ambank writes: "Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry... is also proposing that 3.41 million kilolitres (1.2 million tonnes) of biodiesel be mixed in diesel.... The proposals are pending approval by the House of Representatives.... Pertamina said that it had failed to hold a biodiesel tender due to poor infrastructure and selling price. In 2014, only 1.17 million kiloliters (413,182 tonnes) of biodiesel were blended, lower than the target of 1.57 million (554,440 tonnes) kiloliters... On a per tonne basis, the subsidy of US$0.39/litre is estimated at US$441.... "


28 January 2015: In conversation with auto specialist on talk of diesel car crackdown in Europe

In conversation with auto specialist on Tuesday: Auto guys think this is likely political grand standing. How likely is such a big  policy changes if it would impact so severely France auto national champion so after their big capex in diesel; and think about new capex  and leadtime needed to develop alternative vehicles. France is not at the forefront of such technology, and has no cutting edge alternative. Do they give up on autos and leave everything to the Germans? Is this auto sector complacency or is it passing political fancy? There is no doubt there is an increasingly vocal group against diesel engines (Boris Johnson in London also). Notably, the Germans have not decided to end diesel vehicles, but they are pressing on with alternative fuel vehicles. Context: In the UK and Germany over 50% and in France 90% of cars run on diesel. Nothing is cleaner than hybrid battery cars.

26 January 2015: France looks to banning diesel vehicles, European crackdown in the offing on air pollution deaths and mistaken measure of CO2 (well-to-wheel benefits lag); Thailand cuts palm oil in biodiesel to 3.5% from 7%

France looks at progressively banning diesel vehicles - Carmakers braced for European crackdown on diesel vehicles by  Andy Sharman, Motor Industry Correspondent; January 22, 2015 12:41 pm - It was a move worthy of an environmental campaigner, not a state shareholder.... The November announcement by prime minister Manuel Valls — in which he admitted the promotion of diesel cars had been a “mistake” — was followed last month by a promise from Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to ban these vehicles from the city by 2020.... Cities are under pressure from the European Commission to tackle pollution. Studies from the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research body, and King’s College, part of the University of London, have highlighted the scale of emissions from diesel vehicles and linked them to as many as 60,000 deaths a year in the UK.... London has vowed to act on these findings...Cities in Norway have discussed similar anti-diesel measures.... There is growing concern that the emphasis on diesel has encouraged European manufacturers to bet on a technology that is only really bought in their home continent.... While Europe leads the world as the biggest market for diesel cars, there has been very little take-up in Japan and the US.... the perceived CO2 benefits of diesel have been overstated if the overall “well to wheel” impact of using the fuel is taken into account. The fuel is more energy intensive to refine, and the types of diesel cars consumers purchase tend to be heavier than the petrol equivalents.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/627c6812-7faf-11e4-adff-00144feabdc0.html

Thailand: PME Blend in Biodiesel to be cut - Palm oil's portion in biodiesel to be halved Published: 21 Jan 2015 at 06.00 | by Yuthana Praiwan; http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/458571/palm-oil-portion-in-biodiesel-to-be-halved
.....The Energy Ministry will cut the proportion of palm-based biodiesel (B100) in retail biodiesel to 3.5% from 7% to spare crude palm oil supply and help prevent a shortage in the food industry at a time when domestic palm oil production is in seasonal decline. 

13 January 2015 update alert

A Jakarta reader alerts that a week ago, industry agreed on biodiesel formula adjusted for economic price to producers, ie. not on MOPS basis. Keep your eyes open for news from Ministry of Energy on outcomes of this.

13 January 2015: Jokowi tackles energy reform to slash costs, other reforms to come; PERTAMINA tenders 1.2 million kL but Indonesia biodiesel is uneconomic as oil has been slumping relative to palm oil price

Khor Reports comment: Plantation analysts remain concerned about the non-viability of palm biodiesel at the current prices. This affects the significant voluntary blending market as well as concerns about the usage in countries with soft mandates such as Indonesia; where it is also fighting to reform its energy sector to bring down spending on energy to free up money for investment in infrastructure. At the same time, Indonesia seems to be pushing on bureaucratic reforms and anti-corruption moves in the agro forestry sector as well as in aviation which recently suffered the Air Asia QZ8501 disaster. The Jokowi-JK presidential election manifesto also talks about the reorientation of economic gains in its biofuels sector to ensure gains for farmers. All in, several challenges issues for Indonesia biodiesel?

Widodo’s Next Hurdle: What Indonesia Can Tackle Post Fuel Revamp By Chris Brummitt  Jan 13, 2015 1:12 AM GMT+0800; The opening salvo in Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s bid to revitalize Southeast Asia’s biggest economy was a revamp of the country’s energy sector. His next hurdle is delivering the gains from the shake-up.... In his first three months in office, Jokowi, as the leader is known, freed up 230 trillion rupiah ($18 billion) of budget funds for development by scrapping gasoline subsidies and capping government aid on diesel. He also moved to plug revenue leaks and improve efficiency in the energy industry, changing the management of the state oil company as well as setting up an oil and gas reform team..... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-12/widodo-s-next-hurdle-what-indonesia-can-tackle-post-fuel-revamp.html

[these comments and links are replicated from our "eye on Jokowi" blog posting, read more here: /khorreports-palmoil/2014/11/eye-on-president-jokowi-asks-china-aiib.html]

1,2 Juta Kl Biodiesel Ditenderkan PERTAMINA; updated 10:30 AM UTC, Jan 9, 2015; http://sawitindonesia.com/berita-terbaru/1-2-juta-kl-biodiesel-ditenderkan-pertamina; reports that Pertamina is holding a tender for biodiesel as a continuation of the mandatory biodiesel program in 2015. But manufacturers are less responsive because the tender price is no longer economical... the tender price scheme set by DG EBTKE MEMR is 103.48 % MOPS diesel. However, amidst the decline in the price of oil including diesel biodiesel producers are languishing. Paul Tjakrawan, Chief Executive of the Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association ( APROBI ) said that some biodiesel companies are ceasing operations temporarily because (biodiesel is non economic) under the price index ....

22 December 2014: Indonesia diesel output is to more than double to 770,000 bpd by 2025

Indonesia - Pertamina targets higher diesel output Published: 11 December 2014 07:15 AM
Pertamina, whose entire board of directors was recently replaced as part of the energy reforms, signed MoUs with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Saudi Aramco and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. to help with refinery upgrades. The upgrades will be completed in around four years, and there will also be a growth in demand, so this alone will not be enough to fill the demand gap, the company said, adding that it was also looking at building new refineries.... Indonesia's Refinery Development Master Plan targets to double crude oil processing capacity to 1.68 mln barrels per day (bpd) from 820,000 bpd at present. Gasoline output is to more than triple to 630,000 bpd by 2025 from 190,000 in 2012, while diesel output is to more than double to 770,000 by 2025 from 320,000 in 2012.... http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/indonesia-pertamina-idUSL3N0TU1KO20141210

29 November 2014: Brent crude slide and Indonesia biodiesel mandate outlook

/khorreports-palmoil/2014/10/oil-price-news-its-fallen-from-105-110.html

16 September:

Oil Prices Sink as World-Wide Supplies Rise - Pressure Increases as Weak Demand and Robust Global Production Leave Extra Crude Sloshing Around the Market  By Christian Berthelsen Updated Sept. 15, 2014 10:28 p.m. ET; "A global oil surplus is driving U.S. crude prices to fresh lows. Benchmark U.S. oil-futures prices approached a 16-month low for the second time in three trading sessions on Monday before recovering. Oil for October delivery ended at $92.92 a barrel, down more than 13% from highs for the year hit in June. Both U.S. and world prices have tumbled over the past few months, as weak demand and robust global production left extra..." http://online.wsj.com/articles/oil-prices-sink-as-world-wide-supplies-rise-1410824215?mod=djem10point


5 September:

Wilmar won majority of the third round Pertamina tender. Darmex won less than 30,000 kilolitres.Total volume was around 600,000. Price paid was mostly MOPS + 3%. Biodiesel spreads are now very good at POGO minus $220/tonne plus.

Palm Oil Industry Upbeat Over Policies By Alina Musta’idah on 08:33 pm Sep 04, 2014; "...Gapki, expects the total crude palm oil and palm kernel oil production to be between 27.5 million and 28 million tons, up 2.2 percent to 4 percent from last year. “But such achievement also needs great support from the new government through conducive policies.” Fadhil said the government needed to encourage the construction of biodiesel production facilities and infrastructure across the country in order to boost demand in the domestic market. The government originally aimed for nationwide biodiesel production to reach 3 million kiloliters this year. However, the association estimates that biodiesel production has only reached 800,000 kiloliters so far this year and expects to only reach one million kiloliters by year’s end...." http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/palm-oil-industry-upbeat-policies/

Garuda to use biofuel in 2016 to reduce emissions by Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, August 27 2014, 10:30 AM; "National flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia is planning to mix avtur (aviation turbine fuel) with biofuel starting in 2016, to help reduce its carbon emissions.
Garuda Indonesia operational director Capt. Novianto Herupratomo said on Tuesday the airline had taken several measures to protect the environment, including by preparing to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy... Under the MoU, the government targeted reducing the use of fossil fuel in the aviation sector by mixing avtur with 2 percent biofuel in 2016 and planned to increase the amount to 3 percent in 2020..." http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/08/27/garuda-use-biofuel-2016-reduce-emissions.html


4 September:

Geothermal is a target for Indonesia electricity generation, but its economics needs to improve. Unlikely to supplant biodiesel for some time?

Geothermal operations to give greater benefits to locals by Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Mon, September 01 2014, 11:08 AM; http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/09/01/geothermal-operations-give-greater-benefits-locals.html; "....Indonesia’s abundant geothermal resources are estimated to be able to produce around 29 gigawatts, among the highest in the world. However, only 1,341 megawatts of electricity are currently generated by geothermal resources in the country.
Exploitation of the resource is hampered by licensing problems — particularly the prohibition of geothermal projects in conserved forest areas — protests from local residents over perceived harm to the environment, the vast amounts of capital required and the uneconomical tariff of electricity produced by geothermal plants..."


7 August:

Malaysia Delays Full Implementation of B5 Biodiesel Mandate  By Ranjeetha Pakiam  Aug 6, 2014 5:46 PM GMT+0800; "Malaysia, the largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, delayed the nationwide implementation of its biodiesel mandate to the end of the year, said Douglas Uggah Embas, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister. The B5 program will be completed by December instead of an original target of July, doubling average monthly consumption, Uggah said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg questions. The delay was because construction of 15 blending facilities in the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in East Malaysia were taking longer than expected, he said.... Palm, the world’s most consumed cooking oil, has declined 16 percent in 2014 and slumped to the lowest level in a year in Kuala Lumpur today as the U.S. government predicts record global inventories of soybeans, used to make an alternative oil. Prices have also been pressured by the failure of Indonesia and Malaysia to boost use in biofuels, according to Dorab Mistry, director at Godrej International Ltd., on June 26..... The government and the palm oil board are “monitoring the progress of the construction of the blending facilities and exploring ways to accelerate completion,” Uggah said. “Full implementation of the B5 program is expected to consume 500,000 tons of methyl ester annually.” B5, which involves blending 5 percent of palm methyl ester with 95 percent of diesel petroleum, was completed in March in Peninsular Malaysia, Uggah said. Monthly usage will average 41,667 tons upon full implementation compared with 20,833 tons now, Uggah said. This will increase to 58,333 tons with the start of the B7 program in the first quarter, he said. The government and the palm oil board are in discussions with engine manufacturers and automobile associations to get warranties for B7, he said.....
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-06/malaysia-says-full-implementation-of-biodiesel-mandate-delayed.html

Oil Traders Flee Brent as Prices Signal Glut: Chart of the Day By Grant Smith Aug 7, 2014 7:01 AM GMT+0800; "Oil traders are fleeing Brent crude at the fastest pace in eight years as signs of a glut undermined bets that the Islamist insurgency in Iraq would threaten supply...."
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-06/oil-traders-flee-brent-as-prices-signal-glut-chart-of-the-day.html

31 July:

Palm oil price revival depends on biodiesel scheme by hanim adnan Updated: Thursday July 31, 2014 MYT 8:01:56 AM  http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2014/07/31/CPO-price-revival-depends-on-biodiesel-scheme/; "GOING into the second half of the year, many quarters are anticipating the country’s steep palm oil stocks can be reduced considerably – thanks to the nationwide implementation of the B5 biodiesel programme that takes effect this month.
It is envisaged that some 500,000 tonnes of palm oil annually would be taken up from the palm oil stockpile for B5 biodiesel that will be used in the Government’s subsidised and non-subsidised sectors.... The Government’s strong push for the biodiesel mandate could translate into the steep domestic palm oil stocks being reduced to below one million tonnes and also provide a floor price for CPO at RM2,000 per tonne.... Despite the uncertainties ahead and the CPO price currently trading lower at RM2,250 per tonne, some quarters maintained that planters in Peninsular Malaysia would continue to reap in profits as their average CPO cost of production (COP) is still good at RM1,200 per tonne. The COP for Sabah and Sarawak planters’ is RM1,300 per tonne and RM1,600 per tonne respectively...."

18 July:

Supply concerns hamper expansion of biodiesel use by Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, July 18 2014, 10:18 AM; http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/07/18/supply-concerns-hamper-expansion-biodiesel-use.html; "...State-owned electricity company PT PLN said on Thursday that it had not received the biodiesel needed to fuel its power plants and meet the government’s mandatory policy of using cheaper renewable energy sources.... The PLN placed part of the blame on the state oil and gas company, PT Pertamina, for failing to provide supply.... The PLN head of oil and gas division, Suryadi Mardjoeki, said the company could only absorb 85,000 kiloliters (kl) during the January to June period, less than 12 percent of the PLN’s initial target of 800,000 kl this year.... Pertamina vice president of retail fuel marketing Muhammad Iskandar said that the PLN had yet to officially request the fuel-type and that several power plants could not actually be run with the type of biodiesel set by the PLN... For electricity, beginning this year, the mandatory blending percentage will be set at 20 percent. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s bioenergy director, Dadan Kusdiana, said as many as 999,000 kl of biodiesel had been blended into fuel by the end of the first second quarter.... The figure included blended biodiesel subsidized and non-subsidized fuel as well as electricity.... Absorption over the first half of the year was deemed inadequate, as the government had set a target of 3.96 million kl in biodiesel use by year’ end.... Dadan estimated that biodiesel blending may reach just 2 million kl by year’s end.
“The only way to meet the target is by requesting Pertamina to supply B20 and B40. Apart from that, we are also seeking supplies of PPO [pure palm oil] to be blended with our fuel,” Suryadi said...."

Jakarta Post quoted electricity company, PT PLN as saying that it had not received the biodiesel needed for its power plants and as such, it cannot meet the government’s policy of using cheaper renewable energy sources.·     PLN partly blamed PT Pertamina for failing to provide the supply of biodiesel. PLN used only 85,000 kilolitres (30,017 tonnes) of biodiesel from January to June this year, less than PLN’s target of 800,000 kilolitres (282,517 tonnes) for this year.  Earlier: Biodiesel mix misses quarterly target, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | April 22 2014 | 11:09 AM
http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/04/22/biodiesel-mix-misses-quarterly-target.html
14 July:
AmResearch, 14 July 2014 notes: "...the American Soybean Association (ASA) urged its members to lobby the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress to mandate the blending of 1.7bil gallons of biodiesel as part of the 2014 renewable fuel standard. In contrast, the EPA is proposing to require 1.28bil gallons of biodiesel blending only. The EPA is due to release the final number in spring. However, the release has been delayed. It is not surprising that the ASA is lobbying for higher biodiesel mandates in view of the surge in the supply of soybean and soybean oil this year. Biodiesel is expected to absorb 21.8% of soybean oil supply in the US in 2014F/2015F.....  Based on the latest USDA (US Department of Agriculture) report, which was released last Friday, ending inventory of US soybean oil is forecasted to increase 8% to 1.8bil pounds in 2014F/2015F due to a drop in demand. Production of US soybean oil is estimated to remain flat. In the same report, USDA had also revised its forecast of US soybean production upwards by 4.5% to 3.8bil bushels in 2014F/2015F due to higher planting acreage. As a result, soybean production in US is anticipated to expand by 15.5% YoY in 2014F/2015F...."

 13 July 2014; China Targets 30% New Government Vehicles Use Alternative Energy
 By Bloomberg News  Jul 13, 2014 8:30 PM GMT+0800 ;  "China is mandating that at least 30 percent of new government vehicles be powered by alternative energy by 2016 in the government’s latest salvo to combat pollution and reduce energy dependence. At least 15 percent of new vehicles will use new energy this year in areas such as Beijing and the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, the government said in a statement posted on the website of the National Government Offices Administration department. New energy is a term used for electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles...." http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-13/china-targets-30-new-government-vehicles-use-alternative-energy.html

9 July:
European Commission and Industry Investing $5 Billion in Biomass By Louise Downing  Jul 9, 2014 6:00 PM GMT+0800; "The European Commission and companies including Coca-Cola Co. are investing as much as 3.7 billion euros ($5 billion) to foster the growth of a regional bio-energy industry. The commission is providing 975 million euros from 2014 to 2024, with the remaining 2.7 billion euros coming from the Bio-Based Industries Consortium, according to an e-mailed statement from BBI and the EC. The public-private partnership aims to spur investments and create a competitive market....." http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-09/european-commission-and-industry-investing-5-billion-in-biomass.html

13 June:
Pertamina miss target due to poor infrastructure, 13 June 2014
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/06/13/blended-diesel-miss-target-due-poor-infrastructure.html; "The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is estimating that the volume of blended subsidized fuel will only be 1.32 million kiloliters (kl) by year-end, or 90 percent of the 1.46 million kl target, according to the ministry’s bioenergy director, Dadan Kusdiana. According to the ministry’s figures, only 446,935 kl of biodiesel had been blended into subsidized fuel as of the end of May. Meanwhile, in the electricity sector, fuel blended with biodiesel reached 68,000 kl as of May 31, according to state power firm PT PLN’s oil and gas division head, Suryadi Mardjoeki.
The government began requiring diesel used for industry and transportation to contain 10 percent biofuel in September last year.... Last year, the mandatory biodiesel blending requirement helped lower diesel fuel imports by 1.05 million kl worth US$831 million. Prior to the move, the country had implemented an obligation of 7.5 percent. Total diesel fuel consumption is estimated to reach 34.14 million kl, while the volume of blended diesel fuel is targeted to total 3.96 million kl...."
 


EU to limit production of biofuels from food crops - Energy ministers agree to a 7% cap on using food crops such as maize or rapeseed for making biofuels; theguardian.com, Friday 13 June 2014; "...The ministers' endorsement of a new compromise overcomes last year's stalemate when EU governments failed to agree on a proposed 5% cap on the use of biofuels based on crops such as maize or rapeseed. Friday's deal would set a 7% limit on the use of food-based biofuels in transport fuel. It must now be considered by the newly-elected European parliament...." http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/13/eu-biofuels-food-crops

30 May:
Brazil ups biodiesel blend to 7%; May 30, 2014 report by CIMB;  "The decision by Brazil to raise the mandatory biodiesel mix from 5% currently to 6% in Jul and 7% in Nov 14 is indirectly positive for CPO prices. The higher  blend will boost demand for soybean oil in Brazil and its global prices in the  medium term. Our rough estimate suggests that the higher blend could  potentially raise usage of soybean oil in Brazil by 854k tonnes to 2.75m tonnes.  This represents around 12% of Brazil and 2% of global soybean oil production.  We do not expect major obstacles in implementing the higher blend but expect most of the incremental demand to be felt in 2015.... According to the USDA, Brazil is expected to consume 2.9bn litres of biodiesel in 2014, based on a mandatory biodiesel mix of 5%.... Soybean oils represent 73% of total feedstock use in biodiesel production in Brazil. Using the same proportion, we conservatively deduce that the potential amount of soybean oils that will be absorbed by the higher biodiesel mandate  to be around 0.95bn litres (or 854k tonnes). This represents around 11% of Brazil's soybean oil output and 2% of global soybean oil production... This is  slightly lower compared to Indonesia's biodiesel policy, which is expected to divert around 3m tonnes of palm oil for domestic biodiesel usage (assuming 10% blend) vs. our estimate for Brazil of 2.7m tonnes of soybean oil (assuming 7% blend). Brazil has 8.2bn litres of biodiesel facilities. As such, we do not see significant obstacles for the government to implement the higher blend..."

Asian Biofuel Motorists Drive Palm-Oil Prices Higher - Palm Oil's Growing Use as a Biofuel Is Reducing its Availability for Other Uses By  Huileng Tan, Updated May 29, 2014 11:56 a.m. ET
http://online.wsj.com/articles/asian-biofuel-motorists-drive-palm-oil-prices-higher-1401354565

Khor Reports' Food Watch: Malaysian nutritionist promoted sugar-laden cereals in 'fattest Asian country'?

Editor's note: This is about snack, fast and ready foods that catch my eye in the shops.






24 Dec 2017: Malaysian nutritionist promoted sugar-laden cereals in 'fattest Asian country'?


Editor's note: NYT points to big food's funding for the likes of Southeast Asian Public Health Nutrition Network, Malaysia Nutrition Society (ads in an education pamphlet feature cereals with more than a quarter weight in sugar) and others. It's good to read about obesity awareness efforts by Rohana Abdul Jalil.  A Malaysia-based nutrition expert said: "Dr Tee's statement is typical of the rubbish that MNC's used to defend their sins. The worst foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the cheapest. People feel it may not be right to take so much of them but the nutritionists and the doctors tell them "it's OK". Then of course, they (consume). The nature of sugars and refined carbohydrates is such that anyone who takes them liberally will immediately go into the vicious cycle of taking more and more of them. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is to keep on educating and to legislate good laws."

Amid ‘fattest Asian country’ claim, Malaysian nutritionists sponsored by food giants 23 Dec 2017
In Malaysia — where nearly half the adult population are overweight or obese, and dubbed the fattest country in Asia — nutritionists are being financially supported by major food companies, New York Times (NYT) reported today. The report pointed at the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, whose research on local diets and lifestyle habits was not only financed, but also reviewed by Nestlé, the world’s largest food company whose malted chocolate beverage Milo is popular with consumers here. It was also revealed that the work of the society headed by the country’s leading nutrition expert Dr Tee E Siong, 70, has been funded by among others Kellogg’s, PepsiCo and Tate & Lyle, one of the world’s biggest makers of high-fructose corn syrup.... Tee’s nutrition society had promoted Nestlé’s sugar-laden Koko Krunch and Cookie Crisp cereals, and “Nestlé Healthy Kids,” a 2014 programme promoting breakfast and exercise in 77 schools. In defence, Tee said the real problem is not with the food companies, but what Malaysians eat and their lifestyle....
Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/amid-fattest-asian-country-claim-malaysian-nutritionists-sponsored-by-food#25ououCKWXx0WwyA.99




5 Dec 2017: The fast-food price war is about to get even more intense


Here’s What’s on McDonald’s Revamped Dollar Menu By Craig Giammona December 5, 2017. New lineup will debut on Jan. 4, with items at $1 to $3 apiece. Fast-food chain looks to keep franchisees happy with program. The fast-food price war is about to get even more intense. McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, unveiled its new value-priced menu on Monday, aiming to keep its lead in an industry that’s increasingly racing for the bottom. The lineup, set to go live on Jan. 4, includes items such as chicken tenders, sodas, triple cheeseburgers and the Egg McMuffin. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/mcdonald-s-successor-to-dollar-menu-escalates-industry-price-war?


9 Nov 2017: Nutella reformulation


France, Nutella reformulation: skimmed milk powder 7.5% goes to 8.7%, sugar ticks up 55.9% to 56.3%, fat content drops 31.8% to 30.9% (-1.1%-age). But spokesperson says the added sugar has not increased. Seen as cost-saving exercise on cocoa powder. If the added sugar is over estimated, it could be that fat cut is under estimated? Criticised for ingredient label citing "fruits of the oil palm" and "French beet sugar" as potentially misleading on 5-a-day fruit-veg. News, https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2017/11/08/Ferrero-defends-fine-tuning-of-Nutella-recipe?


25 Apr 2017: Kushikatsu, deep-fried battered meat and veg on a stick


A Dying Man's Lost Recipe Made His Daughter a Multimillionaire by Min Jeong Lee , Hiroyuki Sekine , and Toshiro Hasegawa April 23, 2017 -- Kushikatsu, a dish made by battering skewered meat and vegetables, deep-frying them and then dipping them in sauce...https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-23/how-her-dying-dad-s-lost-recipe-made-hiroe-tanaka-a-millionaire? 


29 Mar 2017: KitKat cocoa and milk content upped in sugar reduction push, portion size remains the same, Chipotle menu clean up reduces ingredient count 


KitKat cocoa content upped 13% in sugar reduction push By Oliver Nieburg+, 28-Mar-2017

Nestlé UK & Ireland has upped the cocoa and milk content of KitKat in its bid to cut sugar by 10% across its confectionery range. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Business/KitKat-cocoa-content-upped-13-in-sugar-reduction-push

Chipotle's Menu Is Now Preservative-Free by Leslie Patton March 28, 2017, 9:00 PM GMT+8 March 28, 2017 -- Chain nixes additives from tortillas after two-year quest. Push to clean up menu brings ingredient count down to 51. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-28/chipotle-purges-preservatives-in-bid-to-renew-foodie-image?



28 Mar 2017:  WHO praises France for ‘straightforward’ nutrition logo, EFSA to recommend daily intake values for added sugar by 2020 


WHO praises France for ‘straightforward’ nutrition logo By Niamh Michail+, 24-Mar-2017
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised France for officially backing a voluntary, front-of-pack nutrition logo that “clearly stood out as the most consumer-friendly scheme”.

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/WHO-praises-France-for-straightforward-nutrition-logo

EFSA to recommend daily intake values for added sugar by 2020  By Niamh Michail+, 24-Mar-2017
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will publish a scientific opinion on how much sugar can be included in a healthy diet by 2020, it has confirmed.
http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/EFSA-to-recommend-daily-intake-values-for-added-sugar-by-2020


18 Mar 2017: More labels in Europe, UK sugar tax, Germans plan to shun sugar

Editor's note: Sugar taxman on the rise. When is the fat tax to come?

Six industry giants to launch UK-style traffic light labels in Europe By Niamh Michail+, 08-Mar-2017 -- Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever will add nutrition logos modelled on the UK’s traffic light label to their European portfolios. However, critics have slammed the use of portion size as a reference. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Six-industry-giants-to-launch-UK-style-traffic-light-labels-in-Europe

UK sugar tax confirmed in Budget 2017 By Rachel Arthur+, 08-Mar-2017 - A UK sugar tax has been confirmed as part of the government’s Budget 2017 today, with the rates set for the two-tier soft drinks industry levy.
http://www.beveragedaily.com/Regulation-Safety/UK-sugar-tax-confirmed-in-Budget-2017

Europe's largest dessert market under pressure as half of Germans shun sugar By Niamh Michail+, 10-Mar-2017 -- Germany is Europe’s largest dessert market but with almost half (48%) of the population saying they are actively cutting down or avoiding sugary foods, dessert manufacturers are under pressure to innovate, says Mintel.  http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Europe-s-largest-dessert-market-under-pressure-as-half-of-Germans-shun-sugar


11 Mar 2017: What's Really In Nutella

This Picture Shows What's Really In Nutella FEB 26, 2017 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/02/26/this-picture-shows-whats-really-in-nutella/#20edf22b3b61


2 Dec 2016: Nestle Scientists Find Method to Cut Sugar in Chocolate by 40%


Nestle Scientists Find Method to Cut Sugar in Chocolate by 40% by Thomas Mulier November 30, 2016 — 1:00 PM EST -- New process will be incorporated into products as soon as 2018. Development comes amid government pressure on sugar reduction https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-30/nestle-scientists-find-method-to-cut-sugar-in-chocolate-by-40





4 Jan 2016: Gooey, deep-fried beef envelope ‘vile and amazing’


Americans Eat 554 Million Jack in the Box Tacos a Year, and No One Knows Why By RUSSELL ADAMS Jan. 3, 2017 -- Gooey, deep-fried beef envelope has been on the menu since the 1950s, inspiring legions of fans; ‘vile and amazing’ http://www.wsj.com/articles/americans-eat-554-million-jack-in-the-box-tacos-a-year-and-no-one-knows-why-1483465285?




21 Oct 2016: PepsiCo says most  foods will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories by 2025


PepsiCo pledges to slash beverage calorie counts by 2025 by Jeff Daniels Monday, 17 Oct 2016 -- According to PepsiCo, at least two-thirds of the company's beverages will contain 100 calories or less per 12-ounce serving by 2025. As part of the initiative, the company will increase the focus on zero or lower-calorie products....The CEO also spoke about ongoing efforts to reduce sodium in products, including snacks sold by the Frito-Lay division....By 2025, PepsiCo said three-quarters of its global foods portfolio will contain sodium volumes not exceeding 1.3 milligrams per calorie. Also, at least three-quarters of the foods will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories.... According to the CEO, the company also already made significant strides and is now frying snacks in many countries using "heart-healthy oil." Also, she said in China the company has available to it a new frying technique that can reduce saturated fat levels by about 20 percent while at the same time increasing capacity of the machines by 25 percent.... http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/14/pepsico-pledges-to-slash-beverage-calorie-counts-by-2025.html



15 Oct 2016: Yum! Brands wants to remove all palm oil? 70% of its outlets have removed it as cooking oil


Editor's note: Interesting to see how another commodity has been trying to increase attention on fat nutritional issues. I was told, but didn't find article yet that KFC in China will also be cutting down on palm oil usage - but a look at Yum's website confirms the policy. This adds to McDonald's China (see July 2016 news). Yum talks about removing palm oil as a cooking oil, and it has done so in 70% of its outlets, but it is silent on analogue cheese https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese_analogue# and other uses of palm oil. 


#At top of google search for "palm oil analogue cheese" are these suppliers

http://en.vika.nl/dairy/melted-cheese-and-cheese-replacements/
https://www.cargill.com.my/en/products-services/palm-products/bakery-fats/milk-fat-replacer/index.jsp

How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research Alexandra Sifferlin @acsifferlin Sept. 12, 2016 -- By combing through archival documents from the 1950s and 1960s, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), report that the sugar industry sponsored research that turned attention away from the sweetener’s link to heart disease and toward fat and cholesterol as the bigger culprits....   http://time.com/4485710/sugar-industry-heart-disease-research/?xid=newsletter-brief


Taco Bell Will Put China's Appetite for Nacho Cheese to the Test  Leslie Patton   October 14, 2016-- In the U.S., crunchy tacos are made with cheddar cheese -- typically room-temperature -- while quesadillas have a three-cheese blend. “Having food that’s incredibly warm is very important in Chinese culture,” Vaideeswaran said in an interview on Thursday. “It’s warm, it’s melty, and it’s really good.” ...http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-13/taco-bell-to-test-chinese-appetite-for-nacho-cheese-in-december....

KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell: Yum! Brands wants to remove all palm oil July 6, 2016 -- From The Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2015 of Yum! Brands, we can understand how hard food giants like Yum! would like to do to get rid of unhealthy oil. They already change from unsustainable source Palm Oil to sustainable source palm oil, and beginning from 2011 they start to take one step further, change from palm oil to High Oleic Sunflower oil, Canola oil, or mixes of them.... http://www.enjoi.com.hk/single-post/2016/07/06/KFC-Pizza-Hut-Taco-Bell-Yum-Brands-wants-to-use-low-trans-fat-oil




Yum Brands, accessed 15 October 2016:


  • ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES - PALM OIL POLICY -- Yum! Brands is committed to implementing its global nutrition policy that includes removal of palm oil as cooking oil in restaurants by 2017. In extenuating circumstances and by exception, markets that will not meet our nutrition policy timeline will source 100 percent of their palm oil used for cooking from responsible and sustainable sources by the end of 2017.  http://www.yumcsr.com/environment/environment-policies.asp
  • NUTRITIONAL IMPROVEMENT - PALM OIL -- For over four years now, KFC U.K. and Ireland has consistently been removing palm oil from their products and replacing with sunflower, rapeseed or soya oils. This began in 2011 when they stopped frying in palm oil, switching to high oleic rape and sunflower oils.... At the end of 2014, KFC Germany phased out of palm oil as a cooking oil, using a new oil mix consisting of sunflower and rapeseed oil with a higher content of unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, their fries are pre-fried in a palm-free oil blend...  Taco Bell committed to only using sustainable palm oil in their ingredients by the end of 2015, replacing unsustainable palm oil with RSPO-sustainable palm oil or other oils, like canola. With hash browns, they partnered with their suppliers to ensure that only 100 percent canola oil was used. http://www.yumcsr.com/food/nutritional-improvement.asp

Food Companies Scramble to Cut Palm Oil From Supply Chains - McDonald’s push poses major test of industry’s ability to trace, eliminate contentious materials By Erica E. Phillips And Betsy Morris April 29, 2015 --  A McDonald’s Corp. announcement in April that a “comprehensive” supply chain sustainability plan will focus on reducing deforestation in its beef, poultry, coffee and palm oil sourcing will provide perhaps the biggest test of companies’ ability to trace and eliminate contentious materials from their products....The fast-food giant joins Dunkin’ Brands (Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins) and Yum Brands Inc. YUM -0.21 % (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), in pledging to source only sustainable palm oil. It’s part of a broad, new effort by food providers to target ingredients to meet demands from health- and socially-conscious consumers. ... Just this month, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG -1.38 % said it would stop using genetically modified ingredients in its fast food restaurants. And PepsiCo Inc. PEP 0.86 % announced it would drop the artificial sweetener aspartame from Diet Pepsi. ....http://www.wsj.com/articles/food-companies-scramble-to-cut-palm-oil-from-supply-chains-1430343324

15 July 2016: McDonald's to use blended oil in China for healthier diet (switching away from palm oil) and Kerala India wants to tax fat at branded fast food, China's plan to cut meat consumption by 50%, China instant noodles  


McDonald's to use blended oil in China for healthier diet 2016­ 07­ 15 Ecns.cn ­­ McDonald's stores in China will change the cooking oil they use starting next year, despite an increased cost, and introduce new menu items including fruits and vegetables, the Beijing Times reported on Friday. Phyllis Cheung, the CEO of McDonald's China, said the fast­food giant is testing new cooking oil and plans to replace the current palm oil with a mixture of sunflower seed and canola oil. The reasons behind the change are to optimize the nutrition structure, dramatically reduce the consumption of saturated fatty acids, and improve heath....Cai Meiqin, the vice chairperson of the Shanghai Nutrition Society, said McDonald's focus on less salt, better oil, and a more balanced diet fits well with the overall theme of "The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents" released this year.


China instant noodle production industry analysis and professional survey 2011-2020 illuminated by new report WhaTech Channel: Industrial Market Research Published: 12 July 2016 -- Instant noodles can be divided into fried ones and fried-free ones by production methods, which including bag instant noodles, bowl instant noodles, cup instant noodles,. by packaging. The popularity of instant noodles has a close relationship with the accelerating pace of modern life.... In terms of the product structure, the total output volume of instant noodles fell off in 2014 and 2015. However, the annual output volume still maintained more than 9 million tons.... The proportion of the output volume of middle and high-end products kept gradually increasing. On the contrary, that of low-end products which accounted for the major market share was gradually declining. To a certain extent, the total output volume of instant noodles went down.... Chinese instant noodle market is mainly dominated by Master Kong, Uni-president, Jinmailang, Baixiang and Nongshim. The market share of top 5 enterprises accounts for more than 80%....Major raw materials of instant noodles include wheat powder and palm oil. In the next few years, it will be less possible for prices of raw materials to rise significantly.... The instant noodle consumption per capita in China is beyond top 5 all over the world. The urban residents are major consumers. The consumption per capita of rural areas is less than 1/3 of that of urban areas. With the accelerating urbanization and increasing resident income in China, the instant noodle market has a bright prospect.   https://www.whatech.com/market-research/industrial/181539-china-instant-noodle-production-industry-analysis-and-professional-survey-2011-2020-illuminated-by-new-report


India Taxing Fat: Bad News For McDonald’s & Yum By Dimitra DeFotis July 13, 2016 --  McDonald’s (MCD) has only seven restaurants in Kerala while Burger King launched its first outlet in the coastal Kerala city of Kochi a few weeks ago, the BBC adds. But the India tax trend isn’t great news for Yum Brands (YUM), which reports earnings after the close Wednesday. Yum operated 372 KFC restaurants in India in 2015, along with 432 Pizza Huts and 7 Taco Bells. http://blogs.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2016/07/13/india-taxing-fat-bad-news-for-mcdonalds-yum/


China's plan to cut meat consumption by 50% cheered by climate campaigners - New dietary guidelines could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1bn tonnes by 2030, and could lessen country’s problems with obesity and diabetes https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/20/chinas-meat-consumption-climate-change?


Food waste: First global standard launched 06 Jun 2016 | By Megan Tatum http://m.thegrocer.co.uk/537186.article?mobilesite=enabled



Scientists at the Oxford Martin School this year found that the widespread adoption of vegetarianism around the world could bring down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/21/eat-less-meat-vegetarianism-dangerous-global-warming

Other McDonald's news:


THE MCDONALD’S OF THE FUTURE OFFERS UNLIMITED FRENCH FRIES Why can’t the future start now? BY EMILY JANE FOX APRIL 15, 2016 -- McDonald's promise of unlimited fried potatoes... A new 6,500-square-foot McDonald’s franchise in St. Joseph, Missouri, which is billing itself as the McDonald’s of the future, is one reason to hope. The fast-food joint will be outfitted with armchairs and couches in “earthy tones,” according to St. Joseph News-Press. Customers will order on “larger than life” kiosks that that will allow them to customize a wide array of menu items—from personalized burgers and chicken sandwiches, all the way to dessert items. The t: all-you-can-eat french fries....http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/04/mcdonalds-of-the-future-unlimited-fries


McDonald’s struggles to attract bidders for China franchises - US group would prefer companies with more fast food experience, JULY 13, 2016 by: Don Weinland in Hong Kong and Lindsay Whipp in Chicago -- McDonald’s is struggling to attract the calibre of bidders it envisioned in the sale of its China and Hong Kong franchise, according to people familiar with the situation. https://next.ft.com/content/ed4dd74e-47ec-11e6-b387-64ab0a67014c


McDonald’s Said to Narrow Bidders for $2 Billion China Franchise by Vinicy Chan  Jonathan Browning July 7, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-07/mcdonald-s-said-to-narrow-bidders-for-2-billion-china-franchise


India Taxing Fat: Bad News For McDonald’s & Yum By Dimitra DeFotis July 13, 2016 --  McDonald’s (MCD) has only seven restaurants in Kerala while Burger King launched its first outlet in the coastal Kerala city of Kochi a few weeks ago, the BBC adds. But the India tax trend isn’t great news for Yum Brands (YUM), which reports earnings after the close Wednesday. Yum operated 372 KFC restaurants in India in 2015, along with 432 Pizza Huts and 7 Taco Bells. http://blogs.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2016/07/13/india-taxing-fat-bad-news-for-mcdonalds-yum/


McDonald's: No Trans Fats in China Fries -- McDonald's admitted last week that its French fries contain a third more trans fats than it previously thought, according to results of a new testing method it used in the US in December. Tests showed that levels of potentially artery- clogging trans fats in a large portion of fries had increased from six grams to eight, bringing total fat content up to 30 grams from 25. Often used by restaurants and in packaged foods, trans fats are believed to cause cholesterol problems and increase the risk of heart disease. McDonald's China also admitted that although their food tastes the same in all their restaurants, there are still tiny differences in the ingredients used in different countries. McDonald's said its Chinese restaurants use palm oil to make the French fries, which contains no trans fats....http://www.china.org.cn/english/2006/Feb/157873.htm


McDonald’s Maintains Edge in Fast-Food Restaurant Traffic: Chart by Nick Turner May 13, 2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-13/mcdonald-s-maintains-edge-in-fast-food-restaurant-traffic-chart



28 June 2016: India health dept inspects McDonald's, Subway, Pizza Hut, Dominos for using oil oil etc.


Rajasthan: 3 McDonald’s outlets under govt scanner for ‘using old oil’ Besides McDonald’s, the health department also inspected other fast food outlets, including Subway, Pizza Hut and Dominos. By: Express News Service | Jaipur | Published:June 28, 2016 http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/jaipur/rajasthan-3-mcdonalds-outlets-under-govt-scanner-for-using-old-oil-2880443/




http://www.businessinsider.in/McDonalds-in-trouble-as-outlets-found-cooking-yummylicious-Aloo-Tikkis-and-Fries-in-stale-oil/articleshow/52846657.cms

23 June 2016: It Took McDonald's 6 Months to Swap From Margarine to Butter - Bloomberg


It Took McDonald's 6 Months to Swap From Margarine to Butter—and That Was Fast by   Leslie Patton June 22, 2016 -- The switch back to the original recipe (with butter) for the Egg McMuffin occurred in September, just before the national introduction of all-day breakfast... McDonald’s also recently changed its English muffins, now baked with unbleached flour instead of the bleached version....  “The change to butter was extremely fast. That’s probably the quickest change that we’ve made.”.... In late August, Grassland Dairy Products Inc. found out it needed about 2.4 million pounds of butter for the swap. The family-run operation started working overtime. The company’s three facilities went to seven days a week, up from six. And the dairy also had to push its cardboard-box supplier to make the McDonald’s packaging in just four weeks instead of the usual eight.... 



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-22/tweaking-mcmuffins-speeds-mcdonald-s-ahead-of-breakfast-rivals?





30 May 2016: Ramen Rater top noodles include...


Editor's note: Took some of these to friends in the UK. Also, friends in HK were asking to be reminded of these top instant noodles.







31 March 2016: Back to natural ingredients in soda drinks - including real sugar. Clean label concept - remove artificial anything.


Editor's note: Difference performance of HCFS - cheaper and as a sweetener it peaks earlier, sugar has a more rounded profile and lasts longer on the tongue.



Soft-Drink Makers Have New Secret Ingredient: Sugar! To boost flagging soda sales, companies are touting ‘real sugar’ as an appeal to all things natural http://www.wsj.com/articles/soft-drink-makers-have-new-secret-ingredient-sugar-1459350546?tesla=y




Why Real Sugar Is Returning to Soda 3/30/2016 10:58AM  Sugar is infiltrating the soda aisle, as manufacturers try to boost soft drink sales by losing high fructose syrup. WSJ's Anne-Marie Chaker joins Lee Hawkins to discuss. Photo: F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/video/why-real-sugar-is-returning-to-soda/FAC807B6-C465-4B30-95D7-C38C5F947602.html?mod=djemTEW_h




21 Feb 2016: Calorie Counts Really Do Fight Obesity 


Calorie Counts Really Do Fight Obesity FEB 19, 2016 By Cass R. Sunstein  It finds that if we divide Americans into subgroups -- the normal, the overweight, and the obese -- we’ll find that calorie labels have had a large and beneficial effect on those who most need them...Deb and Vargas used an ingenious empirical strategy, exploiting county-level variations in the dates of implementation of calorie labeling laws to specify their effects. ... In all three subpopulations, men’s BMI was significantly reduced after the introduction of calorie labels. The reduction was largest among the obese, next largest among the overweight, and smallest for those with a normal BMI. For women, the effect was statistically significant only for those who were overweight.http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-19/calorie-counts-really-do-fight-obesity




20 Feb 2016: Trying Nestle La Cremeria. Confectionery news. Mcdonalds foodie blog! McDonald’s is starting to steal market share with all-day breakfast


Editor: Talking about food blogs, on ramen / instant noodles, there's the great blog by Hans Lienesch, The Ramen Rater: http://www.theramenrater.com/. Soon, I've to actively search for more great snack/fast/ready food bloggers! Readers, if you have any faves, please alert me too!



On Nestle and other chocolate confectionery


Editor: Just tried out something form Nestle La Cremeria range. Was actually looking for the Nestle Kit Kat cone, but out of stock. Ended up paying RM12 for something in Tesco RM10.95. Tasted quite nice, but they were quite mini (111 calories). Ingredients feature cocoa and milk products quite prominently (ingredients list: sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, palm oil, glucose syrup, cocoa mass, cocoa powder, wheat flour, colourings, emulsifiers, stabilisers, flavourings, salt).




http://eshop.tesco.com.my/en-GB/ProductDetail/ProductDetail/7071993932





Pictures of product labels by Khor Reports

This what Nestle has on its website on the product: http://www.nestle.com.my/brands/Ice_Cream/nestle_la_cremeria



Confectionery news:



  • 'Expand and expand': Magnum chocolate harbors global ambitions after premium refresh By Oliver Nieburg+, 10-Feb-2016 Unilever’s Magnum chocolate range has entered retail outlets across Western Europe after a recent rebranding and plans further global expansion, says contract manufacturer Kinnerton Confectionery http://www.confectionerynews.com/Manufacturers/Magnum-chocolate-unveils-expansion-plans-and-new-range 
  • Nestlé nutrition expert talks ‘difficult’ task of cutting sugar in confectionery By Oliver Nieburg+, 21-Jan-2016; KitKat maker Nestlé reports progress in reducing sugar across its confectionery portfolio but won’t reformulate to a lower threshold until sugar’s link to obesity and type 2 diabetes is substantiated. http://www.confectionerynews.com/Manufacturers/Nestle-says-cutting-sugar-in-confectionery-a-difficult-task
  • Mars to ditch all artificial colours from its entire global food portfolio By Niamh Michail+, 08-Feb-2016 Food giant Mars has pledged to phase out all artificial colours from its global food and drink portfolio in the next five years.

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Mars-M-M-s-free-of-artificial-colours


Useful food sector news links:



  • http://www.confectionerynews.com/
  • http://www.foodnavigator.com/Trends/Sugar-and-health




On McDonalds


Editor: Thanks to a WSJ feature, I found the McDonald's Foodie blogger - James McGowan. Links below. So, I've put extract of this review of the Japan chocolate fries (see 3 Feb below). Now, I'm just curious what are the ingredients in the chocolate sauce from McDonalds Japan! 



A McDonald’s Foodie Dishes on Chain’s Foreign Fare - James McGowan blogs about regional menu items; Singapore truffle fries are a hit, but Kuala Lumpur lychee pie is crummy http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-mcdonalds-foodie-dishes-on-chains-foreign-fare-1455851282?mobile=y


James McGowan, McDonald's Foodie blog: http://www.travellingmcds.com/


McChocolate Potato (マックチョコポテト) - Sapporo, Japan - February 2016

Consumed on 09 Febuary 2016
Location - McDonald's Ssukino Station, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Price - 60JPY = $0.53USD with combo purchase. 330JPY = $2.93USD ala carte.
Calories - 572kcal; http://www.travellingmcds.com/2016/02/mc-chocolate-potato-sapporo-japan.html#more

McDonald’s all-day breakfast is causing a crisis in the fast-food world by AKIN OYEDELE MARKETS FEB. 19, 2016; Sales at McDonald’s US locations open for at least one year rose for the first time in two years in the fourth quarter thanks to the company’s new all-day breakfast offering. And as competitors announce results, they’re admitting that McDonald’s is starting to steal market share. Read more at http://www.businessinsider.my/mcdonalds-all-day-breakfast-competition-2016-2/#1kwKpxqFq5sF5oez.99



18 and 19 Feb 2016: Nestle +4.2% on volume and +2% on price for 2015 revenue, sees similar in 2016 with softer pricing; Asia Oceania Africa zone rose +0.5%, India noodle sales recommence


Sales in the Asia Oceania Africa zone rose 0.5 percent in 2015. A recall of Maggi noodles in India resulted in that market’s first quarterly loss in 15 years...Nestle recommenced sales of one flavor, Marsala, in India in November, and added a chicken version this month, according to Martello. She said normally it would take about three years to return to pre-crisis sales levels, though she won’t let her team take that long.....  Nestle expects to conclude an agreement on a planned ice cream joint venture this year, and it will consider making acquisitions to help fill gaps... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-18/nestle-sales-rise-at-slowest-pace-in-six-years-on-asian-weakness


Nestle Sales Rise at Slowest Pace in Six Years on Asia by  Corinne Gretler February 18, 2016. KitKat maker forecasts similar revenue growth this year. CEO Bulcke says will be harder to raise prices in 2016...Revenue increased 4.2 percent on an organic basis, the Vevey, Switzerland-based maker of Nespresso coffee and Gerber baby food said in a statement Thursday. That matched analysts’ median estimate. The 150-year-old company trailed its target of about 4.5 percent.... The KitKat maker forecast organic sales growth this year in line with that of 2015, plus improvements in margins and underlying earnings per share in constant currencies. Nestle’s long-term average goal of 5 percent to 6 percent growth has been out of reach in half of the eight years that Paul Bulcke has been chief executive officer...Pricing boosted 2015 sales by 2 percentage points....  “We anticipate that our trading environment in 2016 will be similar to previous years with even softer pricing,” Bulcke said in the statement....http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-18/nestle-sales-rise-at-slowest-pace-in-six-years-on-asian-weakness



5 Feb 2016: On roti canai and croissants

Editor's note:I was talking to a KL school chum who related the story of his roti canai experience in Sydney. He said it felt "crazy" to queue up there to eat, but to his surprise it was better than any roti canai in KL! I asked an oil chemist who said it was likely better milk fat added. Indeed, my friend said the Sydney roti canai was "more flaky, like a croissant." I emailed the shop and had this reply: "our roti is hand made and cooked to order, using quality ingredients... and cooked with canola oil." 


source: Khor Reports' photo of value set breakfast eaten by your editor this morning (contact me, I'll let you know where!). RM2.50 for everything you see in the photo!


source: screenshot of menu page, http://mamak.com.au/menu/roti.html; "Roti canai A$6. The original roti. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside...."


4 Feb 2016: Yum news on Taco Bell mobile-phone app and Pizza Hut's US$5 value menu


Yum's Tops Profit Estimates After Taco Bell, KFC Sales Grow by  Leslie Patton  February 4, 2016; The results bring some momentum to a fast-food company that will soon be relying more heavily on domestic sales. Yum said in October that it would spin off its China business, in part to focus on reviving growth of its U.S. locations. Still, total revenue was lower than projected, hurt by slow growth at its Pizza Hut chain. ...Taco Bell, which is concentrated in the U.S., has had success recently with its mobile-phone application, which allows customers to pay and order ahead. The chain also is trying out delivery service and introducing new fare, including Fritos tacos, to the U.S. this year....Yum’s Pizza Hut division, meanwhile, is trying to appeal to value-conscious diners with its $5 menu. Its same-store sales inched up just 1 percent last quarter, missing the 1.5 percent gain that analysts had estimated....The company bowed to activist pressure last year and agreed to separate its China unit from the rest of its operations. The spinoff will make the Chinese business a franchisee of Yum in the country.... Yum gets more than 50 percent of revenue from China, but the country has brought challenges in recent years. In 2014, a supplier was accused of selling expired meat. Now, Yum is facing market turmoil and an economic slowdown in the Asian nation..... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/yum-brands-profit-exceeds-estimates-as-taco-bell-kfc-sales-gain


3 Feb 2016: Lui sha croissants in Singapore and McDonalds Japan chocolate fries

Editor: I forgot to mention that the NY baguette winner Maison Kayser also has a outlet in Scotts in Singapore. More on croissants for this posting. Please also refer to 15 Jan posting below on Nutella croissants in NY. I cribbed item below from the great Singapore-based economist-cum-foodie, Dr Song! I'm asking him about the price. Answer: S$6.50 each. Compare with New York Nutella croissant US$4.50/S$6.30 @1.40.

"Chef Andy has golden custard lava cake at Five & Dime (297 River Valley) and now Antoinette’s Chef Pang is doing golden custard croissant at his outlet at Penhas Rd. Although salted egg lava croissant is the HOT HOT item now, personally I still prefer a couple of good old lui sha bao any day. Hahaha. But I must say the freshly baked flaky buttery croissant with the generous smooth creamy-yet-not-too-runny molten liu sha is also very shiok. Best to fresh. I like the balance of sweetness & salted egg yolk mix. But super sinful treat! U rock Chef Pang! You have certainly add value to the plain old butter croissant with this sweet savoury pastry." Excerpt from Dr Song's facebook plus photo also from his page:

Link to Antoinette:

https://www.facebook.com/Antoinette-Penhas-152964444776785/ 




McDonald's Offers Japan Chocolate Fries While It Mulls Unit Sale by Monami Yui  February 3, 2016 


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/mcdonald-s-offers-japan-chocolate-fries-while-it-mulls-unit-sale



30 Jan 2016: Tesco Malaysia online shopping for tomato ketchup


Editor's note: Interesting to see the different options and prices. These are from Tesco Malaysia online, accessed this evening.



27 Jan 2016: Bloomberg - When Fast-Food Startups Strive to Improve the Way Communities Eat 


When Fast-Food Startups Strive to Improve the Way Communities Eat BY Lucas Shaw January 26, 2016; Locol, a new restaurant in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, aims to provide a financially strapped community with healthy, tasty, and inexpensive quick meals...Chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson conceived Locol as a new breed of restaurant chain, a bid to prove that food can be fast and delicious, affordable and healthy—all while feeding underserved communities. They opened the first branch of the chain in Watts, a relatively poor neighborhood saturated with unhealthy fast-food restaurants such as Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Burger King.... Burgers at Locol are served in a bun much thinner than what you'll find at Burger King, while the patty, a blend of beef, grain and soy, is thicker and loaded with protein. At $4, the burger also comes loaded with leafy greens; this isn't the thin slice of wilted lettuce you'd find in a Big Mac. It’s more, and it’s better. One fast-food staple you won't find on the menu is a carton of French fries. Instead, sides (or "yotchays'") include spicy corn chips, messy greens, and flatbread. No sodas, either. Those have been replaced with agua frescas, a blend of fruit, seeds, flowers, or cereals with sugar and water that is popular in Latin America.... 


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-26/locol-la-roy-choi-s-healthy-fast-food-startup-in-watts?cmpid=BBD012616_BIZ



25 Jan 2016: Nestle KitKat cones

Just had a rather good experience with these ice cream cones.  The ice cream part and chocolate parts certainly tasted superior to something I had yesterday from another maker. Bought in multi-pack in supermarket, I think a lot fresher than previous experience with buying it as a single cone.


 source: Tesco Malaysia website screenshot

Malaysia ingredient list: sugar (brown/white), vegetable oil & fat (palm, coconut, hydrogenated palm, illipe, shea), wheat flour, milk solids (cow's milk), cocoa powder, glucose syrup, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, colouring, emulsifiers (contain soya lecithin & E476), stabilisers (contain E500ii, E170), flavourings, yeast, salt. Containts emulsifiers, stabilisers as permitted food conditioner, contains permitted colouring, flavourings. All additives are of plant or synthetic origin. May contain traces; peanuts and other tree nuts.

Useful to compare with the UK Tesco website info for product country variation.





source: Tesco UK website screenshot


Also, came across Nestle's suggested recipe for DIY: Chocolate KIT KAT ‘n Cream Ice Cream



  • 1 tin NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk or 397 g
  • 600 ml whipping cream, UHT
  • 200 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 4 bars KIT KAT Chunky, chopped

http://www.nestle-family.com/kids/recipes/english/chocolate-kit-kat-n-cream-ice-cream_41663.aspx




23 Jan 2016: Baguette basics - flour, water, salt, and yeast. Commercial loaf can use 200 ingredients? 



Editor's note: Had a great chat with fats specialist a few weeks ago and we got to talking about a commercial bread loaf having some 200 ingredients nowadays. Notable that you don't get the dry mouth feel so much anymore, thanks to added ingredients, including those from palm oil. Fascinated to read about baguette competition, and that it's about how 4 key ingredients (and others) get put together.


Inside America’s First ‘Best Baguette’ Competition - And the winner is: carbs. by Rebecca Greenfield January 23, 2016; ... It takes just four ingredients to make a baguette: flour, water, salt, and yeast. The slender loaves generally come in at 55 centimeters to 65 centimeters long. A good baguette has a crisp, crusty outside and a holey inside; color and smell are important, too. A representative from Bien Cuit, a Brooklyn bakery, describes the difference between two variations of baguettes as if he were a gluten sommelier. The type of flour and fermentation time effects the way the bread tastes, feels, and even smells, he explains. Longer fermentation is better but harder to control. An older American couple lifts a slice to their noses. They can smell the difference, they say, before ripping the pieces apart with their teeth. ... In celebration, he smacks two baguettes together in the air. "When we break the bread, we say it sings like a bird," he says of his award-winning baguette, which you can find at Maison Kayser and 80-some outlets around the globe. (His loaf was crowned Best of New York in 2013 by the critics of New York magazine as well.) The two runners-up—Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bakery and Jerry Jan of Breads Bakery—were awarded a special Jury Prize, while Epicerie Boulud was anointed Most Original Bread (Raspberry Sourdough), Orwasher’s Bakery named Best Specialty Bread for their Levain Local, and Clemence Danko of Choc O Pain took a fan
award....  


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-22/inside-america-s-first-ever-best-baguette-competition-in-new-york




15 January 2016: Rising meat mountain - Darden expects meat costs to decline for a few years. America new dietary guidelines, data shows added fat calories rose +50% for 2000s vs 1990s, Nutella croissant @$4.25

Editor's note: Fascinating to see data that calories from added sugars peaked in America in 1999; pointing to the rise of sweeteners. But added fat calories rose tremendously, about +50% for 2000s vs 1990s.

Longest Cattle Rally Since 1960s Burger Boom Ends as Herd Grows by Megan Durisin and Lydia Mulvany, January 14, 2016; Americans eat more pork, poultry just as beef supply expands. Goldman sees further slide after price plunged most since 1981. A mountain of meat has ended the longest rally in U.S. cattle prices since at least the 1960s, when baby boomers and McDonald’s Corp. ushered in the American burger boom.... Not only have ranchers added to their herds, but consumers are being inundated with increased supplies of cheaper pork and poultry. Ground-beef prices are down from a record high 11 months ago, and buyers like Darden Restaurants Inc., owner of the LongHorn Steakhouse chain, expect to see costs for the meat decline for at least a couple years.... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/longest-cattle-rally-since-1960s-burger-boom-ends-as-herd-grows



The Most Beautiful, Addictive Croissant in New York Is Stuffed With Nutella - François Brunet’s take on the classic pain au chocolat is unreasonably delicious by Tejal Rao January 14, 2016; The Nutella croissant went on the menu at Épicerie Boulud just a week ago, and since then I’ve been finding all sorts of excuses to pass by and and pick some up. You can find them at the Plaza Food Hall, too, but finding them isn’t guaranteed: Only 60 or so are baked each morning ($4.25 each)....As it bakes, this dark shell gets superbly crisp, and each slash puffs open to reveal a pattern of swirls—even, precisely built layers of butter and rich, yeasted dough.... The edges are crackling and the insides tender, holding the scent of butter and chocolate—generous, sticky smudges of Nutella along with long, dark chocolate tablets. It's like any truly great pain au chocolat, just way more ostentatious, and unreasonably delicious... When it comes to croissants, he says, "I'm looking for flakiness, for layers, for something very airy inside. That's it."... Brunet is a fourth-generation baker, and his father still teaches baking back home in Brittany, France...http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/the-best-chocolate-croissant-in-new-york-is-at-epicerie-boulud 



How Americans Got So Fat, in Charts - The amount of calories we eat has jumped since the 1970s, and waistlines have grown accordingly by  John Tozzi January 7, 2016; Americans should eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while cutting back on added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat, according to new dietary guidelines published by the federal government Thursday. The guidelines, which influence school lunch menus and federal nutrition policy, also recommend eating more seafood in place of other proteins like meat, poultry, and eggs....  Our poor nutrition has contributed to a generations-long national weight gain. Today two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Half are afflicted with chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that can often be prevented with better diets.... We didn't get this way overnight. The average calories available to the average American increased 25 percent, to more than 2500, between 1970 and 2010, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's not like we added an extra meal to the day: Rather, an evolution in the type of foods we eat led to steady growth in calories......







6 January 2016: Bloomberg - Rethinking Food Delivery in America - Munchery is one of dozens of technology startups around the world trying to solve the challenge of mealtime planning with the tap of an app


How a Vietnamese Refugee Is Rethinking Food Delivery in America - Munchery CEO Tri Tran opens up about his harrowing journey to Silicon Valley. January 5, 2016  by  Brad Stone; .... Munchery is one of dozens of technology startups around the world trying to solve the challenge of mealtime planning with the tap of an app. GrubHub in the U.S., Just Eat in Europe, and Ele.me in China, to name just a few, all connect Internet users with restaurants and their takeout menus. Critics derisively call the proliferation of these businesses the “lazy food economy,” but Munchery is different. It cooks and delivers its own relatively healthy fare. The company is in four cities—San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle—operating industrial kitchens in each. One recent afternoon in San Francisco, chefs and their assistants, wearing white caps and long-sleeved smocks, toiled over trays of grilled salmon atop brown rice with edamame and sweet carrots ($10.99) and pork belly buns with hoisin sauce, shredded cabbage, and pickled daikon ($10.95).... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-01-05/how-a-vietnamese-refugee-is-rethinking-food-delivery-in-america?cmpid=BBD010516_BIZ

3 January 2016: Hong Kong trip observations, end December 2015

source: Khor Reports blog photo
Nissin has potato crisps with flavor same as their cup noodles. Spicy seafood crisps pictured above. Nissin Foods HK Cup Noodles page: https://www.nissinfoods.com.hk/eng/productList/search.do?pc_code=I602821651375172501713&pcId=22



source: Khor Reports blog photo
Chestnut milk drink featured milk and coconut milk (no palm oil / PKO products) - nice and festive!
Glico's Pocky sticks! About them: http://pocky.glico.com/history/. And here's google image search of ingredient listing (screenshot):



source: Khor Reports blog photo
About the Tsui Wah restaurant group: http://www.tsuiwah.com/business/restaurant/company_introduction/ and their top 10 dishes, http://www.tsuiwah.com/business/restaurant/brand_food/. We had the breakfast set which included the instant noodles with ham and abalone, eggs and (real) buttered toasted buns and HK milk tea. We went to the newly renovated Wellington Street branch, http://www.tsuiwah.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/wellington-1.jpg. Menu listing here (but breakfast sets are not shown here): http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/restaurant/central-tsui-wah-restaurant/menus/3837 


source: Khor Reports blog photo
At Sheung Wan's popular Sang Kee Congee Shop, beef with instant noodles and HK milk tea (heavy on condensed milk - I didn't have a chance to check ingredient listing for this in HK) in a breakfast set, which also comes with eggs and bread. I guess with the high cost in HK, there has to be a minimum ticket to each meal - it was pretty big, and good enough to share. Famous for its congee. Trip Advisor link: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurant_Review-g294217-d2719190-Reviews-Sang_Kee_Congee_Shop-Hong_Kong.html


source: Khor Reports blog photo


20 October 2015: Mcdonald's starts to offer all-day breakfast


Editor's note: Not sure about Southeast Asia.


Four Reasons McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Is A Headache for Franchisees - Breakfast sandwiches are cheaper than many of McDonald’s other burgers and chicken sandwiches, so by offering full-time breakfasts, McDonald's has essentially created a new lower-priced alternative to its lunch and dinner fare. In Chicago, for instance, an Egg McMuffin is $3.29, a Big Mac is $4.39, and a grilled chicken sandwich is $4.79. Hash browns also sell for 19¢ less than a small order of fries. If customers decide they want eggs for lunch instead of a burger, total sales figures will drop. "We are trading customers down from regular menu to lower-priced breakfast items," said a franchisee in the Nomura survey....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-19/four-reasons-mcdonald-s-all-day-breakfast-is-misery-for-franchisees?cmpid=BBD101915_BIZ;



4 August 2015: Checking out breakfast at Mcdonalds in Singapore. 


The cheapest set option is SGD 3 (the lowest price set in Malaysia would be RM 4;  SGD3=RM8.40 @2.80).  Tea comes with (real) milk and Rainforest Alliance Lipton tea bag. Note they use a canola blend oil on sat (saturated) fats health concerns and par frying is done with sunflower blend. Thus, Nuggets get 30 pct less sat fats.


source: Khor Reports blog, 4 August 2015 at Macdonalds in Singapore

Khor Maps: Looking at Batang Toru critical habitat for orangutans. Case studies done on 2.8 million hectares

21 Dec 2017: New orangutan species in Batang Toru, North Sumatra. Western flank has faced some (relatively weak) pressure from local community and logging.


Editor's note: A new orangutan species was discovered recently. A reader asked me if I had covered the area in map analysis. The orangutans live in the Batang Toru area. Please refer to a preliminary (in progress) review and comments below. The reported area is 1,100km2, but the area I looked at as least disturbed was something over 800km2 of  the western green zone (I didn't include the eastern green zone in analysis so far). Basically, with this kind of elevation and steep terrain, it is about smaller scale, local community expansion pressure; which has been relatively weak in comparison to elsewhere to the north and south. Terrain has helped to protect the orangutans in this critical habitat. The orange zones in the eastern part of the image are what I had already put in for first level analysis of in-use zones by 1984/85 for a study of 1 million ha of North Sumatra shown in my 20 Dec 2017 posting; and I could add most of those lilac demarcated hill farm zones as in-use by 1984/85 too. #Conservation

Source: KHOR Yu Leng, Khor Maps / Segi Enam Advisors Pte Ltd, Data: Google Earth

Note: New orangutan species described in Indonesia 07 Nov 2017, https://www.iucn.org/news/species/201711/new-orangutan-species-described-indonesia


21 Dec 2017: Rakhine economic map updated

From 21 Nov 2017: Update on Rakhine, Myanmar. I  attended an update on the Rohingya situation by Nurul Islam of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation. Humanitarian intervention sorely needed including Safe Zones. Questions included whether China could play a major role in peace keeping. The Belt & Road initiative aims to bring peace and prosperity. China has a major pipeline project in Rakhine that connects to Yunnan. I had a chance to annotate my GE map of Rakhine with updates from Mr Nurul. The green and white contours depicts elevation, and you can clearly see that the uplands form the natural boundary of Rakhine. Sittwe has hopes of access by river to India.

Source: KHOR Yu Leng, Khor Maps / Segi Enam Advisors Pte Ltd. Data: Google Earth and interview with Rakhine expert Mr Nurul Islam.

20 Dec 2017: Khor Maps: Case studies done on 2.8 million hectares 

Editor's note: I am happy to update you on map case study work. These include 300,000 ha and 1.5 million hectares in northern Peninsular Malaysia and 1 million hectares in North Sumatra. In the last year or so, I've been picking up on map data efforts, incorporating new data available. Years ago, in pre-feasibility site study work, I've worked on Merauke in (Indonesia) Papua, Mindanao, Cambodia, Laos, West Africa palm oil FDI projects and more. These included mapping conflict areas, ethno-linguistic customary zones (crossing several such areas in one concession can lead to heightened local community risks), salt water inundation of coastal zones, unexploded ordnance hot spots, arsenic poisoning areas and more.

Khor Maps has a large work plan for 10 millions of hectares in Jan-Mar 2018, so please stay in touch. Here's a work in progress on part of North Sumatra, reviewing old-use areas against current production zones:

I presented palm-rubber landscape analysis at the Institute of Social Studies in Paris in early October. There was a prelim showing in Malaysia a few weeks before that, and I have presented this to several senior industry experts in wood, palm and rubber industries with interests across the region and also beyond.