palm oil

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?

Bursa Malaysia crude palm oil futures fall on concerns over EU Parliament vote on RED II provisions Singapore (Platts)--17 Jan 2018

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.

Oil Resurrection Sets Stage for Another OPEC-Shale Clash in 2018 By Catherine Traywick , Heesu Lee , and Grant Smith December 29, 2017

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

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

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

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

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.

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                     

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

Malaysia - Minister: Palm oil export to Iran to grow by 40% under FTA 

Pakistan - PFA panel recommends banning banaspati ghee                   

India - Mention palm oil content on labels of food products 

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

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.

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

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...

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.

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

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,; and "European parliament draft inquiry into dieselgate has found EC ignored evidence of emissions test cheating" Also note that 30,000 to 40,000 new Volvo vehicles target to be railed from Volvo plant in China to Zeebrugge each year,; and China Geely taking a large stake in Malaysia's Proton (consolidating its two plants,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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


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

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.

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.

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...

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.

Malaysia grateful to France for rejecting ‘unfair’ palm oil tax 29 March 2017 -- Read more at

Indonesia, France talk about palm oil and aircraft industry by Anton Hermansyah, The Jakarta Post, March 29, 2017,

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.”

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....

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.

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

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.”....

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

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

Weak El Nino to Have Small Impact on Asian Crops This Year: MDA Weather By : Naveen Thukral | March 15, 2017

Global palm oil output likely to rise by 6 million tonnes 8 March 2017, Read more at

Malaysia strongly opposes EU parliament resolution on palm oil 15 March 2017 Read more at

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.

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

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 -- 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...

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)... -- 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.

Mistry sees CPO at RM3,000 BY P. ARUNA, 9 March 2017 - Price level based on likelihood of another El Nino, Read more at

Trump and a possible El Nino may confound palm oil market bears 6 March 2017 | Read more at

CPO output expected to surge this year BY P. ARUNA 11 March 2017

Malaysia, Indonesia Biodiesel Production Forecast to Rise in 2017 By : Emily Chow | March 07, 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

Australian leader to continue free-trade talks in Indonesia  by Rod McGuirk Associated Press Canberra | Mon, March 6, 2017

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  -

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...

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.

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.

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...

COMMENTARY: Who will benefit from Jokowi's land reform? Adisti Sukma Sawitri February 21, 2017

20 Feb 2017: Brazil and India news

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

  • 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

MPSO certification compliance timeline to be announced soon BY PARVIN RAJ MOHAN 17 February 2017

Pembayaran Subsidi Biodiesel Tertunda QAYUUM AMRI

Feb 17, 2017

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).

Indonesia Jan Exports Surge More Than Expected on 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...

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 :

Sime IPOs this year? BY YVONNE TAN 16 February 2017 Read more at

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, 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.

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

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.

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.

Bayu Mundur, Dono Dirut Baru Badan Pengelola Dana Sawit, Apa Kata Mereka? February 8, 2017 By Indra Nugraha, dan Lusia Arumingtyas, Jakarta

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.... 

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.....

Malaysia - Wee: Good China ties have boosted commodity prices 6 February 2017 Read more at

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

Malaysia - Palm oil exports to India set to grow 5%-10% BY AZIZUL AHMAD 8 February 2017

Thailand - Democrats urge use of LNG, palm oil for power plants 8 Feb 2017 

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

US withdrawal from TPP affects palm oil export target, says Mah 24 January 2017 Read more at

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

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.

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.

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....

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.)

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

Nutella maker defends palm oil 12 January 2017

M’sia willing to talk on CPO export duties with Indonesia BY ZUNAIRA SAIEED 16 January 2017

Catastrophic Thai floods expected to worsen as death toll rises BY REUTERS - 15 JANUARY 2017

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.

Endless flood trauma for Malaysians (policy questions) 12 Jan 2017 by S Gopinath

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 and Malaysia's monsoon floods seen crippling December palm supply - industry Dec 26, 2014

(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

Palm oil - will output recover in 2017, and send the rally into reverse?  3rd Jan 2017, by Mike Verdin

Malaysian palm oil price rises, closes with strongest annual gain in 6 years 31 December 2016

Indonesia's exports to still rely on primary commodities: HSBC by Winda A. Charmila, The Jakarta Post, January 3, 2017 --

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

The Chain: Dimensional Fund Advisors Divests From Some Palm Oil Positions to Mitigate Risks By GabrielThoumi on December 25, 2016

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 ( Newswire)

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

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

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.

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 ..

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 :

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.....

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.


Brent crude (ICE) $47.31.


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,

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 

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.

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....

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....…/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. 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

Environmental Group to File New Police Reports Against Riau Forest Burners By : Alin Almanar | September 03, 2016

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....

Rupiah’s Five Year of Losses Seen Ending by Top Forecaster  by  Lilian Karunungan  August 18, 2016

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....

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

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.





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”....

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.....





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.




BKPM Sets Up Team of Investment Officers Following Tax Amnesty Launch  By : Jihaan Risviani  | on 9:21 PM July 19, 2016

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.

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




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




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....



'Edible oil demand in India favourable on rising consumption' PTI | Jul 15, 2016

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



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

Malaysian palm oil price eases on lower China palm olein  15 July 2016

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.

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

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 ­­ 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.

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.

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.

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.

Palm Oil Stockpiles in Malaysia Seen Climbing as Demand Weakens by  Anuradha Raghu July 5, 2016

Soyabean oil recovers from Brexit punch By Sutanuka Ghosal, ET Bureau | Jun 28, 2016

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.

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....

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....

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.

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.

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

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......

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.

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. 


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...

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

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 - -- 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.

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

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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...


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

India's soybean area seen falling as farmers switch to pulses MUMBAI | BY RAJENDRA JADHAV  May 24, 2016

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....

Any need for self-sufficiency in edible oil? by ZIA BANDAYPublished: May 23, 2016...

Pakistan - Edible oil demands seen at 10-year low in upcoming Ramazan  By Erum ZaidiMay 28, 2016 .... 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.....

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.....

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....

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

April 20, 2016 

Newmont Hoping to Sell Entire Indonesia Stake to Private Group by Danielle Bochove April 22, 2016

Tax amnesty should be part of tax reform: Analysts by Ayomi AmindoniAyomi Amindoni Posted: Wed, April 13 2016

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

Jakarta plans to cut tax for firms to 20%  APR 12, 2016

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....

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.

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

Food sector news (update 7): Food safety issues in veg oils, Russia mulls tax on sugar and palm oil?

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.

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."

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...

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:

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.

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.".... 

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.

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

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.... 

News review in progress....

Malaysia - Industry players, Home Ministry discuss foreign worker levy 16 February 2016 - See more at:

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:

Issue of the day: RI strongly protests France’s palm  oil tax plan | Readers Forum | Sat, February 06 2016 - See more at:

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....

Malaysia to raise unfavourable palm oil report with Singapore BY JACK WONG 3 February 2016

Malaysia Palm Oil Reserves Shrink to 6 Month Low on El Nino by   Anuradha Raghu February 10, 2016

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....

India's Palm Oil Imports Rebound From First Decline in 12 Months by Pratik Parija February 12, 2016

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....

Analysts see ‘largely neutral’ impact of TPPA for plantation sector January 29, 2016 Read more:

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

Indonesian Growth Beats Estimates as Widodo Lifts Spending  Chris Brummitt   Rieka Rahadiana  Herdaru Purnomo February 5, 2016

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.

Malaysian Banker Nazir Razak Concerned about Country's Financial Future by Shamim Adam February 2, 2016

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

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.....

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

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.

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

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, and here's the posting on crude oil and macro: 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

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

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.

Malaysia Palm Output Seen at 10-Month Low, Trims Stockpiles by Anuradha Raghu

El Nino Is So Last Year, Here Comes La Nina to Bring Havoc by Eko Listiyorini  January 6, 2016

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....

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

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."

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....

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

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

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

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:


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

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.

Oil Palm Production Next Year May Drop 03 December, 2015

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:


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

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

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

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.

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.

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.


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


* 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.

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:


, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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……

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

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

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.

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....

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

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

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.

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

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

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....

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

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

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

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:

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

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:

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.

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)....

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

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

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.

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….

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:

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.

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:

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.

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

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

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.

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 ..

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

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 ...

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:

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

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:

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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:

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 /   | 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.

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.

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.

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

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....

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.

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

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.

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....

VSA cuts palm price hopes, citing big Indian stocks  15:36 UK, 4th Sept 2015, by  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.

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

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

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

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....

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.

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....

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

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

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.

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

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).


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:

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:

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....

 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


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:

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:

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

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,

, 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,

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

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

30-days price chart,

, 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

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


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...

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


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

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.

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....

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

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;


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....


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.

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....

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

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.

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....


  • USDA GAIN Report: Palm Oil Production-Supply-Demand Update Thailand, June 2015,
  • 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...

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:





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:


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...

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.''

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:

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.........

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

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.

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....

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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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. ....

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....

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)

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.”...

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....

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.

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 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............

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........

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........

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:

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:

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.

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.

22 April 2015:

Europe could ban trans fats?

European trans fat report 'could lead to ban' 15 April 2015 by Joyeeta Basu

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

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........

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.....

Corporate news: Fitch affirm ratings of GAR units, KLK raies RM1.6 billion multi-currency sukuk, Asahi Indofood's new beverage plant


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....

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...........

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.

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.....

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.”.........

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.....




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.....





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....

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.

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....

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....

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....

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...

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 /   | 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....

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....

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.

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....

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....

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.

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.

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...

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.....

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.....

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......

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.

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);

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...."

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.”

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....

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:
On supporting palm oil farmers with replanting, seeds, land titles:

Plantation corporate news: More headlines for Felda-FGV. Land deals questioned. Felda settler incentives and debt question.

Editor's note: Corporate news update for end April to mid July and early Sep to end Dec 2016 are available on customised; likewise for 2017 news. Updates here are on selected news only.

22 Dec 2017: More headlines for Felda-FGV. Land deals questioned.

Editor's note: Readers asked for follow-up on what transpired. There's been a lot of circulation of the recent land deals question in social media.

On corporate issues

Felda could lose RM200m Jalan Semarak land following 'dubious deal' By CHE WAN BADRUL ALIAS - December 21, 2017\

More dodgy land transfers for Felda, says report, 21 Dec 2017


  • Najib cannot wash his hands of Felda land scandal, says settlers’ group  24 Dec 2017 -- Mazlan said those involved in the Jalan Semarak land sale were still part of the Felda board of directors.
  • Deputy minister urges talks with company in shady Felda land deal  24 Dec 2017 -- The company had sold the land to itself for RM270 million and Felda did not receive a sen... Shahrir said Synergy Promenade was given the power of attorney on September 2, 2014 to develop the land on behalf of Felda Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of Felda. The Felda board of directors were only informed of the development  months later so that it they give backdated approval...
  • Felda scandal being used to divert attention from 1MDB, says Isa Samad’s former aide by Amin Iskandar 25 Dec 2017 -- "I am 100% sure that Isa Samad will be charged before GE14. It's to take away attention from issues like 1MDB, SRC and the money going into the prime minister’s accounts  ,” Zahid told The Malaysian Insight.   “Isa’s arrest is very important to Umno, Najib and Barisan Nasional as it will make people forget about the GST (goods and services tax), the scandals at Mara, Felcra, the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Johor exco,” said Zahid, who is now with opposition party Bersatu.

Newsbreak: FGV investigating overpriced Asian Plantations purchase, The Edge Malaysia December 18, 2017

FGV appoints Salmiah, Mohamed Nazeeb as directors  31 October 2017

Zakaria to resume duties as FGV CEO on Oct 16 By NST Business - October 9, 2017

MACC wrapping up probe on FGV’s ex-chairman Isa Samad September 12, 2017

Two FGV directors to remain despite stating wish to resign — Sulaiman by Sulhi Azman July 13, 2017

The rise and spectacular fall of Isa 25 Jun 2017 by joceline tan

Group calls for revamp of FGV’s board of directors June 24, 2017

On Felda settler incentives

Putrajaya, where’s the money, ask Felda settlers by Sheridan Mahavera  20 Sep 2017

Incentives prove govt's commitment to help Felda settlers 2 August 2017

Najib announces six incentives for Felda settlers 23 Jul 2017

Najib: Each Felda settler to get RM5,000 cash incentive 23 Jul 2017 Read more at

Najib hands out $510m to his Felda Malay vote bank JUL 24, 2017

Incentives futile as settlers’ debt too high, says association FMT Reporters | July 25, 2017

Najib’s RM1.6b wooing of Felda settlers wrong 25 Jul 2017

On Felda settler debts

Only 20 years to pay off debt, Felda tells settlers by Zulkifli Sulong, Diyana Ibrahim, Asila Jalil  25 Nov 2017

Felda settlers saddled with debts while replanting, says group  7 Aug 2017

Felda settlers deny being heavily in debt Bernama | July 23, 2017

Felda settlers owe almost RM5b in various debts  3 Apr 2017

Rafizi: Felda taking on debt to pay bonus to settlers 5 Jan 2017

23 Jun 2017: Najib administration sticks Ramadan deadline on FGV tussle - CEO has until noon to reply to show-cause letter; Isa voluntarily steps down and promoted to Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)

Editor's note: The first day of Eid is on Sunday

Zakaria has till noon today to reply to FGV’s show-cause letter by Adam Aziz/The Edge Financial Daily June 23, 2017 --  Instead of the 40 more days he asked for, suspended president and chief executive officer of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) Datuk Zakaria Arshad has only three more days to reply to a show-cause letter regarding alleged procedural improprieties at a subsidiary of the plantation group....

Govt confirms Sulaiman to head FGV, Isa to lead SPAD 19 June 2017 - The Government has confirmed that Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob will be acting chairman of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) with immediate effect from Monday while Tan Sri Isa Samad will be acting chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)...

13 Jun 2017: Escalating headlines on FGV - can this be resolved by the end of Ramadhan?

Editor's note: Issues at key plantation Malaysia GLC/SOE seen in escalating headlines on likely expanded investigation by SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission,, is on a rising trend with investigations; akin to but still in catch-up to the perceived independence of Indonesia's KPK - now in a tussle with Indonesia's Parliament). Although PM Najib appointed Idris Jala as independent reviewer, corporate observers immediately questioned his locus standi in relation to problems at a public-listed entity (see social media snapshot below; and this was acknowledged by PM Najib's key principles to resolving the crisis in Bernama report). KL observers will be eyeing the headlines at key UMNO-linked media (New Straits Times/NST and especially Malay language Utusan Melayu), and pro-Najib administration bloggers such as Raja Petra's Malaysia Today. Experts say to watch out for the breadth of investigations and concerns of how this affects FGV's Isa political positioning in the run-up to General Elections (a narrower investigation could trigger shifts, but a broader investigation may not meed PM Najib's hopes for the investigation to end by the end of the Ramadan month). Felda voters are the bulwark for UMNO-BN.

Source: Recent social media notes on editorial by The Edge Malaysia; with issues of legality and corporate governance also reflected here: "Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak outlined three key principles to resolve the crisis of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and wants the issue resolved in the month of Ramadan as well... "First, it (the investigation) must comply with company law. Second, it must be consistent with good governance and thirdly, the investigation process must go through a fair process," ... According to Najib, the appointment of former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent party to tackle the crisis hit FGV, is guided by three principles.... For now, he said, he was still negotiating with Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad to determine the future of FGV..." in Najib Garis Tiga Prinsip Selesaikan Kemelut FGV, Mahu Isu Diselesai Segera, KULAI, 10 Jun (Bernama) 

Source: NST front page, 13 June 2017

2 groups join calls urging FGV’s Isa to resign by Amin Iskandar Updated 30 minutes ago · Published on 13 Jun 2017 2:56PM FELDA Global Venture Holdings Bhd (FGV) chairman Isa Samad is facing more calls to resign the post amid an ongoing anti-graft investigation. Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Felda task force and Pertubuhan Peneroka Rakyat Malaysia (PPRM) today handed a memorandum to Isa, asking him to quit. “FGV has lost around RM13.4 billion since 2012 and Isa should resign for failing to manage FGV and Felda properly,” said Bersatu’s Felda task force chairman Wan Mohd Shahrir Wan Abdul Jalil.

Felda chairman to discuss FGV saga with PM tomorrow Updated about 5 hours ago · Published on 13 Jun 2017 10:41AM

Isa Samad juga akan dipanggil, Bagi memberi penjelasan kepada SPRM tentang kemelut FGV by Maszureen Hadzman 11 Jun 2017 3:00 AM  Artikel Penuh:
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

FGV: Lebih 50 individu akan dipanggil SPRM, Bantu siasatan melibatkan pengurusan tertinggi by Nazwin Nazri 13 Jun 2017 3:00 AM Artikel Penuh: © Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd,

Raja Petra Kamarudin –; various articles on FGV, e.g.

11 Jun 2017: Felda settlers - much to be grateful for 

Felda Sayong settlers still with Umno, FGV mess or not by Muzliza Mustafa 11 Jun 2017 11:00AM
And despite the issues surrounding FGV, the settlers The Malaysian Insight spoke to last night at Felda Sayong had this to say – they were grateful to Umno for all that they have done. "I paid RM1 and I got 10 acres of land nearly 40 years ago. The earning I receive I get to feed my eight children. If not for Umno I will not be having any of this," she said. The single mother from Felda Simpang Waha was among thousands of settlers who had attended the breaking fast event with Najib at Felda Sayong last night....

9 June 2017: FGV tussles - anti-corruption agency grabs files back to 2013, first-class flights, 'invisible hands' in procurement, Felda and the upcoming General Election etc.

Editor's note: NSTP carries negative headlines on Isa, but this is not present in Utusan Malaysia news headlines so far. Minor point, that ineligible family travel flights got a top executive dismissed at Malaysia Airlines (another Malaysia GLC/SOE). 

More witnesses, individuals to be questioned in FGV probe: MACC By FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR - June 9, 2017, One of MACC’s focus areas was on alleged abuse of power by the top official who had allowed FGV to foot his wife’s travels on first-class flights although she was not entitled to such benefits...

FGV tussle: MACC expected to probe six areas-- By ALIZA SHAH AND TASNIM LOKMAN - June 9, 2017 @ 11:38am KUALA LUMPUR: GRAFTBUSTERS looking into possible misconduct and abuse of power in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) are expected to probe into at least six areas that would warrant their attention. Sources from the government-linked company told the New Straits Times that it was clear at the end of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) eight-hour search in Menara Felda what the officers came for. The graftbusters, they said, took with them papers that would shed light on several “clearly contentious” issues, which the sources said were linked to, among others, one of FGV’s top officials. The documents, the NST was told, included those dating back to 2013.

'Stop appointing politicians to GLC posts' By ALIZA SHAH - June 9, 2017

Settlers group wants Isa to resign By NST - June 8, 2017

Isa should have resigned 'a long time ago', says Muhyiddin on FGV tussle By ARFA YUNUS - June 8, 2017

Government starts independent probe on FGV By TASNIM LOKMAN - June 8, 2017

What FGV needs is full audit probe, not Idris Jala by  Tony Pua, 9 Jun 2017

FGV tussle: Zakaria to get showcause letter once internal probe completed, says Isa By TASNIM LOKMAN - June 8, 2017

Zakaria: FGV’s board, too, should be accountable by Adam Aziz / The Edge Financial Daily June 07, 2017 -- Zakaria also said that he had not seen the irregularities found by FGV’s auditor PwC. “I haven’t seen PwC’s report [why I am implicated]. What are the specifics?” he said.
“As far as I know, PwC conducted a normal audit for the first quarter of 2017. We at the board meeting then unanimously agreed to look into a few irregularities in the audit report, which is a normal process. “But the subsequent meetings, [there were] three of them, were done without me being present,” he added. He said that Felda, as the largest shareholder of FGV, had requested for the matter to be managed within the business operations units of the company, and not the current corporate level. “I did not invite the press, nor did I leak my letter [to Isa] as people claimed I did. Now that the word is out, Felda is very concerned as it has affected FGV’s share price significantly,” he said....   Earlier, Zakaria told the media that any investigation in FGV should concentrate on the company’s procurement body. “On paper, our procurements may look great. But try to see beyond that, beyond the approvals. “Not all of the company’s procurements and purchases go through me. There are different levels [involved]. You have to also look at people who play the smaller roles … not forgetting certain ‘invisible hands’,” he said....The investigation is another blow to FGV, which is rife with allegations of poor management decisions. With the general election round the corner, FGV will need to provide a clearer picture soon lest the issue unsettles its biggest shareholder, who should be scrutinising its every move.

'Siapa undi Najib, dapat banyak' ('Who votes Najib, can get a lot') by Sinar TV  Published on 8 Jun 2017 Pengerusi Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV), Tan Sri Isa Samad berjenaka, siapa yang tetap menyokong kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mungkin boleh menikmati keuntungan FGV pada masa depan.

Zakaria is giving a good fight, expect more dirt to be revealed by Yoursay Published 8 Jun 2017 Read more:

6 June 2017: FGV CEO won't comply with chairman request to resign 

Editor's note: Adds to confusing earlier news swirling on FGV potential tie-ups with the likes of COFCO, Martua Sitorus and others; having already been linked to Eagle High at a group level. Various graft investigations on sturgeon and other deals. A journalist allegedly bribed by a former CEO on 30 May and charged within a week on 5 Jun.

Felda CEO won't comply with chairman request to resign - letter.  Reuters |  Published on June 06, 2017 -- A spokesman for Felda Global, the world's third largest palm plantation operator, said that the board had asked for Zakaria to take a leave of absence effective immediately. In the letter, dated June 5, Zakaria said he had been accused of wrongdoing in payments to a Afghan company that Felda Global had done business with. "The chairman has asked that I resign as president and FGV group chief executive due to accusations that I have violated corporate governance code," he said in the letter. "The payment process... was approved and implemented by the previous chief executive... I am not guilty of those accusations and will not resign as instructed."..

Suspended FGV CEO says he tried to stop 'ridiculous' investments 6 Jun 2017, 5:37 pm -- Amongst the investments, he said, was plans for a 100 million pound sterling (approximately RM551 million) expansion of Felda Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, a nano carbon company, which had already lost RM117 million in the last three to four years. "Now they (the FGV board) want to expand, they need another 100 million pounds. To me this is ridiculous, we're a plantation company," he was quoted as saying by The Star. Another investment, Zakaria said, was the plan to spend RM300 million to acquire a 30 percent stake in a creamer factory, owned by a company primarily involved in making cans...

MACC prepared to probe FGV for graft - Azam Baki June 06, 2017

FGV suspends group president and CFO 6 June 2017 --

Isa threatens to sue reporter over 'abuse of power' poser by Anne Muhammad  6 Jun 2017, 4:44 pm

The Star employee charged with receiving bribes from FGVH CEO 5 Jun 2017 -- An employee of The Star newspaper was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court this morning with receiving RM20,000 in bribes. M Youganesparan was accused of receiving the money from former Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah at The Intermark Hotel, Jalan Tun Razak about 9.15pm on May 30 this year.

Felda Global chairman says parent firm not involved in suspension of CEO Reuters |  Published on June 06, 2017

Shahrir hampa 'suara' FELDA dipinggirkan SELASA, 6 JUN 2017 - 9:38AM


Sturgeon-farming project: How Felda 5 beat the system By ALIZA SHAH - January 26, 2017

Felda firm's ex-CEO, director charged with CBT 2 Aug 2013

Indonesian Palm Oil's Stranded Assets: 10 Million Football Fields Feb. 15 2017, Gabriel Thoumi, Chain Reaction Research, - Four detailed case studies presented: Noble Group, Eagle High Plantations, Provident Agro and Tadmax.

Upcoming financial results, deforestation charge weigh on FGV 27 May 2017 Read more at

24 April 2017: Olam Gabon opens 90 tonne palm oil mill at Mouila

Gabon : Olam ouvre sa plus grande usine d’huile de palme sur le continent 13 avril 2017 Par Jeune Afrique avec AFP -- Régulièrement accusé de favoriser la déforestation, le géant singapourien de l'agro-alimentaire Olam a annoncé avoir ouvert le mardi 11 avril au Gabon sa plus grande usine d'huile de palme en Afrique. « D’une superficie de 17 hectares, l’usine permettra de traiter 90 tonnes métriques de régimes de palmier par heure et de produire 138 700 tonnes métriques d’huile de palme par an », détaille un communiqué de la multinationale singapourienne.

Ali Bongo a inauguré l’Usine d’huile de palme d’Olam à Mouila

Gabon context:
  • Olam and Mighty Earth agree to collaborate on Forest Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture in Highly Forested Countries Washington D.C., February 21, 2017
  • Olam to pause land clearing in Gabon in truce with Mighty Earth February 22, 2017 by ANDREA SOH
  • Gabon court upholds Ali Bongo election win 24 September 2016 -- President Bongo won August's election by just 6,000 votes but the opposition says the poll was rigged. Following the court ruling, President Bongo called for a "political dialogue" with the opposition.
  • Olam Pushes Farms in Africa Oil Producer to Stem Income Fall by Pauline Bax July 6, 2016
  • Gabon aims to cut yawning poverty gap by ending its dependency on oil -- With a third of its citizens below the poverty line, the African country urgently needs to diversify and is banking on palm oil production to create rural jobs -- Ruth Maclean in Libreville Tuesday 16 August 2016
  • Gabon Trying to get past oil, One African country’s struggle to diversify Aug 6th 2016
  • Gabon looks to Asia to diversify economy By AFP 26 August 2016 -- Since coming to power in 2009 after the death of his long-ruling father Omar Bongo, the president has courted Asian investment to the point that former colonial power investor France has been somewhat sidelined as a favoured investor.

11 Mar 2017: Indonesia concession maps win for NGO, Wilmar-Amnesty, FGV closes 4 mills and a refinery,  illegal plantations

Indonesian Supreme Court orders Jokowi administration to hand over palm oil permit data - 10 March 2017 / Philip Jacobson -- Forest Watch Indonesia has been trying to force the Ministry of Land and Spatial Planning to release in full the maps of oil palm companies' concessions, known as HGUs. The Supreme Court's decision hands the NGO a victory in its freedom of information request, launched in 2015.. Once it receives the hard copies of the documents, FWI will scan and upload them on its website.. Forest Watch Indonesia, an NGO, has won its freedom of information request.

Palm Oil Giant Denies Covering up Labor Abuses in Indonesia By : Beh Lih Yi | March 08, 2017 -- Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday that Wilmar — the world's largest palm oil processor — had asked its workers to sign a document to deny the investigation findings during a recent meeting with trade union representatives. Wilmar rejected the claim and said the union representatives had "voluntarily" signed the letters as "a show of support" to the company.

FGV earnings down, closing 4 palm oil mills, 2 rubber factories, 1refinery BY AFIQ ISA 1 March 2017 Read more at

National park fights back against illegal plantations by Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post

10 Feb 2017: Indonesia wins cases against companies but none have paid fines or compensation, FGV, Sime Darby and other news

FGV: KPF share sale a non-issue BY AFIQ ISA 9 February 2017 Read more at

Malaysia's Sime Darby to Spin off Plantation, Property Businesses By : Emily Chow | on 9:00 AM January 27, 2017

CB Industrial group files RM8.4mil claim against TDM subsidiary BY M. HAFIDZ MAHPAR 9 February 2017 Read more at

Indonesia - Government wins in forest fire case by Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Thu, February 9, 2017 -- In the fight against deforestation and forest fires, the Environment and Forestry Ministry is on a winning streak, with the courts ruling in favor of the government in cases against companies. Still, the enforcing of penalties remains weak.... In its latest victory, the South Jakarta District Court found palm oil company PT Waringin Agro Jaya (WAJ) guilty on Tuesday of illegally starting a forest fire to clear land in Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra. The court ordered the company to pay Rp 466.5 billion (US$35 million), Rp 173.5 billion of which will serve as compensation for the burning of 1,626 hectares of land in its land concession and another Rp 293 billion to cover the rehabilitation cost for the burned land. The fine was lower than the ministry’s demand of Rp 754 billion.... However, none of the companies have paid the fines or compensation. The ministry’s law enforcement director general, Rasio Ridho Sani, acknowledged that it was a challenge for the ministry to enforce verdicts. It takes time for verdicts to be enforced because the ministry has to wait for the official record of the verdict to be available, which can take months to more than a year. Moreover, there is no standard operating procedure for the enforcement of forest-related rulings. The ministry is pushing for the Supreme Court to issue a regulation on its judges to help with the enforcement of penalties....

4 Jan 2017, 31 Dec 2016: Felda-Eagle High Plantations deal in the news

Editor's note:  300,000ha of planned new plantings is reported. By regulation planting should start within 3 years as land bank only can be kept for 3 years, and after 3 years it will be given back to the government. This rule is regarded as better implemented than before, but it may not be as strict as we think, so long as there is progress to show.

Feature story in The Edge Malaysia weekly, 3 Jan 2017 issue
While Eagle High's planted area is 125,000ha, its total land bank is more than 400,000ha. Even though the US$505.4 million price takes into account only the 125,000ha that are already planted, the green light has already been given for the planting of some 300,000ha....; mentions PT EAGLE HIGH PLANTATIONS TBK

EPF not to be blamed for leaving FGV BY M. SHANMUGAM  3 January 2017

FAQ: The Felda - Eagle High Plantation deal 25 DECEMBER 2016 Read More :

Strategi Besar FGV Pasca Pembelian Saham 37% Eagle High Plantation 26 Dec 2016 by  Qayuum Amri -- Post this acquisition, FGV will have access to manage 287 thousand hectares of land ...

Felda says 'no' financial burden from US$505m Eagle High stake buy By Chong Jin Hun /   | December 31, 2016

Felda secures Malaysian govt financing for Eagle High stake purchase  Dec 28, 2016

FGV continues dip after Felda's US$505.4m Eagle High buy By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | December 29, 2016 On Dec 23, FIC Properties Sdn Bhd (FICP) inked a sale and purchase agreement with PT Rajawali Corp to acquire a 37% stake in Indonesia-listed Eagle High for US$505.4 million (RM2.26 billion).... Initially, FGV was to purchase the stake but talks ended following the advice by its bankers, JPMorgan and Bank of America, to opt out of the deal as the then US$680 million price tag was seen as too high for the 37% Eagle High stake.... The latest acquisition by FICP has stirred analysts and critics who claim that the deal was too expensive and would not derive synergy as Felda does not have a controlling stake in Eagle High.

Felda secures Malaysian govt financing for Eagle High stake purchase By Reuters / Reuters   | December 29, 2016

No synergy seen in Felda’s Eagle High buy By Sangeetha Amarthalingam & Chester Tay / The Edge Financial Daily   | December 29, 2016

Palm oil deal embroiled in Malaysian politics  DECEMBER 30, 2016 by: Jeevan Vasagar

Felda-Eagle High deal slammed for profiting Indonesia's Rajawali 29 Dec 2016 -- PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man pointed out how Indonesian billionaire Peter Sondakh, who owns Rajawali Group, had purchased shares at EHP for 400 rupiah per share. It was estimated that Rajawali Group had spent US$570 million to acquire a 68.6 percent stake in EHP. Read more:

Rafizi poses questions to PM on Felda-Eagle High Plantations deal Read more:

News update for 6 Sep to come 30 Dec customised.

5 Sep 2016: PTPN III prepares strategies, Wilmar helps smallholders, Malaysia peatland policy

PTPN III prepares strategies to reverse poor situation Jakarta | Thu, August 25 2016 -- It became a holding company in October 2014 and now manages 13 state-owned plantation firms. 
In the first six months of 2016, it already reported a net loss of Rp 823.43 billion (US$62.14 million) that was deeper than the Rp 529.95 billion net loss it posted last year.
“Our losses were mostly caused by sluggish productivity in our oil palm and rubber plantations,” PTPN III president director Elia Massa Manik said in a briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Elia attributed the sluggish productivity to mature oil palm trees, low commodity prices and mismanagement, especially on rubber plantations.
PTPN III’s plantations are dominated by oil palm trees that cover 57.5 percent of the area, followed by rubber trees that cover 19.53 percent and other plants that take up the remaining parts.

Wilmar helps smallholders gain sustainability certificates Jakarta | Wed, August 24 2016

Malaysia challenges the world over palm oil on peatland by Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post in Kuching, Serawak, Malaysia | Wed, August 24 2016 --

News update for 29 Jul to 4 Sep customised.

29 July 2016: Some sugar growers reject Wilmar, Sime Darby mill cleared, NGO calls on Liberia to prevent the export of tropical timber from plantation concessions, Felda investment - Rajawali deal  

Australia - Majority of Burdekin growers reject Wilmar offer 28 July 2016  -- Burdekin growers have put forward a united front, with majority in the region choosing to reject Wilmar's Cane Supply Agreements (CSA) for 2017, according to local press reports. It has been an uphill battle between growers and millers since Wilmar

Australia - Sugar industry re-regulation slammed by Productivity Commission 25 July 2016  -- A draft report on the way forward for farm businesses burdened by regulation has reignited a bitter feud in Australia's sugar industry by recommending new sugar marketing laws be scrapped, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Adani Wilmar to diversify into value-added food business - Adani Wilmar plans to tap overseas markets, including China and Malaysia, with its value-added oil and food products Jul 29 2016

Sime Darby’s Ulu Remis Palm Oil Mill Cleared for Operations -- Kuala Lumpur, 27 July 2016 - Sime Darby Plantation yesterday received a letter from the Department of Environment, Johor, reinstating the license to operate its Ulu Remis Palm Oil Mill in Johor.

Take action against errant industries BY DEBBIE INJAN ANAK ANDREW JUMAT - 23 JULY 2016 -- According to the Department of Environment, the total water pollution sources (both point sources and non-point sources) in 2006 is 19.7 per cent in Johor and this region has a high oil palm density. Recently, there were water disruptions in Johor due to Sungai Johor being polluted with high ammonia content. This was detected on July 12 by the state authorities. It rendered the water unfit for human consumption. The pollution forced the temporary shutdown of three water treatment plants: Sungai Johor, Semanggar and Tai Hong. The temporary shutdown of these plants affected 120,000 accounts in the southern part of Johor, not to mention the impact on the river ecosystem....This is the second case after an illegal waste-processing factory was charged for dumping waste into the river last year....Since the 1970s, Malaysia has regulated industrial effluents, including those from the palm oil industry. The Environmental Act 1974 prohibits the discharging of effluents into the river to protect our water sources.  Read More :

“Liberia’s Rainforests In Danger” 07/27/2016 By William Q. Harmon -- SDI says the country’s forests are under renewed threats from what it termed as Conversion Timber/Logging, which the government is on the verge of introducing – and has the potential to destroy the country’s remaining rain forests....At a ceremony over the weekend where the SDI presented a petition to government, SDI disclosed that the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has developed regulations that would enable large-scale timber extraction in agricultural concession areas for export. SDI believes this will further exacerbate the threats from the oil palm sector...At present, commercial logging and timber export are banned. Were government to permit the sale of timber from the legal clearing of forests for oil palm concessions, this would simplify the laundering of illegal timber and drastically increase the pressure on the country’s forests.... However, SDI has been joined by 50 international holders of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize calling on the government to prevent the export of tropical timber from plantation concessions....   

Felda investment unit, Rajawali likely to ink stake deal soon BY AFIQ ISAandIZWAN IDRIS 28 July 2016 -- PETALING JAYA: An investment unit of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) may sign an agreement for the acquisition of a significant stake in Indonesian planter Eagle High Plantations Tbk. According to sources, representatives from the Rajawali Group and Felda may be meeting in Jakarta next week for a signing ceremony to conclude the deal, which has been over a year in the making and has undergone several iterations. ...

Stock With Momentum: Felda Global Ventures Holdings By Asia Analytica / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 26, 2016 

PM: Children of Felda settlers in Klang Valley proof of social mobility BY KAMLES KUMAR

Affin Hwang lowers IOI Corp earnings forecast 22 July 2016

RAM Ratings reaffirms Batu Kawan RM500m debt notes 25 July 2016

US investors ploughing billions into palm oil, claims report - Friends of the Earth warns investors they could be unknowingly contributing to deforestation and land grabs, and calls on them to show leadership Oliver Milman 26 July 2016

Failure of Indonesia’s palm oil commitment ‘not bad news’ [commentary] 27 July 2016 / Commentary by Scott Poynton Scott Poynton is the founder of The Forest Trust (TFT), an international non-profit that works with corporations to address environmental challenges. In this editorial, Poynton says there is “no time for NGO Handwringing: IPOP was a distraction. Its demise is not bad news”. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

26 July 2016: Oxfam - 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands, COFCO-Chinatex Merger, South Africa collusion case and more

This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands by Kate Ryan -- Credit: Oxfam International. Just when you think there’s no end to the diversity of junk food lining supermarket aisles, an insanely detailed infographic comes along to set us all straight. Out of the hundreds of products at our disposal, only ten major corporations manufacture the bulk of what we toss in our shopping carts. So whether you’re looking to stock up on anything from orange soda to latte-flavored potato chips, Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's, and Unilever own just about everything you could hope to buy. It seems that six degrees of separation theory has been proven after all, if only because we all drink Diet Coke every now and then. In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the “Big 10” food and beverage companies. Unlikely ties between brands we largely don’t associate with one another show how easy it is to be misinformed about the American food system. For example, PepsiCo produces Quaker granola bars, and Nestlé makes Kit Kat bars but also frozen California Pizza Kitchen pies. To the surprise of many, Pineapple Fanta isn’t sourced straight from the mythical Fanta Islands, but canned right alongside Barq’s root beer at the Coca-Cola factory....

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....The term ABCD refers to the companies that dominate global grain trading, serving as middlemen between farmers and buyers. The groups are ADM Co, Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc from the United States, and the Netherlands-based Louis Dreyfus SAS. Chinatex, one of the nation's main textile and grains trading groups, will become a subsidiary of COFCO, the country's biggest food trader after the merger, the SASAC said on its website, indicating that the central government would push further ahead with its efforts to restructure State-owned enterprises this year.....

Weak output, heavy levies to slam Bumitama Agri’s Q2 profits Staff Reporter, Singapore Published: 22 Jul 16 - See more at:


An Investor’s Look At The Financial Performance Of Wilmar International Limited And First Resources Ltd By Lawrence Nga - July 21, 2016

What Investors Should Know About Malaysian Palm Oil Company: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad  By Lawrence Nga - July 20, 2016

Is Wilmar’s second-quarter loss a harbinger for the sector? Singapore-based agricultural trader cites flooding in Argentina and volatility in soyabean prices by  Emiko Terazono

PPB Group falls after Wilmar profit warning  20 July 2016

Soy, sugar rallies wrong-foot Wilmar, which plunges into rare loss  19th Jul 2016, by Mike Verdin

Wilmar shares recover, a little, after worst fall since 2012  20th Jul 2016, by

Sime Darby Hudson Knight signs consent agreement over collusive conduct BY MARK ALLIX,  20 JULY 2016

Sime Darby and Unilever operated a cartel in South Africa by Will Green news editor of Supply Management

Brexit impact on Sime Darby’s Battersea development limited By Affin Hwang Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 18, 2016

Malaysian Government Studying Sri Lanka, Sime Darby's Plantation Worker Requests From R. Ravichandran

Govt to study request for Lankan workers BY ZULKIFLI ABDUL RAHMAN IN COLOMBO 22 July 2016

Cargill latest to drop IOI Corp as palm oil supplier after RSPO suspension By Supriya Surendran /   | July 19, 2016

Cargill suspends new purchase agreements with Malaysian palm oil giant IOI 18 July 2016 / - Under pressure from civil society, IOI’s customers attempt to clean up their palm oil supply chains.

Affin Hwang lowers IOI Corp earnings forecast 22 July 2016 - o recap, IOI submitted a status update of its quarterly progress report on June 27 and is now awaiting an official reply from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Complaint Panel on its application to lift the certification suspension.  “The decline in market capitalisation since March seems disproportionate to the potential financial impact. A positive outcome on its application hence is expected to result in a share price rebound, in our view,” it said.

Worst may be over for Sime Darby’s, but upturn yet to be seen  July 16, 2016 -- As for Sime’s plantations business, it noted that Sime is leading in sustainability compliance and it believed risk of non-compliance is low. “As at end-2015, 100 per cent of its Malaysian upstream and downstream business units, and 96 per cent of its Indonesian upstream and 77 per cent of downstream business units are RSPO-certified. “All of NBPOL’s upstream operations (including all smallholders) and its downstream unit In Liverpool are also RSPO-certified. SIME now supplies approximately 20 per cent of the global CSPO market. “In plantation development, the group complies strictly with RSPO Principles & Criteria (RSPO P&C); Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes; and Social & Environmental Impact Assessments (SEIA) standards. Development in High Conservation Value (HCV) areas is avoided and a Zero Burning Policy has been implemented since 1985,” it explained.

LIBERIA: Sime Darby’s Response to The Inquirer’s Article  July 26, 2016 Cholo Brooks -- Monrovia, 26 July 2016 – In reference to the article published in The Inquirer on July 25th headlined “Sime Darby Given 14 days Ultimatum” , Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) would like to inform all our stakeholders who have been assisting  us and the communities in this matter , that SDPL has received a letter from the communities  that is in substance the source of the story published in The Inquirer . The letter was signed by Eshmeal H. Pusah, Sr . and Jefferson V . Paasewe, claiming to be, respectively,  new Secretary and new Chairman of the Project Affected Community . The letter was also signed by 65 residents of the 15 townships which are part of the 17 project affected communities (P AC). SDPL takes seriously the concerns raised by the community , and that is why SDPL established the independent multi-stakeholder crop compensation investigation on process that would review the evidence and make recommendations on how best to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, SDPL seeks to set the record straight.....

IMOIIMAX tanker Stena Imagination is delivered in International Shipping News 16/07/2016 -- The MR tanker Stena Imagination has been delivered from the Chinese shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International). The vessel is jointly owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and Indonesian Golden Agri Resources (GAR) and is the seventh of a total of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers ordered by Stena Bulk. She will be operated by Stena Weco and sail in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs about 60 vessels.

GAR Podcast: The challenges of achieving traceability, access to markets and sustainability targets for smallholders farmers -- Ian Welsh from Innovation Forum talks to Anita Neville, Vice President, Corporate Communications and External Affairs at GAR about the challenges of achieving traceability, access to markets and sustainability targets for smallholders farmers. Listen to the podcast here.

Eye on stock; Felda Global Ventures BY K.M. LEE 16 July 2016

Renewed buying interest emerged in Felda Global, says AllianceDBS Research By /   | July 18, 2016

Agenda to develop Felda, nation remains as govt’s top priority, Najib says - See more at:

19 July 2016: United Plantations labour contractor issue in the news

Worker attempts suicide, PSM and firm resolve 'misunderstanding' 14 Jul 2016 -- A worker tried to hang himself last month after claiming that a Perak plantation firm he worked for was withholding his wages. The worker was rushed to hospital and a police report was lodged by PSM against United Plantations (UP) on Monday. However, after a meeting with UP in Teluk Intan on Wednesday, PSM deputy chairperson M Sarasvathy said there was a "misunderstanding"....    

PSM, Plantation Firm Resolve 'Misunderstanding' Over Worker's Unpaid Salary Claim by Ivy Chang | 15 July 2016 -- PETALING JAYA: Parti Sosialis Malaysia and United Plantations have resolved a misunderstanding over a worker who tried to hang himself last month after reportedly claiming that the plantation firm he worked for was withholding his wages. After a meeting with UP in Teluk Intan on Wednesday, PSM deputy chairperson M Sarasvathy told news portal Malaysiakini there was a "misunderstanding". "The meeting was attended by top level management of UP who explained to us that there has been a misunderstanding, as the worker’s wages were fully paid up.... "However, the management agreed to resolve the complaints and claims raised on behalf of the worker in relation to his employment under a contractor." The worker, B Kannan, an Indian national was rushed to hospital after the suicide bid and PSM had lodged a police report against the plantation firm on Monday. The worker was also "overjoyed" with the outcome, she said.... UP head manager C Mathew said while the suicide attempt was "unfortunate", Kannan had problems with absenteeism and this disqualified him for gratuitous payment. "UP is known to respect and take care of its workers which it will continue to do as it has done in the past. "However, we can’t reward and pay workers who are absent and unproductive... that would be unfair to the many hardworking and productive workers in our company." He said the company was thankful Kannan survived the suicide attempt and would ensure his safe return to India. He added that the company would give him ex-gratia payment for his emotional distress....

17 July 2016: Indofood, Golden Agri Resources  to become world leaders, GVL says no timber sales from concession area

Provident Agro to divest oil palm units ahead of moratorium July 14 2016 -- In the wake of the government’s plan to impose a moratorium on new oil palm plantation licenses, publicly listed plantation firm Provident Agro has announced a plan to sell millions of shares in four subsidiaries for up to Rp 2.7 trillion (US$206.1 million) in an effort to provide more capital to finance its operations and future expansion.  The company, jointly owned by investment firms Saratoga Sentra Business and Provident Capital Indonesia, will sell its shares in West Kalimantan-based firms, namely Global Kalimantan Makmur (2.2 million shares), Semai Lestari (100,000 shares), Nusaraya Permai (40,000 shares) and Saban Sawit Subur (200,000 shares)....Provident Agro currently possesses 12 plantations in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi and seven mills with a total capacity of 285 tons fresh fruit bunches (FFB) per hour. This year, the company aims to produce 500,000 tons of FFB and 200,000 tons of crude palm oil (CPO), an increase of 11 and 63 percent compared to last year, respectively. ....Provident Agro was among the major plantation companies that were allegedly responsible for the destruction of 2.61 million hectares of forest and peatlands in Sumatra and Kalimantan last year. According to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the incident resulted in the deaths of 21 people, while another 500,000 suffered from respiratory problems as a consequence of a five-month-long choking haze. As a result, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently instructed the Environment and Forestry Ministry to end the entire process for the issuance of new palm oil permits. A presidential regulation has been prepared to form the legal basis for the moratorium, which will also proscribe the existing idle concessions to be cultivated once the regulation is in place.


GLC-linked palm oil mill ordered to close over river pollution  15 July 2016 -- A palm oil mill belonging to a government-linked company in Ulu Remis here has been ordered to close for 60 days pending cleaning up of effluent discharge that could have caused high ammonia content in Sungai Johor..... He said the Department of Environment (DOE) received a report from Syarikat Air Johor on Monday and an investigation was conducted before the possible source of the pollution was identified on Thursday. "DOE officers and company personnel spotted an overflow from the drainage where effluents flow from the mill. "This could have caused the pollution," he told reporters during a surprise site visit to the mill Friday. The high ammonia content in the river forced the closure of three treatment plants, causing a major water disruption that affected some 600,000 consumers in the southern part of Johor.

Sungai Johor Ammonia Pollution Issue -- Kuala Lumpur, 16 July 2016 - With reference to recent statements quoted in the media, Sime Darby Plantation would like to clarify the following:  The Company has been cooperating with the authorities including the Department of Environment, Badan Kawalselia Air Johor and Syarikat Air Johor since Wednesday, 13 July 2016. Our checks have shown that there was no physical evidence of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) being the cause of contamination....

GLC-linked palm oil mill ordered to close over river pollution  15 July 2016 -- A palm oil mill belonging to a government-linked company in Ulu Remis here has been ordered to close for 60 days pending cleaning up of effluent discharge that could have caused high ammonia content in Sungai Johor..... He said the Department of Environment (DOE) received a report from Syarikat Air Johor on Monday and an investigation was conducted before the possible source of the pollution was identified on Thursday. "DOE officers and company personnel spotted an overflow from the drainage where effluents flow from the mill. "This could have caused the pollution," he told reporters during a surprise site visit to the mill Friday. The high ammonia content in the river forced the closure of three treatment plants, causing a major water disruption that affected some 600,000 consumers in the southern part of Johor.

Australia - Wilmar raises 2016 crop outlook Published: 12 July 2016

Tensions high as Wilmar and growers discuss agreement Emily Smith | 12th Jul 2016

Letter: Wilmar not sweet with growers  Jul 12 2016 -- Agribusiness group Wilmar is up to its old tricks – making public comments that it is complying with the Queensland Sugar Industry Act, but again putting contracts on the table that are designed to frustrate real competitive choice and treating sugar cane growers like fools. They have put some innovative ideas around pricing and financial packages for growers, but they are frustrating choice.

Letter: Wilmar responds to Canegrowers' claims Jul 14 2016

Wilmar emerges winner among unfancied upstream players By Gwyneth Yeo /   | July 13, 2016

Why Have Wilmar International Limited’s Shares Lost 36% In Value In 5 Years? By Lawrence Nga - July 11, 2016

Indofood, Golden Agri Resources Rise as Global Challengers: BCG By : Sarah Yuniarni | on 5:20 PM July 09, 2016 - Indofood Sukses Makmur, the world's largest instant noodle maker and Golden Agri Resources, the world's second-largest palm oil plantation company, are tipped to follow fellow Indonesian company Wilmar International to become world leaders in their respective business, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group

BRIEF-CFTC fines Golden Agri International for failing to report cash positions  Jul 11, 2016 1:16pm EDT

CFTC Orders Golden Agri International Pte Ltd. To Pay $150,000 For Failing To Report Cash Positions  11/07/2016

Sustainable Development Goals and the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP) - Part 2 Lim Shu Ling | 14 Jul 2016

LIBERIA: GVL Strongly Rejects SDI’s Erroneous Assertion July 11, 2016 by  Cholo Brooks Blog -- It has repeatedly asked the FDA and SDI for guidance on what is legally permissible in order to help the community maximum value from its land. Based on feedback from the FDA following our request for clarity, GVL has advised the community that they will not be able to extract timber for their own business purposes.GVL wishes to reiterate that it has been open and transparent from the outset in this matter and has fully complied with the advice and requests it has received from FDA throughout. GVL has never sought to sell timber for commercial purposes, either in Liberia or for export, and has complied at all times with its own No Deforestation policy commitments’...

Liberia: GVL Rejects Media Report 12 JULY 2016 Golden Veroleum Liberia strongly rejects the suggestion that it had applied for "a permit to allow logging for export in its Concession Area" as suggested in the Front Page Africa article of 11 July 2016 titled "Liberia's Forest in Danger - International conservationists Alarm"...

Indofood gets a taste of Turkey with expansion plans underway 13/07/2016 Indonesia’s largest food producer, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk or better known as Indofood has been trying to tap into the European market via its first stop, Turkey. It all started since 2014, where food giant set up a factory in the highly-populated country of a 78 million population and it’s said to be one of Indofood’s biggest markets now. Anthoni Salim, chief executive of Indofood told local reporters during his recent press conference at the company’s headquarter in Jakarta that – Turkey is seen as a bridge to enter the EU. Financial Times reported that the FMCG giant’s target is to increase its global business to 15% by penetrating the global halal food market. In its home country Indonesia, the company dominates with a 10% market share in the FMCG pie, accounting for 70% of the domestic noodle market. This contributes about 65 percent of its revenue. The company has been reportedly targeting emerging markets like Turkey, includ across the Middle East and Africa in spreading their influence plus branding overseas.

9 July 2016: Corporate news update 

Palm Oil Giants In Indonesia Backtrack On “Zero Deforestation” Pledge: What It Means For Investors? By Stanley Lim Peir Shenq, CFA - July 7, 2016

Palm Oil Still the Gold Standard: Minamas. Palm oil company Minamas Plantation, a local arm of Malaysia's conglomerate Sime Darby, said demand for palm oil will remain robust in the coming years. By : Ratri M. Siniwi | on 3:30 PM July 02

Bunge sells stake in Vietnam operations to Wilmar Jul 5, 2016 -- Commodity trader Bunge Ltd will sell half its stake in oilseed crushing operations in Vietnam to Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd, the world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest soybean buyers, the companies said on Tuesday.  Wilmar, which is partly owned by Bunge rival Archer Daniels Midland Co, will buy 45 percent of the crushing operations. Green Feed, a Vietnamese feed milling business, will keep a 10 percent stake in the operations, creating a three-party joint venture. Terms were not disclosed.

Bunge, Wilmar to partner to develop Vietnamese feed chain By Aerin Curtis, 06-Jul-2016 Bunge Limited and Wilmar International Limited are set to team up in a joint venture to develop the supply chain of soybean products in Vietnam.

Canegrowers won't be rushed into Wilmar agreement Emily Smith | 5th Jul 2016 -- CANEGROWERS representatives won't be rushed into substandard cane supply agreements with Wilmar just to take advantage of current high sugar prices. That's the promise from Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg as Herbert, Plane Creek, Burdekin and Proserpine representatives meet with Wilmar in Home Hill this morning. Together, they will negotiate terms around their cane supply agreements. Growers who supply milling company Wilmar have had no cane supply agreement beyond the 2016 futures, after legislation was introduced at the end of last year to guarantee growers choice in how their sugar would be marketed. While this has meant growers have been unable to lock in the advantages of sky-high sugar prices, Mr Borg said ensuring the contracts were sustainable into the future was the priority. "Growers are not prepared to sell themselves out for a short-term gain," he said....

Instant noodles warm up European market for Indofood The Indonesian group is eager to enter Europe, where it hopes to replicate its success story. Read more at:

Thousands of Indomie vendors return home for Idul Fitri  The Jakarta Post Jakarta | July 2 2016 -- Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur, the instant noodle unit of publicly listed food giant Indofood, is providing free rides for thousands of Indomie food stalls vendors across the capital to return to their hometowns for Idul Fitri. The company, widely known for instant noodle brand Indomie, dispatched 11,302 noodle stall owners on Saturday using 198 buses to several parts of Java as part of the company's social responsibility program....

Cambodia Palm oil yields up as crop matures 6 July 2016 by Hor Kimsay -- Export of crude palm oil from Mong Reththy Group, the Kingdom’s only active producer, doubled during the first half of the year despite prices showing no indication of improving, a company executive said yesterday. Mong Reththa, vice chairman of the board of directors at Mong Reththy Investment Cambodia Palm Oil, said the group subsidiary exported 13,000 tonnes of crude palm oil during the first six months of 2016, a 116 per cent increase compared to the same period one year earlier. The value of the exported product reached $7.5 million in the first half of the year, compared to $3.5 million one year earlier...

Olam pushes farms in Africa oil producer to stem income fall By Bloomberg / Bloomberg   | July 7, 2016 : 7:47 AM MYT  -- President Ali Bongo, 57, who will run for a second term in August, has said he wants to boost agricultural output to as much as 20% of gross domestic product by 2020, from about 5% at present. Under the government's agriculture program, which began in 2014 and is known as Graine, people who complete a training course or are seen as eligible to farm can obtain land titles in less than a year. Graine is meant to "turn farmers into entrepreneurs," Mr Gupta said.... The government has also fast-tracked the process of issuing land titles to cooperatives and individuals to boost agriculture, Gupta said. About 4,000 people have registered for the programme in the hope of obtaining land, he said. Olam is currently developing 50,000 hectares of arable land into an industrial oil-palm plantation in northern Gabon, according to Gupta. Once the farm is completed, an additional 30,000 hectares will be l... out for small-scale palm-oil growers. 

Here’s how First Resources is bringing profits back to life in 2016. Sales volume, ASP are poised to rebound. A catch-up is around the corner for First Resources (FR), as analysts predict healthier average selling prices (ASP) and heftier sales volume from downstream operations. According to a report by UOB Kay Hian, FR is poised to see stronger earnings ahead. For 2Q16, FR is seen to record raised QoQ fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production. Estimates show FFB production to be in the 5-8% QoQ, though still down 18-20% YoY. Net crude palm oil (CPO) ASP is expected to come in at around US$600/tonne, reflecting a flat YoY movement and 20% QoQ jump. - See more at:

Exciting growth in palm phytonutrient segment BY HANIM ADNAN 27 June 2016, Two leading players – Hovid Bhd managing director David Ho and Carotino Sdn Bhd executive director U.R. Unnithan – shared their views with StarBiz recently on the latest development in the palm phytonutrient sphere. According to Ho, demand for palm phytonutrients in the nutraceutical segment was increasing but “still at its infancy stage...

Environmental Destruction, Land Grabs: Controversial Oil Palm Plantations in the Peruvian Amazon - Melka group plans to sell off its Plantations By Forest Peoples Programme Global Research, June 28, 2016

25 June 2016: PepsiCo "engaging" with Indofood on child labour accusations, Liberia communities MOU with GVL

Indofood pushes Indomie as global halal noodle brand by WATARU SUZUKI and SINAN TAVSAN, Nikkei staff writers June 19, 2016

PepsiCo "engaging" with Indofood on child labour accusations By Katy Askew | 20 June 2016

PepsiCo products in Indonesia tainted with worker abuses, report finds 23 June 2016 / Daniel Pye -- A new investigation into the palm oil plantations of Indofood, the sole maker of PepsiCo products in the Southeast Asian country, reveal child labor, exposure to hazardous chemicals, below minimum-wage payments and more.

Liberia’s Du-Wolee & Nyennue Communities Sign Oil Palm MOU with GVL -- Monrovia-More than 300 Citizens of Du-Wolee and  Nyennue communities, including  youth, elders, women's groups, district and county authority representatives welcomed agreement being reached for Golden Veroleum Liberia's (GVL)oil palm operations to come to the area after more than 3 years of negotiation.


New Britain Palm Oil Limited and PNG NID Sign MOU 22 Jun 2016 -- The National Identification System (NID) will help integrated landowner groups (ILG) to renew ILG certificates and customary land lease insurance for small holders.  This comes thanks to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today between PNG NID and the largest agricultural in the country, New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) in Port Moresby. Country Manager, Robert Nilkare, said NBPOL impacts 5 per cent of the agricultural business benefits to Papua New Guineans primarily engaged in the agriculture sector. As the biggest corporation in PNG it has continuous investment in estate development and processing facilities in West New Britain, Milne Bay, Oro, Morobe and New Ireland provinces. “Total land investment and development is around 136,268 hectares and has over 23,000 employees, most of whom are small holders,” he added.   Given the economic potential, NBPOL has considered introducing the NID system to its small and medium enterprises....

EPO, MoA Leading Rehabilitation Project for Palm Farmers, Grand Bassa County, June 2016 - Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) and the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Agriculture are collaborating and leading efforts to help with the rehabilitation of oil palm smallholder farms in District #4, Grand Bassa County. The rehabilitation program which is being funded by the World Bank, is a pilot study undertaken to revitalize the smallholder oil palm farmers and provide necessary information required for the future replanting of these identified farms to promote an Out Growers Program under the Smallholder Tree Crops Revitalization Support Project (STCRSP). The immediate goal of the project is to provide support for the rehabilitation of existing oil palm farms around the concession who have registered with the program and are in the recently established farmers’ cooperative. Equatorial Palm Oil is providing technical and supervisory support for a successful implementation of this current rehabilitation project. The Ministry of Agriculture is leading the implementation, monitoring and evaluation component of the project.

IOI Corp has highest revenue exposure to Europe, says CIMB Research 17 June 2016

FGV will only participate in deals with good returns, says CEO 15 June 2016

FGV calls off MOU with companies Bernama  14 Jun 2016

Analysts applaud FGV’s plan to call off biodegradable plastics  June 16, 2016 --

FGV: Q2 turnaround in sight BY OOI TEE CHING - 16 JUNE 2016

Commodities trader ADM to raise stake in Singapore's Wilmar Jun 15, 2016

Archer Daniels Midland hikes stake in Wilmar with $428.8m share purchase - the shares were sold by Wilmar's co-founder. Food processing conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland has acquired 127 million ordinary shares in Wilmar International for $428.8 million.  The shares were sold by Bolney Enterprises, a subsidiary of Golden Parklane Limited (GPL). Wilmar's co-founder Martus Sitorus is a substantial shareholder of GPL. See more at:

UPDATE: Rainfall delays crushing at four of five sugar mills Emily Smith | 13th Jun 2016

Some M’sian firms to take a hit if Brexit happens 16 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: A Brexit from the European Union (EU) will negatively impact Malaysian companies with assets there including Sime Darby Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd. These companies are involved in property developments, regulated assets and casino operations...

A quiet traceable revolution in the palm oil industry - Golden Agri-Resources is the world's second largest palm oil producer. Its managing director Agus Purnomo unravels the complexity of tracing palm oil supply chains and sheds light on how this will give birth to a more sustainable and resilient palm oil industry. By Agus Purnomo  15 June 2016

Thriving in the face of adversity BY JOY LEE  13 June 2016 -- Lipidchem, established in 1996, started manufacturing stearic acid powder in 1998 with a small capacity of 18 tonnes a month. Powdered stearic acid, derived from palm oil, works as a binder, lubricant and slow release agent in tablets, explains founder and managing director Cheng Yin Tiong. The company’s produce was sold to the pharmaceutical and supplement industry. As demand grew, Lipidchem relocated to its current 2,229.6sq m premises in Kawasan MIEL, Johor Bahru, in 2000. Capacity was increased to five tonnes a day, which translates into 150 tonnes a month, and the company also added new facilities to expand its product use.

EPO, MoA Leading Rehabilitation Project for Palm Farmers, June 2016 --

NGO alleges abuses at Indofood plantations by  Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Thu, June 9 2016

News update

Sipef calls time on palm oil rally - but sanguine on rubber prices  9th Jun 2016, by Mike Verdin -- Sipef called time on the rally in palm oil prices, but signalled some optimism over a recovery in rubber values – even as Tokyo futures in the tyre ingredient hit a four-month low. Baron Bracht, in his swansong as the plantations group's chairman, said that palm oil prices - having jumped by 45% since August in Rotterdam to top $700 a tonne – may struggle for further headway, given the prospect of higher supplies of rival vegetable soyoil....

Indofood, subsidiary pay total Rp 920 billion in dividends The Jakarta Post June 4 2016

Indofood to spend Rp 1.6t on new instant noodle plants Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post  June 6 2016

Indofood to Build Special Factories for Instant Noodle 06 JUNE, 2016 -- TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF) continues to increase its product marketing in foreign and domestic area by building three to four new factories this year. Based on the press release from PT NH Korindo Securities, the four factories will focus on manufacturing instant noodles. However, it does not rule out the possibility that it will also be utilized for other Indofood business lines. One of the factories located in Cirebon, West Java, has an enormous investment value of Rp400 billion, with three production lines. The number of lines can be adjusted with the needs of the production and can reach up to six lines.

NGO alleges abuses at Indofood plantations Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post  June 9 2016

Japanese Firm To Build Rp200 Billion Salt Factory in East Nusa Tenggara: BKPM By : Sarah Yuniarni June 06, 2016

Malaysian palm oil giant IOI drops lawsuit against green group - Former Unilever and Nestlé supplier says it now aims to comply with the RSPO’s highest level of accreditation by the end of the year  Karl Mathiesen 7 June 2016

Palm oil giant's impact in Indonesia worse than reported, says Greenpeace - The NGO accuses Malaysian palm oil company IOI of failing to act in accordance with its own sustainability policies and Indonesian law Hannah Gould 9 June 2016

Sime Darby Plantation buys sustainable oil from small producers in Sabah  9 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation is working with Malaysian-based social enterprise Wild Asia (WA) to assist small oil palm producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area in Sabah to be part of its sustainable palm oil value chain.  Under the partnership, Sime Darby Plantion will secure the supply of certified oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from small producers under the Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) for its Sandakan palm oil mill.  In a statement on Thursday, the company said there are about 1,000 small producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area, of which 400 have been identified by WA. This includes 115 which have achieved the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for their operations.  The company added that they will work to assist the other small producers in the area to achieve RSPO certification, in order to ensure a more steady income for them....Small producers in the lower Kinabatangan area are a group of independent oil palm growers, each with less than 500 hectares of planted areas.   They also include smallholders with even smaller plantation size of 50 hectares and below....

IOI ready to settle RSPO issues 3 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation giant, IOI Corp Bhd has submitted documents to comply with conditions set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for the lifting of the suspension.  CIMB Research expect this case to be deliberated at RSPO’s complaints panel (CP) meeting in June 2016 and the suspension could be lifted if the CP was satisfied with IOI’s submission. “We gathered from the RSPO website that the CP meets once a month via teleconference. We are of the view that if the CP is satisfied with IOI’s submission and accepts its plans, the CP is likely to recommend that the RSPO Board of Governors lifts IOI Corp’s RSPO certification suspension.  “However, should there be queries by the CP on the submissions, the lifting of suspension may be delayed until the next meeting,” CIMB Research said.... It added that there was a possibility that the challenge in Switzerland would be dropped once the suspension is lifted.  Last month, IOI Corp filed challenge proceedings in the Zurich Court of Switzerland against the RSPO board of governors’ decision to suspend the company. Following this, the court has set a date for conciliatory hearing by the Justice of Peace with both parties present....

In what is the biggest transaction in a Good Class Bungalow Area in nearly a year, a house along Kingsmead Road where the late Raffles Institution principal Philip Liau used to reside is being sold for S$29 million... The buyer is understood to be Darwin Indigo, a nephew of Wilmar executive deputy chairman Martua Sitorus. Mr Indigo, who is in his mid-30s, is deputy country head (Indonesia) at Wilmar International. He also sits on the board of Kencana Agri Ltd, an associate company of Wilmar.

New GRAIN article: ADM’s offshore links to Wilmar, world’s worst environmental offender by GRAIN | 08 June 2016 -- Wilmar, based in Singapore, amassed 600,000 hectares of oil palm plantations through deforestation and the violent eviction of local communities. Newsweek magazine ranked it as the world’s “worst” corporation in terms of environmental performance. But this criticism of Wilmar rarely spills over to ADM, one of its top shareholders. Few people appear to be aware of the offshore structure through which ADM and Wilmar are so deeply entwined.

FGV to maintain policy of paying out half of net profits to shareholders  By OOI TEE CHING - 1 June 2016

Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya ink consumer goods JV TNN | May 31, 2016

Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar plan joint venture in India May 25, 2016

GVL donates crude palm oil to host communities in Sinoe 24 May 2016

Liberia: Soros Connection - Why Global Witness Report Won't Go Away -- By Rodney D. Sieh Monrovia — George Soros is widely known as the hedge fund tycoon and renowned philanthropist. His philanthropic work has been instrumental to Liberia where since the ascendance to office of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the country has benefited from millions in various humanitarian areas... His son, Alexander, is the founder of The Alexander Soros Foundation, an organization promoting civil rights, social justice and education. The younger Soros who visited Liberia sits on the board Global Witness, which exposes and breaks the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption; and the Open Society Foundations, the New York City-based group founded by his dad who works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies. While both organizations receive strong financial support from the Soros Foundation, it is the former that has been in the thick of exposing lapses in Liberia's governance, since it started in 1993 and dubbed by many as Soros' anti-corruption campaigner group....

Liberia: GVL Repudiates Erroneous Allegations of Child Labour 25 May 2016 -- press release. Monrovia — Golden Veroleum Liberia strongly rejects allegations of child labor by the company as contained in recent news report published by Daily Observer Newspaper title "Advocate Demands Justice for Children" and the New Dawn Newspaper report titled "Liberian Children Alarm Danger" published on 25 and 18 May 2016. GVL policies are clear; we don't hire children at all. GVL makes similar requirement of its subcontractor and suppliers, and works to monitor their workforces.

Sime Darby denies employment of children  May 23, 2016 Cholo Brooks Blog -- In reference to an article in The New Dawn titled “Liberian Children Alarm Danger” published on 18 May, Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc. (SDPL) denies the allegation that the company employs children in its operations. SDPL does not employ any children in Liberia or anywhere else and it respects and abides by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Liberian Law. Our workers’ union, General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL) through the signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), ensures that there are no children employed with our company.

EXCLUSIVE: Mondelēz urges IOI Group not to sue RSPO By David Burrows, 26-May-2016 Mondelēz International has called on palm oil supplier IOI Group to withdraw its legal action against the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Sime Darby’s earnings hard hit by harsh weather   By Meena Lakshana / The Edge Financial Daily   | May 26, 2016 : 9:36 AM MYT    This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 26, 2016. KUALA LUMPUR: The dry weather in the past few months due to the El Nino phenomenon has severely affected the yields of Sime Darby Bhd’s plantations, said its president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh....

Felda Global Ventures hit by Q1 pre-tax loss of RM70.35m May 24, 2016- See more at: 

Crude palm oil prices to average RM2,500 per tonne in 2016 - Felda Global CEO   By Reuters / Reuters   | May 24, 2016  KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures chief executive Zakaria Arshad said on Tuesday crude palm oil prices will average RM2,500 per tonne in 2016, up from RM2,275 last year. Felda, which is the world's third-largest palm plantation operator, on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net

Palm oil to rise on El Nino as industry prepares for La Nina - Felda CEO by Reuters  24 May 2016

Chinese trade council opens office in Jakarta The Jakarta Post  Jakarta | Wed, May 18 2016

Palu KEK sees Rp 6.1t investment interest by Ruslan Sangadji  The Jakarta Post  Palu | May 19 2016 -- Thirty six companies have shown interest in investing in the KEK, with total investment value of Rp 6.1 trillion (US$455 million).  That includes seven firms interested in developing Rp 3.5 trillion worth of nickel and iron smelters. “There are other companies engaged in the agro-based industries, including rattan, fisheries, onion, rubber and cloves,” Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola said last week.....In addition, some companies have also signed letter of intents with the Palu administration pertaining to clean water and waste treatment. Six of them have acquired land that will be used as tapioca, coconut and cocoa processing zones. However, only publicly listed food giant Indofood Sukses Makmur has commenced construction. “I hope that after Indofood, other companies will follow,” Longki said.  Indofood plans to build a corn processing factory in the KEK to serve the ASEAN market.

NGOs call for mass boycott of palm oil giant IOI - A group of 22 non-government organisations has called on all consumer brands and palm oil traders to cut ties with IOI Group, adding to the Malaysian palm oil giant's reputational and economic troubles.  By Vaidehi Shah 13 May 2016

IOI Corp returns to profitability in 3Q with RM748.4m net profit By Chester Tay /   | May 18, 2016

RSPO – it’s hard to live with it BY HANIM ADNAN 14 May 2016

IOI Corp's Loders Croklaan, LCK Nutrition call off JV plan BY JOSEPH CHIN 19 May 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: IOI Corporation Bhd unit Loders Croklaan Group B.V. and Ireland's  LCK Nutrition Ltd have called off their joint venture which would have involved the development of the nutrition lipid Betapol. IOI Corp said on Thursday the agreement, which was entered into on June 23, 2015,  was for Loders Croklaan to subscribe for a stake in LCK Nutrition Ltd for US$25mil. Under the corporate exercise, the Betapol business (consisting business intellectual property, goodwill, contracts, sales book and records) would be trasferred from Loders Croklaan to LCK Nutrition for US$25mil. In the June 23, 2015 announcement to Bursa Malaysia, IOI Corp said Betapol, which is one of Loders Croklaan’s most groundbreaking innovations, is a palm oil-derived nutritional additive which is used to fortify infant milk powder globally.  The incorporation of LCK Nutrition and the subscription was for the formation of a 50:50 JV with a subsidi of Kerry Group Plc to develop and market the nutrition lipid Betapol business. 

Bumitama Agri’s profits bloom 26% to $23.58m in Q1 16 May 16

Equatorial Palm Oil widens H1 pretax loss By StockMarketWire | Mon, 16th May 2016 -- "The commitment by LPD to begin construction of the new 60 mt/hr mill at Palm Bay Estate confirms the Directors' views that Liberia can be a significant producer of crude palm oil in years to come.....  EPO fully engaged with High Carbon Stock ("HCS") assessment and committed to establish clear parameters, alongside stakeholders, for the development of new plantations..  MOU signed with villages on Palm Bay Estate delineating clear boundaries for development of oil palm and adhering to free, prior and informed consent, post period. 

Equatorial Palm Oil Reports Wider Interim Loss During First Half 16th May 2016

First Resources’ Q1 profits crash 78% to $6.86m by Singapore Business Review – May 16, 2016

A Quantum Leap with Genome Select - Sime Darby Plantation’s first step towards a 100% commercial replanting programme with genome research materials known as ‘Genome Select’. The projected yield benefits - an average yield of 9.9 metric tonnes of oil per hectare as a first 5 year average yield under the best environmental conditions

North Queensland cane farmers push Wilmar for sugar supply agreements QLD Country Hour By Lara Webster  19 May 2016 -- Rallying sugar prices have renewed frustrations for cane growers who still do not have contracts for the 2017 season in place.

White & Case Advises Wilmar Europe on Acquisition in Italy and Poland  16 MAY 2016   Press Release

Wilmar's quarterly profit rises despite market volatility  13th May 2016, by Jamie Day

KLK is example of growing from small to giant size company BY IDRIS JALA 16 May 2016

Golden Agri returns to profitability in Q1 MAY 14, 2016 - Stronger sales, better margins help palm oil producer turn around

UPDATE 2-Palm oil producers predict El Nino to hit 2016 output May 13, 2016  By Aradhana Aravindan * Olam CEO says cotton prices rangebound * Olam sees El Nino hits Indonesia, Malaysia palm oil output * Olam sees 2015/16 cocoa deficit as worst in 30 years * Golden Agri sees its palm output down 10-15 pct this year

How Does Golden Agri-Resources Ltd Stack Up Against United Plantations Berhad? By Stanley Lim Peir Shenq, CFA - May 17, 2016

Latest Earnings from Golden Agri-Resources Ltd: Earnings Soar Despite Lower Revenue y James Yeo - May 16, 2016

ew Felda Global Ventures group president confident of palm oil business profitability by year end By Melissa Goh, Malaysia Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia

Question marks over 'luxury condos bought by Felda unit' Alyaa Azhar     18 May 2016,

Felda’s million dollar luxury condo in Kuala Lumpur a shocker! By The Independent -  May 19, 2016

Zakaria makes his moves at FGV BY AFIQ ISA  14 May 2016

Fonterra PKE supplier banned after forest fires, dairy feed price may rise TOM PULLAR-STRECKER May 19 2016 -- The consequences of last year's massive forest fires in Indonesia finally look set to catch up with the Kiwi dairy industry. Fonterra will no longer be supplied with palm kernel expeller (PKE) from plantations owned by IOI Group, which is the second-largest palm plantation owner listed on the Malaysian stock market. The ban could increase the price of PKE, which has become an important supplementary feed for New Zealand cattle despite concerns over the environmental impact of its production.

Top palm oil producer sues green group over deforestation allegations - Malaysian palm giant, IOI, lost business after it was suspended from the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil’s certification scheme over deforestation allegations in Indonesia by Adam Vaughan 9 May 2016

Nestlé to cut all ties with IOI over palm oil action plan: 'It doesn’t go far enough' By David Burrows, 12-May-2016 --  Nestlé is cutting ties with palm oil supplier IOI. No new contracts will be awarded to the Malaysian firm and all existing ones will be “phased out” by the end of August, explained senior corporate spokesperson Nina Caren Kruchten in an email to FoodNavigator.

Selldown on IOI overdone, Maybank Research sees strong Q3 results 12 May 2016

Tomco Energy assessing West African palm oil venture 19 May 2016 -- Tomco says the palm oil opportunity has low capex costs and potential for cash flows starting in mid-2017.

Indofood first-quarter earnings increase May 6, 2016 - by World Grain Staff

Land rights at root of palm oil conflict in Liberia, campaigners say BY MATTHEW PONSFORD  May 6, 2016

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016 Read More :

FGV to list subsidiaries 'when the time is right' BY OOI TEE CHING - 12 MAY 2016

Media Release: FGV and MARA explores opportunities in Aerospace and Aviation Industry - See more at:

Wilmar Tumbles After Warning of Challenging Months Ahead by  Anuradha Raghu  May 11, 2016 -- Processing margins are pressured by gains in palm oil price. Wilmar least leveraged major producer to price increases

Indonesian Tycoons in Panama Papers 10 MAY, 2016 -- TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- The access to Panama Papers has been opened for public today. In the past year, 370 journalists from 76 countries - organized by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - have been investigating 11.5 million data in the document. A number of Indonesian tycoons have been hiring a Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to set up shell companies. The documents of Mossack Fonseca’s clients, known as the Panama Papers, list a number of Indonesian families, among others, Mochtar Riady family (ranked sixth in Forbes’ Indonesia’s richest list), Martua Sitorus-owner of Wilmar International Ltd, and Ciputra family....

FGV sets precedent with withdrawal from RSPO cert BY HANIM ADNAN  9 May 2016

Major milestone for Sime Darby BY P. ARUNA  9 May 2016

Super Seed Identified to Produce More Palm Oil Using Less Land  May 09, 2016 Robert Hii Sustainable Business Consultant

The path to sustainable palm oil By Jessica Cheam 12 May 2016 - Eco-Business editor Jessica Cheam sits down for a chat with Golden Agri-Resources managing director for sustainability, Agus Purnomo, on the company’s sustainability journey thus far.

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016

Indonesia takes aim at palm oil after forest fires By Kiki Siregar, AFP May 2, 2016

Pressure Builds on Snack Food Giant PepsiCo to Drop Conflict Palm Oil April 29, 2016  Rainforest Action Network and SumOfUs help rally 100,000’s of people calling on PepsiCo to take meaningful action to halt deforestation and human rights abuses in its supply chain

PZ Cussons calls for global suppliers to set up in Nigeria May 4, 2016 by  Georgina Caldwell

Equatorial Palm Oil signs MOU with Liberian communities Josh White | Sharecast | 05 May, 2016

Analysts negative on FGV’s decision to withdraw RSPO certification  5 May 2016

Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures withdraws RSPO certificates from 58 mills May 3, 2016

Palm oil in Cameroon – ‘a blessing or a curse’ to small-scale farmers? 29 April 2016 / John C. Cannon As palm oil expands in Africa, researchers say more smallholders should be brought into the fold.

Wilmar scoops up small ICE May delivery in 5th straight purchase May 2, 2016

FGV needs three years to recertify 58 palm oil mills under RSPO May 5, 2016 Ronnie Teo

How effective will Indonesia’s palm oil permit freeze really be? 4 May 2016 / Mongabay Haze Beat Observers question the extent to which the newly declared moratorium, which also applies to mining licenses, can actually be enforced.

Golden Veroleum Dedicates Mini Oil Palm Mill in Sinoe County --  It is a joy for us to celebrate with the government and our partner communities as we dedicate our mill,” said Rothschild. The GVL Director says a similar project will be replicated in Grand Kru, stating that today is the mini mill; in 2017 GVL will be commissioning its main mill, which is 15 times larger than the mini mill and is currently under construction in Tarjuowon, Sinoe County. ...Rothschild concluded by saying that the mini mill was constructed after Vice PresidentJoseph Boakai visited Indonesia and appealed for it, with the goal of not letting the palm spoil...

UNMIL Drawdown: Bassa Residents, Police Sweat Over Low Support

Bumitama Agri’s FFB yield plummets 24% to 3.1t/ha - Last year’s El Nino is still hurting output. 25 Apr 16

Sime Darby sees higher profit with new genome super palms BY P. ARUNA 5 April 2016

Sime Darby eyes 15% better palm oil yield By Ahmad Naqib Idris / The Edge Financial Daily   | April 26, 2016

11 Sime Darby Protestors Charged With Criminal Facilitation April 22, 2016 Cholo Brooks Liberia

Golden Agri-Resources reveals plan for 'fully traceable' palm oil by 2020, Madeleine Cuff 26 April 2016

Indonesia's Sinar Mas Agro expects 15 pct decline in 2016 output Apr 25, 2016

When palm oil companies get banned, are they willing to change? Blogpost by Kiki Taufik - 25 April, 2016

Media Release: FGV Expands Transportation Business in Sarawak 28 April 2016,

Red flags for FGV's China venture By Yen Ne Foo / The Edge Malaysia   | April 12, 2016

Malaysian palm oil giant loses 7 more customers over RSPO suspension 11 April 2016 / Philip Jacobson -- Hershey’s, Yum! Brands and Johnson & Johnson are among the latest to defect.

Unilever palm oil supplier must suspend all plantation expansion to save reputation - As buyers such as Unilever and Mars stop doing business with suspended Malaysian company IOI, will it lead to strong action or more weak promises? Kiki Taufik 9 April 2016

Equatorial Palm Oil Starts To Bear Fruit As It Plans On Building Mill  13th Apr 2016

President Koroma Commissions The Largest Oil Mill In West Africa Built In Sahn Malen, Pujehun District By Socfin Agricultural Company pril 13, 2016 5:11 pm, Posted by Amadu Daramy -- President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on Saturday 9th April formally commissioned the largest palm oil production mill built by Socfin Agricultural Company in Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District....the Socfin palm oil farm is not just the largest in the country, but also in West Africa, and that the company has invested over US$130 Million, planting 12, 319 hectre of hybrid oil palm trees and building a mill currently with a 30t/hr of Fresh Fruit Bunch capacity and with capacity to increase to 60t/hr.... company has employed over 2,460 seasonal workers to support plantation operations plus 1,091 permanent workers all totaling 3,551 workers, and most of these workers he said are from the surrounding communities within the company’s operational areas....

FGV aborts plan to buy 55% stake in Zhong Ling BY M. HAFIDZ MAHPAR 9 April 2016

Top firms 'supplied with illegal palm oil' APR 15, 2016 -- Study: Fruit grown in conservation areas being sent to local mills supplying the firms...The study by Eyes on the Forest (EoF), a coalition of Indonesian non-governmental organisations, underscores the complexity of tracing all sources of palm oil. The findings also challenge the zero-deforestation commitments of leading palm oil firms....  

Sime Darby Destruction Scare Investors, As Local Authorities Call On Gov’t To Remove Illegal Squatters April 12, 2016 Cholo Brooks Liberia -- Recent action on the part of some residents of Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties to  burn down major parts of the Sime Darby Plantation in the area destroying several parts of the plantation on an report that a lady was missing from the hospital of the company is reportedly scaring investors. For their part, local authorities of Bomi County told reporters on Monday   that the arson attack on Sime Darby Plantation is a threat to the economy and the investment climate as a whole.

Margarine producer fined R35m for anticompetitive behaviour BY FIFI PETERS ,  14 APRIL 2016 -- ON top of the R35m fine margarine producer Sime Darby Hudson Knight has to pay for anticompetitive behaviour, the company may also face being monitored to ensure that it complies with further remedial action handed down to it for contravening the competition act.... Sime Darby Hudson Knight makes and sells bakery fats and frying oils. In 2014, the Competition Commission raided its Boksburg offices as well as those of Durban-based Unilever during its investigations into restrictive price behaviour in the industry. It found that Sime Darby Hudson Knight had entered into an agreement that precluded it from supplying certain pack sizes of edible fats and oils to a number of customer channels. The agreement meant that it could not supply retail outlets, and other areas where Unilever was active.... As part of the Commission’s remedial action, which includes the R35m fine, Sime Darby Hudson Knight agreed to supply the retail sector with its products and to build a new warehousing facility to accommodate this..... 

Rain forest advocacy group installs 15-foot banner on LIC Pepsi-Cola sign to protest palm oil  By Angela Matua  /  / Monday, April 25, 2016

BREAKING: Protesters Scale Iconic NYC Pepsi Sign to drop 100’ “Cut Conflict Palm Oil” Banner by JESSICA SERRANTE

BRIEF-Indonesian instant noodle firm Indofood Q1 profit up 25 pct  Apr 28, 2016

Palm oil industry fumes as Indonesia gets tough on forest fires  JAKARTA | BY BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE AND FERGUS JENSEN Apr 21, 2016 -- The president's suggestion of doubling Indonesian palm growers' productivity is easier said than done," said Togar Sitanggang, corporate affairs manager at Musim Mas, one of Indonesia's biggest palm oil producers. "The problem with productivity has been there for years," he said, adding it was also unclear who would pay for the right seeds. "There is no budget for this."  Big players, such as PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources, Astra Agro Lestari, Wilmar International, may be able to raise output on their current holdings, but it will be tough for smallholders to do so, industry sources said. That could lead to layoffs as the harder-hit smallholders, which account for 40 percent of Indonesia's output, are forced to sell land to bigger firms looking to expand, they said. 
"Our reputation as the biggest palm oil producer will be history," said Eddy Martono, an official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association.

Indonesia`s planned moratorium on oil palm concessions lauded 21 April 2016 -- Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodos announcement last week about a plan to impose a moratorium on new permits for oil palm plantations has been lauded by some parties, particularly NGOs. The moratorium policy is aimed at preserving Indonesias tropical rain forest, the worlds third largest after forests in Amazon and Congo.  The deforestation rate in the country, however, is very fast since land is being converted, particularly for plantation, and also due to forest fires. "There will be a moratorium on oil palm and mining," the head of state, popularly known as Jokowi, stated at the launch of a National Movement for Plants and Wild Animals protection in conjunction with the World Forest Day, in Karya Island of Thousand Islands, Jakarta, on April 14. The president said entrepreneurs and small business holders will not be allowed to expand land for oil palm concessions.... 

Indonesia March palm oil output set to fall for seventh month By Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina Munthe, Reuters on Apr 19, 2016

Wilmar International says it recognises issues raised in Indonesia NGO alliance report on illegal palm oil APR 15, 2016 -- Singapore-based Wilmar International has said that it recognises the challenges raised in an investigation by an Indonesian green coalition that found palm oil from illegal plantations in Sumatra had tainted the global supply chains of Wilmar and four other top palm oil companies. Wilmar is the top global player in the palm oil sector, producing and trading almost half the world's palm oil.

Australia - Wilmar and growers start talks on 2017 cane supply agreement  21 April 2016

Wong & Partners, ZICOlaw star in Sime Darby’s 3 billion ringgit sukuk offering By Eileen Ang|  Apr 20, 2016

Grim forecast for paper giant’s wood supply raises deforestation fears 22 April 2016 / Jonathan Vit -- Asia Pulp & Paper has promised to stop cutting forests, but a massive new mill has green groups concerned the conglomerate will default on its commitment.

NGOs and oil-palm growers team up to help orangutans, but progress is slow 21 April 2016 / Melati Kaye Impatient with industry-wide efforts, some NGOs are working directly with companies to protect orangutans on oil-palm plantations in Borneo, concession by concession.

Indonesia to probe palm producers' environmental pledge: competition watchdog JAKARTA | BY BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE April 14, 2016

25 April 2016: Astra Agro rights issue and the deflation-debt context, MP Evans strategy, Indonesia debt outlook 

Editor's note: A bigger corporate news update pending

Astra Agro launches rights issue to cut dollar debts by Anton HermansyahAnton Hermansyah April 12 2016

As profits retreat, Astra Agro halts dividends by Anton HermansyahAnton Hermansyah April 11 2016

Bloomberg - palm oil's debt and deflation context

  • Palm Oil's Bad Rap Gets Worse By Andy Mukherjee and David Fickling. Mar 2, 2016 ... Palm oil, that ubiquitous liquid found in everything from shampoo and soap to lipstick, noodles and bread, is hoping for bad weather. But a supply squeeze alone won't be enough to deliver it from the twin problems of debt and deflation. ... Following a downgrade by Standard & Poor's last week, Moody's on Tuesday cut its rating on Malaysian planter Sime Darby by one notch, and warned of further action if the company fails to deleverage. Sime Darby, which is still struggling to digest its 2014 debt-financed acquisition of a palm-oil cultivator in Papua New Guinea, saw operating income from plantations dwindle to $34 million last quarter, a fraction of what the business used to make before the global commodities rout....Sime Darby is hardly alone. Palm-oil profits have collapsed amid heightened global scrutiny of the industry's environmental impact. Indonesia's Astra Agro Lestari now earns a return on capital of a little more than 5 percent, compared with almost 30 percent in 2012. Malaysian planter and refiner IOI Corp. has net debt that's more than three times Ebitda, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A significant amount of its borrowings are denominated in U.S. dollars and S&P says liabilities will rise further this year as IOI acquires capacity in Europe to turn palm oil into ingredients used in food, cosmetics and personal care..... Bad weather can at best be a short-term palliative for palm oil, but believing it can also be a cure for lackluster demand, price deflation and elevated debt is wishful thinking....
  • IOI Oleochemicals Buys Oleochemical Operations of German Firm  21/09/2015, Corporate Communications ... IOI Oleochemical Industries Berhad (“IOI Oleo”) is pleased to announce that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Alstersee 217. V V GmbH (to be renamed as IOI Oleo GmbH in the future) has reached a conditional asset purchase agreement with Cremer Oleo GmbH & Co KG to acquire Cremer Oleo’s entire oleochemicals manufacturing business in Germany for €89.4 million or RM433.3 million on 9 September 2015....

MP Evans could regret corralling its interests solely in palm oil by Kate Burgess April 24, 2016... Longevity might not bring sagacity for veteran company moving away from diversification... When the Queen was a girl, MP Evans was one of about 300-or-so plantation businesses in London. They made up as much as a tenth of the UK stock market.... Now MP Evans, headquartered in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, home to serried ranks of elephant feet umbrella stands, is almost the last one left. Surviving this long is no mean feat. MP Evans has had to transform along the way from a rubber and tea broker into a palm oil and beef agri-conglomerate....Last week, the UK company’s shares jumped 26p to 440p on talk of a £220m sale of North Australian Pastoral Company, the Aussie cattle group in which MP Evans owns 34 per cent. It would mark MP Evans exit from beef. Last year Peter Hadsley-Chaplin, chairman and son of a former chairman, sold a 31,000 hectare cattle-fattening station in Queensland, using the proceeds to pay down debt and expand palm oil acreage in Indonesia.....The board has made clear that cash from selling NAPco would go the same way. It wants to turn MP Evans from a smallish palm oil producer with about 42,000 hectares into one that can compete against the likes of Sime Darby, which has about 600,000 hectares....High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

Recently Convicted Bank Swindler Commits Suicide - A banker in Medan, North Sumatra who was recently convicted of banking crimes was found dead in his home on Wednesday (20/04) just a day before he was scheduled to be transferred to prison. By : Arnold H Sianturi | on April 21, 2016...  Darul, the former marketing business group head of the Medan branch of Bank BNI, was found guilty of costing the bank Rp 129 billion ($10 million) when he approved a loan filed by a palm oil businessman using fake collateral. The businessman, Boy Hermansyah, disappeared with the money. Boy is now on the run from police....

Indonesia's Warped Debt Mirror By Andy Mukherjee Apr 18, 2016.. .Creditors are receiving ugly haircuts in Indonesia's debt salon.Now that the nation's China-fueled commodity boom has gone bust, Indonesia's legal system is busy running a sharp razor across what was once a luxuriant crop of collateral: Standard Chartered's claim on a $1 billion loan to mining tycoon Samin Tan was recently thrown out by a local court on the grounds that a foreign advance against a coal mine -- a national asset -- was illegal. AVERAGE ONE-YEAR DEFAULT RISK OF JUNK-RATED COMPANIES IN INDONESIA0.87%.... But as bad as the reflection in the mirror may be, leading to spurious comparisons with the aftermath of the 1997 Asian crisis, the present situation is very different in one key respect: The nation's currency isn't in free fall. That's provided a cushion to share prices and ensured the default risk of Indonesia's publicly traded companies is receding faster than counterparts in several other emerging markets... The risk that these Indonesian firms won't be able to meet their obligations is also down by about a third from the highest point this year. Few other large emerging markets have seen such a steep improvement in credit quality.... Things could take a turn for the worse if the Federal Reserve presses on with interest-rate increases, putting the rupiah under renewed pressure and making it difficult for Indonesian borrowers to refinance their dollar-denominated debt.Corporate stress could also intensify if coal prices remain subdued, a nascent recovery in palm-oil prices proves short-lived, or President Joko Widodo's much-vaunted infrastructure push proves a dud. Among large Indonesian debtors, highway operator's Jasa Marga's creditworthiness has worsened this year, Bloomberg data show....For now, though, the rewards from monetary easing outweigh the risks. Bank Indonesia cut interest rates every month in the first quarter of this year. The central bank will adopt a new policy-rate benchmark in August, effectively pruning borrowing costs by as much as 100 basis points, according to Natixis.

Top Southeast Asian Bond House Sees `Robust' Deal Pipeline by Chanyaporn Chanjaroen  Pooi Koon Chong  April 15, 2016... Malayan Banking Bhd., Malaysia’s top lender, is anticipating bond sales driven by big Southeast Asian infrastructure projects to offset a downturn in fees from sluggish regional equity markets.... The biggest deal Maybank handled this year was a 2.2 billion ringgit ($565 billion) perpetual sukuk for palm-oil producer Sime Darby Bhd., for which the bank is the sole principal adviser, lead arranger and manager, it said in a March 24 statement. Islamic bonds, or sukuk, are debt instruments that comply with Shariah law, which prohibits the payment of interest....

29 Mar 2016: Zakaria Arshad appointed new CEO of FGV 

Zakaria Arshad appointed new CEO of FGV 29 March 2016 | MYT 1:09 PM; ...Zakaria, a son of a settler from FELDA Palong 1, Negeri Sembilan, has served FELDA Group for the past 32 years since 1984 including FELDA Rubber Industries Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Cocoa Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, FELDA Rubber Products Sdn Bhd and FELDA Marketing Services Sdn Bhd. “On behalf of FGV Group, we would like to thank Emir for his invaluable contribution especially on charting the transformation framework to pave the way for FGV to be an important global powerhouse today,” Isa said....

15 Mar 2016:  FGV now says it is deliberating on change of CEO, one of two China deals held up?

Editor's note: Last major news review was done 22 Feb 2016. 

FGV now says it is deliberating on change of CEO By Meena Lakshana /   | March 14, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR (March 14): In an about turn, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) said it is now deliberating on the change of its chief executive officer (CEO), which is currently held by Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah. "The board of FGV will deliberate on the appointment/change of FGV CEO and will make the requisite announcement immediately upon the receipt of the nomination letter from the relevant authority," it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today. FGV had on Friday issued a statement, saying Emir will continue to serve as its CEO and president, after local media reported that he may be replaced next month.....In a separate filing with Bursa, FGV said the terms and conditions of its two sale and purchase agreements (SPA 1 and SPA 2) regarding the proposed acquisition of a 55% stake in Zhong Ling Nutril-Oil Holdings Ltd for RM976.25 million were made at "arm's length and in the ordinary course of commercial negotiations"... FGV noted that however, the application to one of the regulators was cancelled pending more information on the investment from the group. "To date, no subsequent application has been submitted to the said regulator," it said.

RM618,000 to defend 1MDB and Red-Shirt rally, says Salleh BY MARTIN CARVALHO, LOSHANA K SHAGAR, NICHOLAS CHENG, andD. KANYAKUMARI; THE Government spent RM618,000 to print books to defend criticisms against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the Red-Shirt rally. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Dr Salleh Said Keruak, in a written reply to Teo Kok Seong (DAP-Rasah), said the books were published to “present facts” in light of the highly-politicised climate surrounding both the state sovereign fund and the racially-charged gathering. A total of RM606,250 was used to print 125,000 copies of 1MDB: Siapa Kata Tidak Dijawab in Malay (100,000 copies), Tamil (15,000) and English (10,000), he added. Dr Salleh Said said the Department of Special Affairs also printed 2,000 Red-Shirt Rally books costing RM12,000.
Note: Felda settlers were reported to be significant participants in the Red Shirt Rally. Journalists also reported that many rally goers were bussed in and were not aware of the purpose of their trip to KL.

Alert form a reader: An FGV mill has been suspended by the RSPO based on the WSJ and subsequent NGO complaints on alleged migrant labour issues - 7th March 2016 - RSPO Complaints Panel reviewed the independent assessment reports and decided to suspend Pasoh palm oil mill owned by Felda until full clearence is given based on the re-audits:

22 Feb 2016: CIMB on Wilmar results briefing - concerns over its unwinding of carry trade proved unfounded, Indonesia biodiesel benefits its tropical oils division, Wilmar and First Resources are key beneficiaries in biodiesel. IOI downstream EBIT drops - AmBank.

Editor's note: Please review CIMB and AmBank reports. Addition of plantation subsidy sham article 14 Feb.

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.... 

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....

IOI Corporation CIMB 21 Feb 2016 - Plantation and derivatives gains boost 2Q, 1H core net profit above, making up 64% of our and 58% of consensus’ full-year. Better performance due to higher plantation and fair value gain on derivatives....

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.

IOI CORPORATION (IOI MK,IOI.KL) by AmBank 22 February 2016: Benefited from fair value gains on derivatives; ... Excluding the fair value changes of RM256.4mil in 2QFY16, IOI’s manufacturing EBIT would have plunged by 40.9%
QoQ to RM112.2mil in 2QFY16... IOI said that the oleochemical and specialty fats units in the manufacturing division suffered lower operating margins. IOI also opined that the outlook for the refining sub-segment is challenging as refining margins have turned negative. We believe that this is due to the competition from the refiners in Indonesia, which benefited from the imposition of the export levy in July 2015.

20 Feb 2016:  Major news review done. Wilmar net profit suffer weak palm oil performance, RAM lowers Golden Agri's RM5b debt note rating, Felda settlers' bauxite problem

Editor's note: News review pre-Christmas to 17 Feb completed in that segment. And below is this week's news alerts on plantation corporation.

Wilmar's sales volume rises but earnings fall 18 February 2016

Wilmar reports slump in Q4 profit Net earnings falls 16% due to weak commodity prices, despite sales growth by Chong Koh Ping FEB 19, 2016

Wilmar 2015 Net Profit Falls To 8-Year Low on Weak Palm Oil Performance  19 Feb 2016

RAM lowers Golden Agri unit’s RM5b debt note rating  17 February 2016; .....the rating for Golden Assets International Finance Ltd’s IMTN programme of up to RM5bil (2012/2027) was lowered from AA3(s) to A1(s). RAM Ratings also retained the negative outlook on the rating. Golden Assets is a funding conduit owned by GAR. “The downgrade is premised on the continued deterioration of 
Golden Agri’s credit metrics as a result of softer crude palm oil (CPO) prices and elevated debt levels,” it said. ....

KL Kepong Q1 earnings surge to nearly RM800m 17 February 2016

IOI is expected to return to the black By Maybank IB Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | February 15, 2016

SGX: Year-to-Date Highlights Of Singapore's Biggest Consumer Plays Date 16/02/2016; Among Singapore’s 30 largest capitalised consumer plays, the 15 Consumer Discretionary Stocks averaged a 5.7% decline, while the 15 Consumer Staple stocks averaged a 3.5% decline. Among the 15 Consumer Staple stocks, Agriculture Products performed the strongest in the year-to-date, with Wilmar International, Golden Agri-Resources, First Resources and Bumitama Agri all gaining, averaging a 4.3% total return. CPO prices have gained 5.0% since end-2015 vs. the Thomson Reuters CRB Agriculture Producers Index declining 9.3%.

Tabung Haji mum on claims it lost nearly RM1b from Felda Global Ventures investment February 17, 2016 - See more at:

Felda fails to cite PKR lawyer, settler for contempt of court 19 February 2016 - See more at:

Bleak future for oil palm settlers due to bauxite mining 17 February 2016; Oil palm plantations at Felda Bukit Goh, Bukit Kuantan, Bukit Sago and Bukit Nerang face a bleak future following the mining of bauxite in those areas because turning oil palm plantations into bauxite mining areas affects the soil. An environmentalist said bauxite mining in the area produces chromium, which is poisonous and could damage oil palm trees in the aforementioned Felda areas... Maketab expressed concern over Felda settlers who bargained their land for the promise of a quick buck. "Those who sell their land, do reap rewards amounting to millions of Ringgit from bauxite businessmen ... the money will not last for generations to come. "Many have lost their lands and been cheated off their money by bauxite businessmen, the money promised by illegal bauxite miners to the settlers is gone for good and their plantation is at a great loss," said the former Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president.

Felda to decide on settler aid after bauxite moratorium ends  Bernama   19 Feb 2016

17 Feb 2016: News review in progress - Sime cutting debt load, Sime bond ratings, IOI Corp, Felda's Indonesian deal, Wilmar-Singapore GLC JVs, Australia minister "gets a dressing down" by Singapore exec over Queensland sugar tussle

Editor's note: This news review is broadly grouped by company news and goes back several weeks. News review pre-Christmas to 17 Feb completed.

Bunge Plunges After Profit Disappoints Amid `Tough' Markets by Shruti Singh  February 12, 2016

Sime Darby

Malaysia’s Sime Darby May Sell $500 Million in Real-Estate Assets- Conglomerate is seeking to cut its debt load By YANTOULTRA NGUI in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and P.R. VENKAT in Singapore Feb. 16, 2016

MARC assigns initial rating to Sime Darby’s sukuk scheme 11 February 2016 Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC) has assigned a preliminary rating of AAIS to Sime Darby Bhd's Perpetual Subordinated Sukuk Programme of up to RM3 billion. It also affirmed the ratings of MARC-1ID/AAAID on the existing RM4.5 billion Islamic Medium-Term Note (IMTN) Programme and RM500 million Islamic Commercial Paper/Islamic Medium-Term Note (ICP/IMTN) Programme with a combined limit of RM4.5 billion. In a statement, the rating agency said the company's rating outlook for the Perpetual Sukuk was negative, consistent with the revised outlook on the ICP/IMTN to negative from stable. - See more at:

Sime's RM3bil perpetual bond issue depends on its standalone rating BY P. ARUNA 12 February 2016

Sime Darby’s RM3b sukuk assigned AA-IS rating, negative outlook By Danial Idraki /   | February 11, 2016

Selling off 50% stake in liquid terminal unit in China KUALA LUMPUR (NewsRise) February 2, 2016-- Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, said it is selling half of its stake in wholly-owned Chinese liquid terminal unit for 60.85 million yuan ($9.25 million) to Hong Kong's Dragon Crown Group Holdings. The proposed sale will allow Sime Darby to partner Dragon Crown, which specializes in storage and handling of liquid chemical products, to jointly manage the Weifang Liquid Terminal in Shandong province of China, the company said in an exchange filing...

Sime HK to sell 50% equity in Weifang Sime Darby 30 January 2016

Sime Darby set to be major rubber producer, plans to develop 100,000ha of rubber estates in Malaysia, Indonesia and Liberia by Cholo Brooks on Tue, 01/19/2016

Scrutiny on Sime Darby’s rating BY AFIQ ISA 16 January 2016

Sime set to be major rubber producer BY HANIM ADNAN 19 January 2016

UPDATE 1-Sime Darby says dry weather could lower palm oil output Jan 13, 2016

Wahab is no longer Sime Darby COO By Supriya Surendran / The Edge Financial Daily   | January 12, 2016  KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Dr Abd Wahab Maskan, 65, has ceased to be the chief operating officer (COO) of Sime Darby Bhd, with effect from Dec 31, 2015, due to his health and medical condition.

30 workers flee fire at food oil processing factory DEC 20, 2015 SINGAPORE - Thirty workers fled a fire at a food oil processing factory at Jalan Boon Lay on Sunday afternoon. The blaze at Sime Darby Edible Products Limited involved an unused storage tank measuring about 10m in diameter and 2m in height, according to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

Felda / FGV

FGV on expansion mode BY AFIQ ISA 13 February 2016

Felda: From humble agency to conglomerate BY ZAIDI ISHAM ISMAIL - 14 JANUARY 2016 Read More :

FGV upbeat on 2016 prospects BY GOH THEAN HOWE - 4 JANUARY 2016 Read More :

Malaysia's Felda to re-attempt Indonesian deal with unlisted unit -sources By Eveline Danubrata and Emily Chow Feb 11, 2016 * Earlier Felda plan to buy $680 mln stake was heavily criticised * Felda to now use unlisted unit to acquire the stake -sources * Felda now seeking to cut price by as much as 30 pct -sources...

FGV, Felda close to getting 30% discount for Eagle High By Jose Barrock / The Edge Malaysia   | February 8, 2016; This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 25 - 31, 2016.   PUBLIC-listed Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and its parent, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), are understood to be close to securing a 30% discount to the initial price tag of US$680 million 

Indonesia's Eagle High offers 15% discount to Malaysia's FGV BY LEONG HUNG YEE 1 February 2016

TPPA good for Felda, better returns for settlers by  Bernama  4 Feb 2016 Isa, who is also Member of Parliament for Jempol, said Felda would not be affected by the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the interests of its settlers were guaranteed.

No income, ruined land as Felda settlers count cost of bauxite ban BY YASMIN RAMLAN AND DIYANA IBRAHIM 25 January 2016 - See more at:

New FGV-Eagle High deal talks to conclude by March 20 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda Investment set for further expansion 16 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda settlers in Sabah receive titles after 20-year wait January 16, 2016 - See more at:

Anti-bauxite group offers legal service to cheated settlers BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA  16 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda schemes a legacy of Tun Razak January 13, 2016 - See more at:

Miners threaten violence BY QISHIN TARIQ 11 January 2016

Bukit Goh settlers back bauxite mining ban 14 January 2016

Researcher: Long-term exposure to bauxite dust can lead to Alzheimer  6 January 2016


Yuan Merchants By Andy Mukherjee Jan 12, 2016 The most daringly notorious commodity merchant in history raised an army, waged wars, plundered at will, sold opium to China, gave spectacular returns to shareholders, caused at least 30 European banks to collapse and was itself bailed out by taxpayers.Thankfully, today's commodity traders are nothing like the East India Company. But even these businesses have ways of making and losing money that occasionally show a fleeting glimpse of that buccaneering spirit..... Take Wilmar International, whose shares have tumbled more than 50 percent since early 2012..... analyst Nirgunan Tiruchelvam rates the stock a sell and has a target price about 35 percent lower than its current market value. He says half of the palm-oil and soybean trader's net profit in the first nine months of 2015 came from finance income, which was at least in part driven by investing low-cost U.S. dollar funds into high-yielding Chinese currency. That carry trade, which has got nothing to do with commodities, is now unwinding, thanks to a wobbly yuan exchange rate. Meanwhile, the company has almost $5 billion in outstanding bonds and loans that it has to repay or refinance by the end of 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A Wilmar spokeswoman said it's inaccurate to characterize the company's exposure to yuan as a carry trade.... Chalk it up to serendipity then, but isn't it nice to have billions of dollars in debt and yet be able to post positive net interest income? That, however, is what financiers do. The whole point of buying shares in a commodity trader is not to replicate the returns from an investment bank, but to acquire claims on a less risky earnings stream than what one could hope to get from a miner, oil explorer or cultivator. During a downturn, a Wilmar, Noble Group or Olam -- all three of which are listed in Singapore -- ought  o be able to demonstrate they can effectively hedge against a rout in raw-material prices.Yet that's not what the records show. Their aggregate earnings volatility over the past five years is hardly any different from the jumpiness in global mining companies' profit....

Wilmar eyes top spot in sugar trading 15 January 2016

JV with Wilmar signals SATS’ take-off beyond Singapore’s shores: analysts, 05 Feb 16; It’s heading towards China. While being relatively small, analysts said SATS’ 60-40 joint venture with Wilmar is the first step as the airline services firm continues to broaden its focus outside of Singapore. According to analysts from UOB Kay Hian, the JV has scope for expansion, as it would be able to tap onto SATS & BRF’s favourable reputations as premier food producer and distributor, while tapping onto Wilmar’s retail distribution network in China. - See more at:

Wilmar enters into JV with Singapore Food Industries to supply food in China By Amy Tan /   | January 22, 2016  SINGAPORE (Jan 22): Wilmar International’s unit, Yihai Kerry Investments, has entered into two conditional joint venture agreements (JVAs) with Singapore Food Industries (SFI) to supply food to the China market. SFI is a unit of ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider SATS. Yihai a...

Adani Wilmar launches Fortune VIVO by Neha Tyagi, ET Bureau Feb 1, 2016, MUMBAI: Adani Wilmar, manufacturer and distributor of cooking oils, launched India's first diabetes care oil by the name Fortune VIVO on Monday. Targeted at the growing health conscious community of the country, the cooking oil helps in controlling type II diabetes and reduces and maintains blood sugar levels. Along with diabetes, the oil is also effective in reducing high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and hypercholesterolemia

Are Wilmar, IndoAgri about to benefit from a tightening supply of sugar? By Michelle Teo /   | February 5, 2016

Trade minister criticised over Queensland sugar regulation Feb 9 2016; Trade Minister Andrew Robb has been warned that Australia has damaged its reputation as an investment destination following a decision by the Queensland Parliament to effectively re-regulate the nation's $2 billion sugar industry. Sources told The Australian Financial Review that during a recent trade mission to Singapore, Mr Robb was given a dressing down by an executive from Singapore-based agribusiness giant, Wilmar International, which operates eight sugar mills in Queensland. On the sidelines of an investment meeting to drum up business for Australia, Mr Robb was told the sugar decision had raised concerns about the volatility of protectionist domestic politics and had harmed Australia's reputation as an investment location..... Wilmar, along with other international sugar millers with operations in Queensland, is stepping up efforts to reverse the legislation which was passed in December by the Queensland Liberal-National Party Opposition with the support of independents. The Thai-based Mitr Phol has four mills and China's COFCO has one mill. .... 

Wilmar wins Federal Court challenge against Queensland Sugar Limited as marketing dispute continues QLD Country Hour By David Sparkes 1 Feb 2016; Sugar milling company Wilmar has won a Federal Court battle against Queensland Sugar Limited, the industry-owned company that markets 85 per cent of the nation's raw sugar.

Cane growers anxious over wait for contracts by Lucy Smith | 5th Feb 2016; CANEGROWERS Queensland chairman Paul Schembri says some Mackay growers are "anxiously" waiting to sign next year's contracts with milling company Wilmar. Mr Schembri said the delay was due to Wilmar's opposition to the Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act, which passed through State Parliament in December. "Normally growers would have certainty two or three years ahead that contracts are in place," Mr Schembri said. "In this circumstance there is nothing in place for 2017. The clock is up and running, and for the growers, they need some certainty." Mr Schembri said Wilmar should "respect" the sugar bill, which gave cane growers more say in sugar marketing. "Queensland growers will not be bullied by companies who want to impose their marketing will on farmers," he said....

Landry seeks update on a ‘sugar war’ 4th Feb 2016; Ms Landry met with Canegrowers Australia CEO Dan Galligan and Chairman Paul Schembri for an update of the plight of local sugar growers and their battle against Singapore giant Wilmar. The issue is over sugar marketing and contract issues. "I am behind local farmers who employ local people and support our local towns and communities like Sarina and Mackay," Ms Landry said. "I am informed that Wilmar's behavior and treatment of local Mum and Dad cane growers is a disgrace. While foreign investment is important to Australia, it should not be allowed as a bullying tactic against growers....

Aurizon signs sugar haulage contract with Wilmar 20th Jan 2016

Aurizon signs sugar and molasses haulage contract with Wilmar By FoodProcessing Staff  21 January, 2016

The No Deforestation Revolution: Two Years In  01/21/2016  Glenn Hurowitz Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

Policy Implementation Progress Reports; In December 2013, Wilmar announced its integrated No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy that aims to advance an environmentally and socially responsible palm oil industry. We provide quarterly updates during the first year of implementation and welcome feedback from stakeholders...

Wilmar's zero-deforestation update gets mixed reviews - The world's biggest palm oil company has issued a two-year update on its zero deforestation efforts, with progress on traceability, engaging suppliers to adopt better practices, and greater transparency. But more needs to be done, say green groups. By Vaidehi Shah, 25 January 2016

World's largest palm oil trader criticised for lack of progress on deforestation - Wilmar claims it has made ‘significant progress’ but campaigners and experts say more is needed to prevent forest clearance or human rights abuses.  Villagers shrouded by haze on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  Supported by: RSPO. By Tess Riley 26 January 2016

Global Palm Oil Giant Wilmar International Misses Deadline To Cut Conflict Palm Oil January 21, 2016

Agravis 'secures supply' in palm expellers through stake in Wilmar subsidiary By Jane Byrne, 25-Jan-2016 German agribusiness cooperative, Agravis, has bought a 33% shareholding in a German palm products and animal feed trading house.

Delta Wilmar plans expansion in B2C segment 25.01.2016 According to Mr. Dhruba Charan Panda, chairman of the board of "Delta Wilmar CIS", Wilmar company plans further expansion in Ukraine.

Adani Wilmar looks to gain with grain post success with oil by V RISHI KUMAR Indo-Singaporean JV scouting for rice mills in south India ...

Germany's Agravis buys stake in palm product trader from Wilmar Jan 14, 2016 German agricultural commodities cooperative Agravis said on Thursday it had bought a 33 percent shareholding in German palm products and animal feed trading house H. Boegel from Singapore-listed commodities group Wilmar International Ltd. The move will give Agravis direct access to purchase markets for palm-based animal feed ingredients including palm expellers, Agravis said. Wilmar had said in September it was considering selling part of Boegel

Zimbabwe - Wilmar seeks $7,6m to recapitalise Olivine Jan 13 2016,

Wilmar seeks $7.6m bailout for Olivine 13 Jan 2016

OLIVINE INVESTOR FAILS TO STUMP UP $32M 7th January 2016; SINGAPORE-headquartered agribusiness group, Wilmar International, which last year completed the takeover of a 49 percent shareholding in fast-moving consumer goods  group, Olivine Industries, has failed to recapitalise the company, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) can reveal.  Wilmar was expected to inject US$32 million into Olivine to capitalise the business but reliable sources this week told C&M that the company “had completely failed to inject fresh capital into the company and gone quiet.

Wilmar new CPO policy effective next month BY HANIM ADNAN 5 December 2015; Oil palm planters in Sarawak are bracing themselves for the impact of Wilmar International Ltd’s new crude palm oil (CPO) sourcing policy, which is expected to take effect early next month. Wilmar is the largest CPO buyer in Sarawak, purchasing almost 50% of the state’s total CPO production or about 3.3 million tonnes annually for its palm oil refinery in Bintulu....  On Dec 5, 2013, the agribusiness group had declared a “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policy to take effect in 2016, whereby Wilmar would only source CPO from sustainable oil palm plantations.... The policy created discontent among Sarawak oil palm planters, particularly those who were heavily involved in cultivating oil palm in high carbon stock forests, high conservation areas and peat land. Close to 42% or 504,000ha of the state’s total 1.2 millon ha of oil palm plantations are planted on peat soil.

Brazil - Wilmar, Raízen to form sugar venture to rival Cargill tie-up 04 January 2016 10:08 AM; Raízen Energia SA and Wilmar International Ltd plan to establish a sugar venture in Brazil to rival the partnership between Cargill and Copersucar, the nation's leading exporter this year.

Brazil watchdog reviewing proposed Raizen-Wilmar venture 25 December 2015

Brazil antitrust watchdog reviews proposed Raizen, Wilmar tie-up Dec 23, 2015

Wilmar, Raizen plan joint venture to be Brazil's top sugar exporter DEC 24, 2015

Wilmar plans Brazil tie-up to rival sugar-export giant DEC 25, 2015


Golden Agri's performance over coming quarters likely sluggish: BMI Research By PC Lee /   | January 28, 2016 SINGAPORE (Jan 28): Golden Agri’s performance in the coming quarters will likely remain sluggish as palm oil production is tipped to be slow or even register negative growth. Meanwhile, downstream operations will continue to be hurt by lingering overcapacity, and the outlook for the company's oils...

Four bring Golden-Agri arm's $300m to syndication 8 Jan 2016$300m-to-syndication
IOI Corp set for earnings rebound 12 February 2016 | MYT 11:31 AM; “The rebound in earnings will be underpinned by reversal in forex losses and stronger downstream contributions. This sector bellwether is the best proxy for an El Nino trade in first half of 2016... Operationally, IOI’s plantation division recorded a weaker second quarter to Dec 31, 2015 fresh fruit bunches (FFB) output of 934,811 tonne mainly due to below-average rainfall experienced in Sabah in first half of 2015. ... “As for downstream, we expect an EBIT of RM180mil due to the absence of RM203mil fair valuation loss on derivative financial instruments recorded in first quarter of financial year ending June 30, 2016. And it is possible that part of the 1QFY16 losses could be reversed in 2QFY16 to further boost earnings,” Maybank said. ..  IOI Corp’s re-inclusion into the Shariah compliant list in end-Nov 2015 had helped generated fresh interest.  ..

Bumitama Agri to snap up 95% stake in GHL for $7.91m 04 Feb 16; It’s trying to bag a 2,982 ha oil palm plantation. Bumitama Agri is getting ready to nab 95% stake in Gunajaya Harapan Lestari (GHL), which has a 2,982 ha oil palm plantation in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The acquisition is worth IDR76.96m, or about $7.91m, and will be funded by Bumitama’s internal resources. - See more at:

RAM Ratings reaffirms Bumitama's AA3/Stable rating Jan 06 2016

Salim Group - Indonesian food group enters Malaysia poultry sector via CAB deal by CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer January 18, 2016; KUALA LUMPUR -- Indonesian food conglomerate Salim Group has agreed to invest 31 million ringgit ($7 million) in CAB Cakaran, a Malaysian poultry company that is on an expansion kick. In a stock exchange filing Monday, CAB said KMP, the Singapore-based investment arm of Salim, will subscribe to a planned private placement of new shares equivalent to 10% of CAB's total share capital. KMP will pay 2.07 ringgit per share, which represents a premium of nearly 26% over the weighted weekly average share price through Jan. 15. The deal is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016....

Indofood Sukses Makmur Mulls Joint Venture With Japanese Firm Indofood Sukses Makmur is the world's largest manufacturer of instant noodles. (GA Photo/Mohammad Defrizal) By : Farid Firdaus | on 1:26 PM December 31, 2015

The Wilmar of rubber? By Goola Warden /   | January 29, 2016 Halcyon Agri has been aggressively expanding since its IPO nearly three years ago and could now be on the cusp of its biggest deal yet. Here’s what investors need to know about the brash company. Robert Meyer, executive chairman and CEO of Halcyon Agri Corp, has big ambitions for his company. “..

Jaya Tiasa set to see positive cash flow 5 January 2016; “We continue to believe it would be able to produce at full-fledge a tonnage of 1.5 million tonnes annually.” AmResearch understands that sustained efforts are being carried out to rehabilitate 10,000ha of planted areas that had been neglected previously. This could take more than a year. Jaya Tiasa will discontinue planting on its remaining plantation landbank representing 0.4% of its estimated plantable area of 69,873ha, after December 2015, and has given its commitment to comply with Wilmar’s Integrated Policy....

Jaya Tiasa stops planting oil palm on remaining land By AmInvestment Bank Bhd / The Edge Financial Daily   | January 5, 2016

19 December 2015: Wilmar eyeing some property projects after naming new COO (non-commodity / property expert), investors worry about FGV even if it buys less than 10% in Eagle High, FGV eyes biodegradable plastics from palm oil waste

Wilmar eyeing some property projects after naming new COO - Perennial Real Estate CEO's appointment to post will give commodity giant an advantage by Wong Wei Han, Dec 15, 2015; At first glance, it looks an odd fit, but commodity giant Wilmar International believes appointing the boss of a property firm to run its operations will reap a double payoff. As well as gaining a tried-and-tested businessman, Wilmar believes naming Perennial Real Estate chief executive Pua Seck Guan as its chief operating officer and an executive director will give it a way to take part in property development projects.... "In many places where Wilmar has significant operations, we have been offered attractive projects by the local government, which we declined as we do not have expertise in property development. "With the association with Perennial through Mr Pua, these projects can be undertaken by Perennial, with Wilmar maybe taking a small stake. Successful development of these projects will enhance Wilmar's relationship with the  government and standing of the company in those places." Perennial has a portfolio of properties developed or managed in Singapore, China, Malaysia and Ghana....

Wilmar falls after announcing management changes   By PC Lee /   | December 14, 2015

CIMB expresses caution even if FGV buys less than 10% in Eagle High by sharidan m. ali  15 December 2015

FGV to produce biodegradable plastics from palm oil waste 15 December 2015


14 December 2015: Eagle High still trying to find deal within Felda / FGV group, The Edge Malaysia reports FIC says no; new Wilmar COO 1 Jan 2016

Note: Some chatter about new Wilmar COO starting 1 Jan 2016 (see 12 Dec posting immediately below).

The Edge Malaysia reports Felda Investment Cooperative as saying "no" to Eagle High stake, front page of current issue.

Deal trail and issues, include

12 December 2015: ADM-Wilmar boost Olenex Europe JV, Wilmar in FOE spotlight, Felda Group to buy 37 pct of Eagle High in new deal, Sime Darby and others to test oil palm production scheme, Sime’s plan to reduce RM19.7bil debt, GVL prepares for processing, CBIP mill deals

Perennial Real Estate CEO to become COO at Wilmar - Mr Pua Seck Guan will become COO and executive director at Wilmar with effect from Jan 1, 2016. He will also retain his positions in Perennial. Posted 11 Dec 2015

Pua Seck Guan of Perennial doubles up as COO of Wilmar   By Tay Hock Meng / The Edge Property, Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd | December 11, 2015; Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited CEO and executive director (ED) Pua Seck Guan has been appointed the new COO and executive director of Wilmar International Ltd with effect from January 1, 2016. Pua will retain his current positions at Perennial. Wilmar’s current COO and ED, Teo Kim Yong, will be retiring on December 31....

Replaces: Mr Teo Kim Yong, 61, is in charge of the Group’s commercial activities, merchandising of palm and lauric oils, as well as the manufacturing, palm and biodiesel trading operations.....

ADM, Wilmar strengthen joint venture  12/10/2015; Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Wilmar International Limited announced on Dec. 10 that they have entered into an agreement whereby Olenex, their partnership to market oils and fats in Europe, will become a full-function joint venture with its own assets.  As part of the agreement, ADM will transfer two sites — a specialty oils and fats facility and a palm refining plant in Hamburg, Germany — to the new joint venture. Wilmar will transfer its tropical oils processing plants in Brake, Germany and Rotterdam, Netherlands. In addition to processing, the joint venture will also integrate raw materials sourcing, trading, and sales and marketing operations. The agreement also stipulates that refined oils and fats from ADM’s other plants in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. will be marketed by Olenex. ...
Up in Smoke: Failures in Wilmar’s promise to clean up the palm oil business, 8 December 2015

Archer Daniels Midland spent $20 mln to raise Wilmar stake -filing Nov 4, 2015

Australia - Wilmar signs interim deal for 0.5 mln t of cane for 2017 season Published: 27 November 2015 .. Australia's largest sugar producer - Wilmar - says securing an interim agreement with 22 individual growers is a "breakthrough" to the current impasse about how export sugar is marketed, reports ABC Rural. ..

Sugar and grain industries say new ethanol legislation is a big win By David Sparkes  3 Dec 2015 Queensland Energy and Water Minister Mark Bailey on a tour the Wilmar Bioethanol facility in Sarina Photo: Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey (centre) visited the Wilmar Bioethanol plant earlier this year to discuss a possible mandate. (David Sparkes)  Australia's biggest sugar milling company, Wilmar, says new legislation boosts the chances of bioethanol becoming a major contributor to the state's economy. The legislation passed through Queensland Parliament last night and sets a mandated level of 3 per cent ethanol in the state's petrol and 0.5 per cent in diesel from January 1, 2017.

Wilmar stuck in an ROE rut: Jefferies   By PC Lee /   | November 18, 2015  SINGAPORE (Nov 18): Agricultural trader Wilmar International ( Valuation: 2.00, Fundamental: 0.80) looks stuck in a trading range until it can improve its return on equity any further, Jefferies says in a note soon after the firm reported quarterly earnings. Jefferies notes that Wilmar's management emphasised achievements in scale, dist..

Sime’s plan to reduce RM19.7bil debt; may monetise assets, place out shares  by s.puspadevi 27 November 2015

Felda Group to buy 37 pct of Eagle High in new deal-Rajawali exec By Cindy Silviana Dec 11, 2015  * Eagle High shares soar 8 pct after Rajawali comments * Most of purchase likely via different Felda unit -Rajawali * Felda Global may take less than 10 pct -Rajawali * Felda Global says still evaluating possible new deal (Adds comment from Felda Global Ventures, share price) JAKARTA, Dec 11 Malaysia's Felda Group still plans to buy 37 percent of PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk in a restructured deal, a managing director of the Indonesian firm's parent company said, sending shares in Eagle High soaring. The companies are finalising the price, Rajawali's managing director Darjoto Setyawan told Reuters in a text message interview. Read more at Reuters

Felda Global explains why it cannot do Indonesian Eagle deal alone by afiq isa 7 December 2015...FGV chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah had recently told StarBiz that all options were being considered to revive the deal.  The 37% stake in Eagle High is held by the Rajawali Group, a conglomerate controlled by Indonesian tycoon Tan Sri Peter Sondakh.

Minister settles defamation suit against PAS, Mustafa Ali and Harakahdaily by Bernama | Published on December 08, 2015; The suit was in relation to a defamatory statement by former PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa against Mustapa, who is Kelantan UMNO Liaison committee chairman on the shares of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH).
The suit was settled after the four defendants in the case tendered their apologies ...

Felda Global completes sale of Canadian unit for RM567mil  by p. aruna 4 November 2015... KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures (FGV) Holdings Bhd has completed the sale of its loss-making Canadian subsidiary, and received the cash purchase price of C$172.7mil (RM567.1mil). The subsidiary, Twin Rivers Technologies Entreprises De Transformation De Graines Oléagineuses Du Québec Inc (TRT-ETGO) was sold to Canadian grain and oilseeds marketer and handler, Viterra Inc as part of FGV’s five-year transformation strategy. ...
Plantation giant Felda Global Ventures records pre-tax loss with higher revenue KUALA LUMPUR, NOV 26, 2015

GVL prepares for processing 08 December 2015

Indonesian conglomerate in poultry tie-up with Malaysia's CAB by WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer JAKARTA -- Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group is partnering with Malaysia's CAB Cakaran to set up an integrated poultry business in Indonesia.

Sime Darby to test oil palm production scheme Published: 11 December 2015 5:04 PM Major oil palm growers, including Sime Darby Bhd will conduct trials of a sustainable cultivation scheme under the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto - See more at:

How Sime Darby & Oil Palm production will help Liberia’s Economy - By Richard Sambulah Submitted by Cholo Brooks on Mon, 11/23/2015

Sime Darby appoints former Indonesian minister as director  24 November 2015

Sime Darby to expand rubber plantation despite weak price November 23, 2015

Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur: Giant Force in Indonesia's Consumer Goods Market 18 November 2015 |  Despite weakening purchasing power in an economy that has lost its growth momentum since 2011, Indonesia's largest packaged-food company Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur contains a number of advantages that are believed to lift the company's profit figures. Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur is a subsidiary of Indofood Sukses Makmur, a leading total food solutions firm in Southeast Asia's largest economy. The Indofood Group is known as the world's largest instant noodles producer.
IOI Corp slips into the red in 1Q due to forex loss   By Yimie Yong /   | November 16, 2015 KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 16): IOI Corp Bhd ( Valuation: 0.30, Fundamental: 0.35) plunged into the red for the first financial quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 (1QFY16) primarily due to foreign exchange (forex) loss of RM853.9 million on translation of its US dollar-denominated borrowings. The group posted a net loss of RM719 million or 11.38 sen lo...
First Resources posts 26.4% fall in 3Q earnings to $45 mil   By PC Lee /   | November 13, 2015 SINGAPORE (Nov 13): Palm oil producer First Resources ( Valuation: 0.90, Fundamental: 2.60) posted a 26.4% fall in 3Q earnings to US$31.7 million ($45 million) from $43.1 million a year ago. The weaker bottom line was dragged down by a 24.6% decline in profit from operations to US$54.1 million mainly due to the effects of lower palm oil...

Bumitama Agri’s 3Q earnings fall 30%   By Trinity Chua /   | November 12, 2015 SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Indonesian palm oil company Bumitama Agri’s 3Q ( Valuation: 0.90, Fundamental: 1.15) earnings fell 30% to 199.8 billion rupiah ($0.021 billion) on the back of higher cost of sales, increased expenses and a decline in selling prices for crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel. Revenue dropped 13.7% to 1,179 billion rup

Wilmar posts 35% fall in Q3 profit to $392.5m - In the tropical oils business, pre-tax profit fell 45.9 per cent to $149.5 million. This was because of declining crude palm oil prices and lower margins from the refining and downstream businesses, Wilmar said. In the tropical oils business, pre-tax profit fell 45.9 per cent to $149.5 million. This was because of declining crude palm oil prices and lower margins from the refining and downstream businesses, Wilmar said.PHOTO: REUTERS Nov 12, 2015

Asia's big three commodity traders reveal profit pain by Huileng Tan 13 Nov 2015; Asia's big three commodity trading houses were hit in the third quarter by a slump in raw materials prices that hammered profits and revenues. Reporting results this week, Noble Group, Olam International and Wilmar International - collectively known as the NOW group - highlighted a trio of challenging market conditions this year: Volatility in raw material prices, currency fluctuations and slumping investments.  On Thursday, Singapore-listed Noble reported an 84 percent on-year plunge in third-quarter profits to $24.7 million, mainly due to losses in its metals division and agricultural arm. Revenue was down 20 per cent to $18.7 billion.

Golden Agri-Resources Q3 profit jumps but El Nino looms Nov 12, 2015 4:30am EST

How Felda mobilised 10,000 for ‘red shirt’ rally 11 Nov 2015  The total number of Felda settlers who joined the rally was estimated to be 10,000, according to the parliamentary reply, she said. This means that about 10,000 Felda settlers joined the red shirt rally, she surmised. Many of the settlers were transported to Kuala Lumpur in buses. About RM1mil spent ... government-backed Village Development and Security Committee (JKKR) and the Coalition of Women's Movement (GPW) for giving RM925,000 to fund the ‘Felda rally’.

Indofood sees profit almost halved amid weakening rupiah The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 31 2015, 5:05 PM - See more at:

RAM Ratings reaffirms First Resources’ AA2/Stable Sukuk rating  01, November 2015 by Matthew Amlôt

Rating Action:  Moody's withdraws Golden Agri's Ba3 corporate family rating November 06, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has withdrawn the Ba3 corporate family rating of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. The rating outlook was negative at the time of its withdrawal.

CB Industrial bags palm mill contract worth RM51m in Indonesia   By Gho Chee Yuan /   | December 7, 2015 KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): CB Industrial Product Holding Bhd ( Valuation: 1.80, Fundamental: 3.00) has bagged a contract worth RM51.08 million from PT Ichtiar Gusti Pudi, a subsidiary of Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd ( Valuation: 2.60, Fundamental: 0.60), to supply one continuous sterilisation palm oil mill with a capacity of 60 tonnes per hour.

CBIP wins RM60mil deal to supply another mill in PNG 4 December 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: CB Industrial Product Holding Bhd (CBIP) has secured a RM60mil contract from East New Britain Palm Oil Ltd’s subsidiary Glory Jade Investments Ltd to supply a continuous sterilisation palm oil mill for the client’s Papua New Guinea (PNG) operations.

IOI Corp sees lower oil palm FFB output, 28 October 2015 by Lee Weng Khuen PUTRAJAYA: IOI Corp Bhd has revised downwards its fresh fruit bunch (FFB) growth to between 3% and 5% for the financial year ending June 30, 2016 (FY16), from the initial forecast of 5% to 7%, due to the prolonged hazy weather. Speaking to reporters after the company’s AGM here yesterday, CEO Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said the hazy condition, which reduces sunlight hours, will probably affect up to 10% of total FFB. However, he said it will not have a negative impact on the company’s profitability as low production will boost palm oil prices...

The tree whisperer  by tee lin say 24 October 2015; Lee, the executive chairman and founder of IOI Corp, is the single-largest shareholder of both IOI Corp and IOI Prop, controlling some 51% of both companies. IOI Prop was demerged from IOI Corp and relisted separately on Jan 15, 2014 with a market capitalisation of RM8.13bil, making it the second-largest property player after UEM Sunrise Bhd back then. Today, it is the second-biggest property developer listed on Bursa Malaysia after SP Setia Bhd with a market cap of RM8.36bil....IOI Corp is a fully integrated company that undertakes the plantation and resource-based manufacturing businesses. The plantation business covers Malaysia and Indonesia with a landbank of more than 230,000 ha, making it one of the largest plantation owners in the industry. IOI Group owns four palm oil refineries, three located in Malaysia and one in the Netherlands, with a combined annual refining capacity of 3,300,000 tonnes.

PepsiCo’s palm oil pledge should not exempt Indofood, NGOs say - The global food and beverage giant recently promised to source deforestation-free palm oil, but green groups say the commitment should apply to joint venture partners that sell its branded partners. That includes Indofood, Indonesia's largest food company. by  29 October 2015

Indonesia's Indofood posts biggest 9-mth profit decline in decade on forex hit Oct 30, 2015 By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana * 9-mth profit 1.7 trillion rupiah vs 3.1 trillion a year ago * Net profit margin falls to 3.5 pct from 6.6 pct * Indofood has $1.2 bln in foreign currency debt * Plantation business hit by weak crude palm oil prices Read more at Reuters

SG’s First Resources buys out Indonesian plantation firm Karya Tama by Vincencia NLS October 26, 2015:   Singapore-based palm oil producer First Resources Limited has announced its indirect subsidiary PT Pancasurya Agrindo has acquired Indonesian plantation firm PT Karya Tama Bakti Mulia for a cash consideration of $1.4 million. The acquisition is being funded through internal accruals, the company said, in a filing to the stock exchange. Karya Tama is incorporated in Indonesia and principally engaged in the plantation business in the Riau province of Indonesia.... (First Resources) It manages over 190,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, including plasma plantations, and operates 12 palm oil mills across the Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia.

Smear campaign against Indonesian palm oil underway: GAPKI, Jakarta | National | Mon, October 26 2015 - See more at: 

Rajawali's Eagle High says pledged assets to secure $201 mln bank loan Oct 19, 2015; PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk , the plantation unit of Indonesian conglomerate Rajawali Group, has secured a 2.74 trillion rupiah ($201 million) loan from PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk, an executive said on Tuesday. Eagle High Corporate Secretary Rudy Suhendra told Reuters by phone the loan will be used to refinance existing debt, make upcoming payments on bonds and build a new palm oil mill. Eagle High pledged some plantations as well as palm oil factories owned by its five subsidiaries as security for the loan, Suhendra said. In June, Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd said it will buy 37 percent of Eagle High from Rajawali for $680 million.

Kedah Rubber City’s GDV estimated at RM11.2bil 23 October 2015; ... Emir added it was also encouraging to note that the Government continued to provide funds to enhance the Felda settlers livelihood, in terms of income and productivity. Among the initiatives provided are RM200mil to improve the standards for road in Felda settlements and construction of 20,000 residences for the second generation Felda settlers. Others include increasing the incentive of Rubber Production Incentive (IPG) from RM4.60 to RM5.50 per kg for SMR 20 Freight on Board Rubber and scrap rubber (cup lumps) will be increased from RM1.75 to RM2.20 per kg. “All relevant Budget 2016 initiatives will directly and indirectly contribute to FGV in promising and positive ways.  “The budget complements our five-year transformation plan that focuses on enhancing revenue, cost optimisation and operational excellence across all our businesses such as palm oil, rubber and sugar,” added Emir. - Bernama...

Archived News (26/10/2015) : Olam International Signs MoU With FGV To Train Gabonese Farmers....

29 October 2015: Olam secures $1B in new loans to refinance debt


Olam secures $1B in new loans to refinance debt by Neelabh Chaturvedi Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 | 9:46 PM ET;...Agri-trader Olam International has secured $1 billion in funding to refinance existing debt, just a couple of months after Mitsubishi Corp snagged a 20 percent stake in the company. Olam said the new revolving credit and term loan facility will comprise an $850 million 364-day revolving credit facility and a $150 million 5-year term loan. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings owns 51.4 percent of Olam....; (also see, Why Mitsubishi took a stake in troubled Olam -

10 October 2015: Golden-Agri suppliers and Indonesia forex hedging and foreign debt conversion, IPOP dilution for smallholder interests, FGV news, Wilmar deals and tax break, IOI oleochem buy, Moody's eyes China slowdown impacts and plantation sector credit quality weakening,  Eagle High gets new loan, Indonesia gives tax incentives to dairy and biodiesel, consumer slow down


More certainty for sale of majority stake in China Minzhong Food By Andrea CHINA Minzhong Holdings and PT Indofood Sukses Makmur have committed to continue to discuss and work towards the finalisation of the proposed acquisition by China Minzhong Holdings of a majority stake in China Minzhong Food Corporation.

Felda Global gains 2.4% on renewed buying interest    By Surin Murugiah /   | October 15, 2015 : 9:42 AM MYT

Felda forays into student accommodation in London by Ismail Amsyar Mohd Said, Bernama    Published 14 Oct 2015, 4:27 pm
Giving back to society is 'right thing to do'- Palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources funds schools, builds infrastructure and develops housing in the communities it operates.  By SUE-ANN CHIA

Give Shares Of Golden-Agri Resources A Pass  Oct. 9, 2015 3:09 PM ET   |  About: Golden Agri-Resources ADR (GARPY)   Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More...) Summary • The relationship between revenue and net income is actually negative. • After a review of the cash flow statement, we believe the dividend is in danger of being cut.

MNC looking to invest $60.4m, set up shop in Iskandar Malaysia by Liz Lee October 12, 2015:  A multinational company specialising in the distribution of tropical vegetable oils and their derivatives, has expressed interest to invest MYR250 million ($60.36 million) in Iskandar Malaysia, according to the Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism committee. Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong said the Europe-based company, with its head office in Singapore, plans to set up its operations in the Southern Economic Corridor in peninsular Malaysia. “The investment could be realised by this year or in the first quarter of next year,” he told a press conference after opening D’ Elegance Hotel in Taman Nusanatara last Friday.

Indofood to hedge, convert foreign debts Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 03 2015, 5:27 PM; Consumer goods giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur plans to hedge and convert a sum of its foreign denominated loans later this year to comply with the central bank’s hedging regulation and to reduce financial costs. Indofood, one of the world’s largest noodle makers, has a total of US$1.2 billion in foreign-denominated loans, the company’s director Werianty Setiawan says.“None of the loans have been hedged. We will hedge at least 20 percent of our net exposure in the fourth quarter,” she said.“The hedging is to comply with BI’s [Bank Indonesia] regulation.”Late last year, BI introduced a new regulation requiring all Indonesian companies planning to borrow dollars to have a specific health level in three indicators: liquidity strength, hedging ratio and credit rating level.The rule came into effect in January 2015. Companies must hedge at least 20 percent of their short-term dollar debts and have a liquidity ratio of 50 percent. - See more at:

Golden Agri loses suppliers after IPOP implementation The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, October 06 2015, 5:53 PM; Singapore-listed Golden Agri Resources (GAR) has said that it lost hundreds of thousands of tons of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) supplies as it suspended partnerships with several supplier companies due to the implementation of GAR’s non-deforestation policy.GAR sustainability and strategic stakeholder engagement managing director Agus Purnomo said in Jakarta on Monday that since May, the company had stopped buying FFB and crude palm oil (CPO) for its refineries from five to six companies allegedly conducting deforestation. However, he declined to reveal the value, saying it would be found in the company’s year-end financial report.“The impact of the decision to suspend the purchases was serious because it affected the company’s production,” he said.According to the company’s financial report published in August, GAR’s CPO output dipped by around 9 percent to 1.09 million tons in the first half of this year while its FFB production slipped by 3 percent to 4.58 million tons year-on-year. - See more at:

Big palm oil's pledge to preserve forests vexes Indonesia Wed Oct 7, 2015 7:47pm EDT  JAKARTA  |  By Michael Taylor  The Indonesian government is asking major palm oil companies to row back on the historic “no deforestation” pledges they made at last year’s United Nations climate change summit, officials and company sources say. Major palm oil companies were invited to a series of meetings at the economics ministry last week, where officials expressed concern the pledges the plantation companies made are causing big problems for smaller palm oil firms in their supply chain, the sources told Reuters. The government has asked palm oil firms who signed the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) to exempt smallholders because they are not yet ready to practice the same level of sustainable forest practices as the big players, said Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy minister for food and agriculture at the coordinating ministry for economic affairs.

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.

Cashing In On the TPP By Benjamin Shepherd on October 8, 2015; The largest trade pack in modern history is a go. Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S., announced earlier this week that they have reached a final agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The deal, which covers the trade between countries that account for roughly 40% of the global economy, will lower trade barriers and set rules governing more than $1 trillion of goods and services. Now, everything from milk to auto parts will move more easily around the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean....For instance, Mexican poultry producer Industrias Bachoco S.A.B de C.V. does a booming business in its home country and the U.S., with revenue nearly doubling over the past five years and earnings shooting up from $2.12 to $5.18. The company’s operations are still relatively modest compared to the Tyson Foods of the world, which has more than three times the market capitalization of Industrias Bachoco, so shipping its chicks beyond the U.S. and Mexico would be a challenge. But the TPP will implement a single set of rules across the Pacific region that will replace a regulatory maze of food safety rules. As a result, Industrias Bachoco (NYSE: IBA) can soon more easily reach nearly 500 million new customers across Asia. The benefits accrue in both directions though, so Singapore-based Wilmar International could see North American vistas opening to it. A top producer of palm oil, sugar, flour and other agricultural products, Wilmar’s (OTC: WLMIY) business is largely confined to Southeast Asia, China, Europe and Africa. While its products are more in demand in those regions, palm oil is a relatively common ingredient in food production and used in more than half of all packaged products we Americans consumer.  The palm trees that produce the oil are only grown in the tropics, so most of the oil we consume is produced by domestic companies. But now that the TPP will be leveling the agricultural field, Wilmar can compete in the Nort  American market more easily. And the timing really couldn’t be better since earlier this year the U.S. Food and Drug administration ordered food manufacturers to stop using artificial trans fats within three years, much of which will likely be replaced with palm oil.

Indofood to hedge, convert foreign debts Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 03 2015, 5:27 PM; Consumer goods giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur plans to hedge and convert a sum of its foreign denominated loans later this year to comply with the central bank’s hedging regulation and to reduce financial costs. Indofood, one of the world’s largest noodle makers, has a total of US$1.2 billion in foreign-denominated loans, the company’s director Werianty Setiawan says.“None of the loans have been hedged. We will hedge at least 20 percent of our net exposure in the fourth quarter,” she said.“The hedging is to comply with BI’s [Bank Indonesia] regulation.”Late last year, BI introduced a new regulation requiring all Indonesian companies planning to borrow dollars to have a specific health level in three indicators: liquidity strength, hedging ratio and credit rating level.The rule came into effect in January 2015. Companies must hedge at least 20 percent of their short-term dollar debts and have a liquidity ratio of 50 percent….

Sime Darby - Malaysia plantation shares suffer from low palm oil prices, supply glut September 29, 2015 8:05 pm JST; Shares of Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, have slipped 18% so far this year while state-run Felda Global Ventures has lost nearly a third of its value. That compares to the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI's 9.2% year-to-date decline....

Plantations lead market higher, FGV in focus Wednesday, 30 September 2015 By: JOSEPH CHIN; KUALA LUMPUR: The recent rally in crude palm oil (CPO) prices on worries about a decline in output due to the impending El Nino phenomenon by year end saw plantations topping the gainers list while Felda Global Ventures (FGV) was in focus.

Indofood CBP Expects Slower Sales Growth Until Year-End By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 8:38 PM October 01, 2015; Jakarta. Sales at Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur, the world's largest instant noodle factory, is forecast to grow by 6 percent at most by the end of the year, showcasing a pessimistic view from the company for the remaining three months of the year.  "In the beginning of the year, we had hoped that sales would show double digit growth, however since the conditions are not conducive right now, it seems like full-year growth will be similar to the first half of the year, which is between 5 percent and 6 percent," Werianty Setiawan, a director at Indofood, told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday. Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur booked approximately Rp 1.7 trillion ($116 million) in net profit during the first half of the year, up 28 percent from about Rp 1.4 trillion in the same period last year. It recorded around Rp 17 trillion in sales during the first half of the year, up 6.6 percent from Rp 15.5 trillion in the revious year. Consumer goods companies, like Indofood CBP, have struggled to maintain sales growth in the past year as the nation faces a depreciated rupiah against the US dollar and its slowest economic pace since 2009, which has dampened consumer sentiment across the archipelago....

Indofood Agri Resources Mulls Plans for Three New CPO Plants By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 4:04 PM October 02, 2015; Jakarta. Singapore-listed Indofood Agri Resources, the agriculture arm of beverage and food giant Indofood Group, is planning to build up to three new crude palm oil factories next year through its subsidiaries, Salim Ivomas Pratama and London Sumatra, according to top executives at the company. Johnny Ponto, a director at publicly-listed Salim Ivomas Pratama, said that a majority of the palm fruits grown by Salim Ivomas Pratama are ready to be harvested and converted to crude palm oil in the next few years, which is why Salim Ivomas is planning to build two plants in East Kalimantan next year. "The factories will support our plantation estates... Hopefully, we can start [construction] by the end of the year or in the beginning of 2016, and complete it in 2017," Johnny said during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.  One of the factories will have the capacity to refine 40 tons to 80 tons of palm fruit per hour, he added.  Meanwhile, the second plant will have the capacity to process 40 tons of palm fruit per hour. Each is expected to cost Rp 200 billion ($13.6 million) in investment. Its subsidiary, London Sumatra, is also planning to add one CPO plant in East Kalimantan with a capacity to process 60 tons of palm fruit per hour, according to London Sumatra president director Benny Tjoeng.

Danone, Kerry, Pulmuone also eyeing Quorn By Dean Best | 30 September 2015

UPDATE 2-Quorn fields takeover interest from range of parties -sources

Big Order Sweeps Sugar Market - Wilmar International Ltd. emerged as buyer of $346 million of sugar, traders and brokers say By Carolyn Cui and Julie Wernau  Sept. 30, 2015 5:35 p.m. ET  Wilmar International Ltd. has bought 1.2 million tons of raw sugar on the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange against the October contract, the third delivery taken by the Singapore-based commodity company in recent months, bringing the total of this year’s purchases to more than $1 billion, traders and brokers said.

Volac Increases Turnover in Volatile Dairy Market 30 Sep 2015 --- Dairy nutrition company Volac has published its financial results for the 10 month period ending December 2014. During this 10 month period, turnover increased 1% from €265m to €268m compared to the previous full financial year and profit before tax decreased 10% from €25m to €22m.

Malaysia's Felda Global says taking additional steps in Eagle High purchase KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29

MALAYSIA PRESS-Felda Global yet to pay deposit on Eagle High deal pending approvals-The Star

BNM needs details on FGVH remittance  by Kavithah RakwanTuesday, September 29, 2015

Immediate support for Felda Global at RM1.47, says AllianceDBS Research Published: 2 October 2015 12:03 PM - See more at:

Sime Darby voted best managed large cap in Malaysia By: LEON HUNG YEE  29 September 2015

LIBERIA: Bomi Superintendent Advises Sime Darby Company To Suspend Operations Submitted by Cholo Brooks on Sun, 09/27/2015 - 09:31

Analysts maintain ‘neutral’ on plantations following govt replanting scheme   By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | September 28, 2015 : 12:14 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28): Research bank analysts have maintained a “neutral” call on the plantation sector following the government’s move to implement a RM100 million replanting scheme between Oct 1 and Dec 31. CIMB ( Valuation: 1.65, Fundamental: 1.05) analyst Ivy Ng Lee Fang said there was no surprise because the bank had...

Najib, BN will be around next elections, says Kadir Jasin Published: 26 September 2015 2:37 PM;  “Najib’s emotive use of ‘bangsat’ is bound to find currency with many rural Malays. Najib himself believes that if he could hang on to power until the next GE to lead BN to victory. “So those who think that Najib will be done away with soon and BN will be gone in the next GE better think twice. “For as long as he can get half of the pak cik, mak cik, Orang Asli, rural folk and Felda settlers to side with him, Umno would be returned to power and his position would then be unassailable. He would be vindicated.”   He said all Najib needed to do in the meantime was to ensure that no criminal action was taken against him, and BN lawmakers were kept in check to avoid either defections or a vote of no-confidence. - See more at:

IOI Corp least affected by weak CPO prices due to exposure to downstream segment   By PublicInvest Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | September 23, 2015 : 10:28 AM MYT

IOI to see better outlook in FY16 September 23, 2015, Wednesday

Salim Group extends its reach WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer September 24, 2015 12:00 am JST
Moody's: China Slowdown to Hit Indonesian Mining, Agriculture Sectors  By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 12:54 PM September 24, 2015; Jakarta. Indonesia's mining and agriculture industries will take the biggest hits from China's slowing economy in the next year, international rating agency Moody's Investors Service predicts.  In a report that was published on Wednesday, Moody's noted that mining businesses in Indonesia, such as Berau Coal Energy and Indika Energy, will probably see already weak coal demand exacerbated due to the slowdown.  "Falling demand for Indonesian thermal coal from China has led to an 11 percent dip in coal exports for the first six months of 2015," Moody's analysts said. "Weakened Chinese demand is now exacerbating the ongoing four-year slump in thermal coal prices, which is reducing the earnings and cash flows of the rated Indonesian coal companies."  Sinar Mas Group's agri-business unit, Golden Agri-Resources, also has a large exposure to China as more than 20 percent of the company's revenue last year came from customers there, according to Moody's.  "Golden Agri-Resources has a deep-sea port and interests in edible oil refining and marketing in China, as well as noodle manufacturing and distribution. Profitablity remains volatile as a result of overcapacity in the oilseed-crushing industry," Moody's analysts said.

Smallholders welcome independent Beluru mill project September 19, 2015, Saturday; BELURU: Smallholders have welcomed a proposed pilot independent palm oil mill project at Sungai Laong, where they have been invited to be among the shareholders. Assistant Minister of Agriculture (Farmers Organisation) Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran said preliminary preparations are being concluded and an official application will be submitted to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Ministry of Land Development within a week. The stakeholders of the proposed mill will be the Sarawak Farmers Organisation (30 per cent), National Farmers Organisation (20 per cent), DD Plantation (30 per cent), Land Consolidation and Development Authority (10 per cent) and the smallholders (10 per cent). “This would be the first in Sarawak where smallholders can also purchase shares and be stakeholders in a palm oil mill,” Entri said during a project progress briefing to about 1,000 smallholders and representatives yesterday. The projected cost of the mill would be between RM40 million and RM50 million, which would involve RM5 million worth of shares for smallholders. Read more:

Palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources stops buying from firm implicated in haze Published Sep 24, 2015, 5:00 am SGT

Golden Agri says halts buys from haze-implicated supplier Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:04am EDT JAKARTA, Sept 23  |  By Michael Taylor

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.

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.

Indonesia’s new emissions target actually a step back: Greenpeace The new target might seem like an improvement over Indonesia’s previous commitment to cut emissions growth by 26 per cent over projected business-as-usual levels by 2020, but it actually represents a regression, Greenpeace says.

FGVH said to be target of global anti-palm oil lobby by Mohamad Azlan JaafarWednesday, September 23, 2015; Several anti-palm oil groups are pressuring international manufacturers to boycott products from Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH), according to industry sources. FGVH, Malaysia’s largest oil palm planter, is being singled out for using “unfair labour practices” among other things. There has always been an anti-oil palm lobby, but recently several non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) have canvassed local manufacturers of consumer product companies to stop buying products from FGVH. “It appears that there is a move to target FGVH products using labour practices as the excuse,” said an industry source. “The authorities should investigate this latest move to boycott FGVH products.” Previously, anti-palm oil lobbyists, comprising NGOs and consumer groups, have cited deforestation, destruction of peatlands, health concerns, habitat degradation, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses to spread t eir anti-palm oil gospel. Today, they have added “modern slavery” into their argument to force international food and consumer goods manufacturers to abandon palm oil in the production of their products.

Many Asia-Pac corporates can withstand impact from China's slowdown: Moody's By Siow Li Sen; Most exposed to China are corporates in the metals and mining, coal, oil and gas, steel, chemical, auto, technology and agriculture sectors, said Moody's on Wednesday. Corporates with modest exposure are those in the business and consumer services, gaming, manufacturing, port, real estate, retail, shipping and trading sectors. Exposure is low for airports, homebuilding and building materials, telecommunications and utility sectors, as these sectors tend to derive their revenues domestically....

China makes, another, cattle ranch purchase in Australia 15th Sept 2015, by Mike Verdin; China chalked up another land acquisition in Australia, as Fucheng Group purchased a 31,000-hectare cattle property at a price which exceeded market expectations – and the threshold requiring the deal to require government clearance. Fucheng for Aus$28.0m ($20m) bought the Woodlands cattle-fattening property in southern Queensland from MP Evans, the London-listed palm oil group which first put the ranch up for sale six years ago. The deal - which excludes the purchase of the cattle and equipment at the site, estimated by MP Evans to be worth more than Aus$10m – is considerably more than many commentators had expected for the site.

IOI Corp invests in German oleochemical firm   By Affin Hwang Capital / digitaledge Daily   | September 14, 2015 : 10:32 AM MYT     IOI Corp Bhd ( Valuation: 0.50, Fundamental: 1.05) (Sept 11, RM4.00)Maintain hold with target price (TP) of RM4.02: IOI Corp Bhd announced that an indirect-wholly-owned subsidiary had on Sept 9 entered into a conditional asset purchase agreement to acquire the entire oleochemicals business of Cremer Oleo GmbH & Co KG in Germany for

To break up Sime Darby or not? by Khairie Hisyam     Published 14 Sep 2015, 2:17 pm

Wilmar International plans partial stake sale in German subsidiary by Shiwen Yap, September 16, 2015:  Singapore-listed commodities group Wilmar International is considering divesting a part of its stake in German animal feed trading house H. Boegel (link in German). A Wilmar spokesperson said: “An interested party in the animal feed business has approached Wilmar to buy part of our stake and we are considering the proposal as it would benefit Boegel.” Boegel is an indirect subsidiary of Wilmar, which holds a 66 per cent stake in the firm through a subsidiary. The Hamburg-based firm is involved in the import and trading of animal feeds. Recently, Religare Institutional Research shared with the The Business Times that the agribusiness group is skating on thin ice, recommending investors to sell their shares in it and divest their interest in the group. According to Religare, Wilmar’s intense capital expenditure programme, estimated to be US$6.5 billion since 2010, has delivered poor returns to investors.

EU Approves Dutch Biodiesel JV Between Wilmar & Fox Petrolifera, 9/11/2015 8:21 PM ET The European Commission on Friday said it has approved the creation of a Dutch joint venture company between Wilmar International Limited of Singapore and Fox Petrolifera Italiana SpA of Italy, under the EU Merger Regulation. The joint venture will produce biodiesel and its by-products from an existing Italian biodiesel plant currently operated by Fox Petrolifera. Both companies' are active in the production of biodiesel as well as crude and refined glycerin. The joint venture's parent companies will also sell palm and seed oil, which are both used in the production of biodiesel.

Broker's take: Wilmar skating on thin ice, says research house By Claire Huanghuang Aug 27, 201510:13 AM, RELIGARE Institutional Research said on Thursday that Singapore-headquartered agribusiness group Wilmar International is skating on thin ice, and initiated coverage on it with a "sell" call and a target price of S$2.27. Wilmar's intense capital expenditure programme (US$6.5 billion over last five years) has delivered poor returns, Religare says. "Its core refining business is threatened by severe overcapacity and driven by volatile trading gains. At 14x enterprise value/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation FY2015 forecast, Wilmar is overvalued for its risks."

Plantation Company Eagle High Secures Rp 2.74t Loan From BNI By : Jakarta Globe | on 2:52 PM September 13, 2015; Jakarta. Plantation company Eagle High Plantations secured Rp 2.74 trillion ($192.3 million) in loans from state lender Bank Negara Indonesia to repay its debts and expand its businesses, Eagle High said in a statement released on Friday.  Eagle High’s corporate secretary Rudy Suhendra said the company signed the loan deal with BNI last Thursday.  ”The [loan] facility will be used to repay existing debts to BNI and develop the company's palm plantation business [through subsidiaries],” Rudy said in the statement, adding that the loans mature in 84 to 96 months.  Eagle High’s subsidiaries Bumilanggeng Perdanatrada, Bumihutani Lestari, Adhyaksa Dharmasatya, Satria Manunggal Sejahtera and Prima Cipta Selaras stand to benefit from the loan.  Eagle High has this year set aside Rp 800 billion in capital expenditure to be spent on developing two new palm oil processing companies and 5,000-10,000 hectares of plantation area.

Felda gets UMA query on share price surge Published: 14 September 2015 9:01 PM Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has been issued an unusual market activity (UMA) query by Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, after the sudden sharp rise in its share price today. FGV's counter rose as high as 30% to trade at RM1.65 today. The stock has been on a slide since early this year, plunging to its historical low of RM1.19 on August 26. FGV saw a stellar listing debut when its shares rose 19% premium to RM5.39, over its retail offering price of RM4.55. It closed at RM5.30 on the first day of listing on June 28, 2012. - See more at:

Felda Settlers Assembly should be called off if connected to Red shirt rally Posted on 14 September 2015 - 05:56pm; PETALING JAYA: The Felda Settlers Assembly on Sept 16 should be called off if it is in any way connected to the coming Red shirt rally on the same day, Felda Settlers Children Association (Anak) president Mazlan Aliman said today. Mazlan questioned the legitimacy of the assembly and urged Felda director general Datuk Hanapi Suhada to clarify several key points in a letter issued by one Zulhai Mohd Nor Affendy, allegedly on behalf of the Felda Community Development director. "Anak wants to clarify, what is the motive behind this assembly. If it is related to the Red shirt rally, we urge that the assembly be cancelled. "Felda must not be involved in any activity that presents a security risk and exploits its settlers for certain political agenda," he said in a Facebook post today.

Felda settlers bussed in for M'sia Day, not rally by Alyaa Azhar     Published 15 Sep 2015, 3:22 pm; The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has denied that its event to be held tomorrow in the city centre has any connection with the red shirt rally. “We don’t have any connection with the red shirt rally. We just want to celebrate Malaysia Day which is on the 16th,” said a Felda spokesperson.

16 September 2015: Thailand PTT sells interest in East Kalimantan unit, Provident Agro unit caught up in Riau fires charge

Thailand's PTT to Sell More Palm Oil Assets in Indonesia By : Reuters | on 06:00 AM September 10, 2015; Bangkok. PTT Pcl, Thailand's largest energy firm, said on Wednesday it will sell its stake in a palm oil business in Indonesia for an undisclosed sum as part of a plan to divest non-core assets. Its subsidiary PTT Green Energy Pte will sell its entire holding in PTT Green Energy (Netherlands) Cooperatief U.A. (PTTGE) to its partner in the operation, Sindopalm Pte Ltd, an affiliate of PT Kalpataru Investama, the Thai firm said in a statement. PTT had been in investing since 2010 in PTTGE, which has interests in seven palm oil companies in East Kalimantan with a total area of 78,877 ha. ... The PTT unit had in June sold its 95 percent stake in a palm oil business in Indonesia for $35 million.

Provident Agro unit - Police Charge Oil Palm Company Over Sumatra Forest Fire By : Jakarta Globe | on 16:39 PM September 14, 2015; The company has been identified as Langgam Inti Hibrida, an joins 40 individuals charged with setting 37 forest fires in Riau province, according to Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tedjo, a spokesman for the provincial police....Established in 1998, LIH is based in Riau’s Pelalawan district and is 99.8 percent owned by publicly lited Provident Agro. The company was also cited earlier this year by district environmental officials for improper waste management.

13 September 2015: Sime Darby to Raise $1.5 Billion From Rights Issue, Various ratings downgrades, GAR biodiesel push, Goldman banker joins Wilmar for deal making, Wilmar's new industrial estate and port, Felda denies WSJ allegations, worries that Indonesia subsidy will undermine sustainability and IPOP pledges

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.

Will Indonesia’s new palm oil subsidy undermine no-deforestation push? 1st September 2015 / Philip Jacobson & Sapariah Saturi - Officials are selling nascent CPO Fund on sustainability grounds, but experts fear it will do more harm than good... • Questions remain about whether the CPO Fund will carry environmental safeguards and how its resources will be divided between its two main purposes: helping farmers increase their yields and subsidizing biodiesel. • A senior adviser to the energy minister worries the subsidy, if administered haphazardly, could throw an unfortunate lifeline to the dwindling market for palm oil from deforestation, peatland coversion and land grabbing. • The man who designed the fund says it's all about sustainability because it will reduce dependence on foreign petroleum and shore up flagging palm oil prices.

Rating Action: Moody's downgrades Golden Agri-Resources Ltd to Ba3; outlook negative by Global Credit Research - 04 Sep 2015; Singapore, September 04, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the corporate family rating of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (GAR) to Ba3 from Ba2.  The outlook on the rating remains negative....  "The downgrade reflects an ongoing erosion in palm oil prices such that they have now hit six-year lows and our view that GAR will be unable to reduce leverage significantly in the next six to nine months from over 6x currently, and its liquidity will continue to remain under pressure," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.  Despite adverse market conditions, GAR has continued to make further progress towards refinancing the probable put on its convertible bonds on 4 October 2015.

Golden Agri Resources to build $150m biodiesel facility Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, August 14 2015, 3:46 PM; “We are currently in the process of building two biodiesel plants of 300,000 tons per annum each in capacity, of which we expect can be completed by next year,” he said.“The construction for one of the plants started earlier so it is expected to be fully completed in the first half [of next year] while the second one has just started recently so it will be done toward the second half.”For the two plants, Fung said that a total of $150 million in investments would be disbursed, and the expansion was carried out by one of GAR’s subsidiaries. The new plants, he explained, are located in Marunda in North Jakarta and Tarjun in South Kalimantan. - See more at:

Former Top Goldman Banker Joins Wilmar in Dealmaking Role by  Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Joyce Koh  September 8, 2015 — 12:09 PM HKTUpdated on September 8, 2015 — 5:42 PM HKT; Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s biggest palm-oil processor, has hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Hsin Yue Yong for a dealmaking role. Yong, who was Goldman’s head of Southeast Asia investment banking, joined Wilmar in July as general manager for special projects, the Singapore-based company said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday responding to Bloomberg queries. The former banker’s role is “centered around” strategic development, which also involves mergers and acquisitions, according to the statement. Yong, who’s related by marriage to the billionaire Kuok family that controls Wilmar, has about two decades of dealmaking experience, the statement shows.

Wilmar’s industrial estate to kick off operations this year The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, August 08 2015, 4:13 PM; The Wilmar Group Indonesia, which is the country’s largest palm oil producer and a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Wilmar International, is developing the zone on a piece of land measuring approximately 1,744 hectares, which includes 544 ha of reclamation area for a port and industrial development.The integrated industrial estate will have its own power plant with a capacity of 2 x 1,000 Megawatts worth US$2.5 billion, a port with a loading capacity of 30 million tons per year worth $500 million of investment and a railway system. The zone’s construction phase cost $130 million worth of investment from the total planned investment of $700 million and has absorbed around 2,000 workers. Currently, the project is entering the port construction phase.Wilmar Group Indonesia director Erik Tjia said on Friday that his office was in the process of applying for the port construction permit.“We will finish the project gradually with infrastructure construction as the priority,” he said as quoted by, adding that the port would be focused on facilitating exported goods shipments while the railway would provide access for transporting raw materials and finished products. - See more at:

Singapore businesses mark 10 years of CSR push By Medilyn Manibo Thursday 27 August 2015; Keppel Land, Wilmar and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have received accolades for championing corporate social responsibility as part of their core business practices.

Sime Darby to Raise $1.5 Billion From Rights Issue - The potential share sale, which likely would be Malaysia’s biggest this year, comes after palm-oil prices hit six-year lows By P.R. Venkat  Sept. 8, 2015 1:07 a.m. ET  SINGAPORE—State-controlled Malaysian palm-oil producer Sime Darby Bhd. is planning to raise around $1.5 billion from a rights issue that could shore up its balance sheet, people with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

Moody’s downgrades Sime Darby’s sukuk and notes  Saturday, 5 September 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for Sime Darby Bhd’s sukuk and medium-term note (MTN) programme to “negative” as the diversified conglomerate – which is involved in plantations, property and motors – had been impacted across the board. The international ratings agency said yesterday that Sime Darby was affected by the slower rate of growth in China and most Asia-Pacific economies, lower commodity prices and a weaker ringgit.  “This has seen leverage surge to over four times for the year ended June 30, 2015 from 1.5 times for FY2012,” it said....

FGV in final stage of acquiring stake in Eagle High Plantations Published: 10 September 2015 11:06 PM; EHP owns 425,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, out of which 67% are in Kalimantan and the rest in Papua New Guinea (9%), Sulawesi (19 per cent) and Sumatra (5%). – Bernama - See more at:

FGV taps India’s oil palm potential  By GOH THEAN HOWE - 7 September 2015 @ 11:00 AM  KUALA LUMPUR: FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world's largest crude palm oil producer, plans to collaborate and explore partnership opportunities with a few Indian partners to further strengthen its market position as the leader in the oil palm-based downstream sector....

Viterra buys Canada oilseed plant from Malaysia's Felda By Reuters Media  on Sep 8, 2015    at 8:25 a.m. WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Viterra Inc, the agriculture segment of Glencore PLC, said on Thursday that it agreed to buy Eastern Canada's largest oilseed processing plant from Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd.    Felda, the world's third-largest palm plantation operator, said it would sell the TRT-ETGO plant at Bécanour, Quebec to Viterra for C$190 million ($143.43 million)...

Felda stronghold maintain Najib’s grip on power BY RAM ANAND Published: 6 September 2015 8:55 AM | Updated: 6 September 2015 11:09 AM - See more at:

More homes to be built for Felda settlers  by sharanpal singh randhawa Updated: Monday August 31, 2015 MYT 11:35:32 AM; KUALA TERENGGANU: More homes will be built for the second generation of Federal and Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers, as a sign of the government’s gratitude to them. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the houses would cost between RM60,000 and RM70,000. “Recently I announced that house prices for the second generation of Felda settlers be reduced from RM120,000 to RM90,000. But now, I would like to announce that more houses will be built for them and these houses would only cost between RM60,000 and RM70,000. “This is because Felda settlers have risked and sacrificed everything they had and placed all their trust in the government....“The price of the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) shares will rise and fall and that is normal. My advice to settlers is, keep your shares and not to sell them. Let them accumulate and the price will rise. “For the short term, what we have is the dividend. Last year, we paid a total of RM59.2mil in dividends, I can assure you that Felda has enough of reserves to continue paying such dividends for a long time,” he said. Najib said the Government was constantly finding ways to ensure that Felda settlers benefit from any major venture...

Felda denies WSJ report on workers’ abuse, hiring illegals Published: 28 August 2015 9:17 PM; Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has investigated allegations of human rights abuses raised by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and clarified that it did not employ illegal immigrants. In a statement, it said a special taskforce was assembled and chaired by its group president and chief executive officer, Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, to investigate the allegations and reiterated that all its workers were employed in full compliance of all regulations and laws. - See more at:

FGV net profit takes a hit from falling palm oil prices Tuesday, 25 August 2015; PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), which is buying a 37% stake in Indonesian planter Eagle High Plantations Tbk, said net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015 plunged 70% to RM46.09mil from RM151.86mil a year ago...

BIMB Securities cuts Felda Global's target to RM1.03   by The Edge Markets  KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): BIMB Securities Research has maintained its “Sell” rating on Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) with a lower ...

Rating Action: Moody's affirms IOI ratings at Baa2; changes outlook to negative - Global Credit Research - 04 Sep 2015; Based on IOI's latest financial results for the year ended 30 June 2015 (FY2015), credit metrics have weakened further with adjusted debt/EBITDA at 4x, and negative retained cash flow.  "IOI's credit metrics are largely a function of the company's policy in terms of shareholder distributions and capital structure and therefore controllable by management," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer...

10 September 2015: Sinar Mas mulls bioplastics, two biodiesel plants in construction

Sinar Mas Group Mulls Plans to Start Producing Bioplastic - Jakarta GLobe, ...Franky Widjdja, the chairman of publicly listed Sinar Mas Agribusiness & Foods (SMART), said the company was currently researching the feasibility of bioplastics, which are derived from vegetable-based oils such palm oil, rather than from crude oil.  "We're learning about the commercial possibilities of the business. Right now, the government is offering a really attractive incentive," Franky told reporters in Jakarta over the weekend...Sinar Mas Group is currently constructing two biodiesel fuel factories located in Jakarta and Kalimantan with total capacity to process up to 800,000 metric tons of crude palm oil, Franky said. "The investment wasn't really that costly. It ranges from about $30 million to $40 million for one plant," he added....

7 September 2015: Felda mulls price cut for Indonesia deal, plantations the mainstay for Sime, DSN stock split, palm oil mill sludge pellets, S&P lowers IOI Corp outlook

Felda Said to Mull Price Cut for $680 Million Indonesia Deal  by Joyce Koh and Elffie Chew  September 1, 2015 — 5:33 PM HKTUpdated on September 2, 2015 — 6:40 PM HKT; Felda said June 12 it planned to buy 37 percent of Eagle High from Indonesian conglomerate Rajawali Group for $680 million in cash and shares. That implies an enterprise value of about $17,400 per hectare of land, compared with the $25,900 that Sime Darby Bhd. paid for New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. in March, Felda Chief Executive Officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said in a July interview. Employees Provident Fund, Malaysia’s biggest pension fund manager, is concerned about the valuation Felda is paying, the official Bernama news agency reported in June

Plantations the mainstay of Sime Saturday, 29 August 2015  By: HANIM ADNAN; SIME Darby Bhd has built its reputation as one of the world’s largest listed palm oil conglomerates producing some 2.8 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO), which represents 5% of the world’s total production. Despite its well-diversified business portfolio, Sime’s plantation division has been the mainstay contributing over 40% to the group’s profit annually.  Hence, to keep up with the high momentum in the oil palm business, Sime has aggressively been expanding its land bank overseas given the scarcity of suitable land for oil palm in Malaysia.  Sime has a total land bank of one million ha across Malaysia, Indonesia, Liberia, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG).....

Dharma Satya Nusantara Plans 1-to-5 Stock Split

‘Sustainability company’ transforms palm mill wastes into fuel for electricity  Saturday, 5 September 2015; “In 2013, we found a palm oil mill owner in Klang who was willing to give us a chance, and a Korean company agreed to invest in us,” he told StarBizWeek.... Hyper Fusion treats the waste water sludge and separates the solid particles from the mix. The remaining sludge is then turned into pellets. A palm oil mill generates four kinds of waste: empty fruit bunches, oil palm mesocarp fibre (OPMF), kernel shells (PKS) and POME – collectively known as biomass. The company takes all the four by-products and processes them by removing up to 90% of moisture, thereby transforming them into an efficient form of fuel for the boilers. “A mill usually has at least 10 ponds, and the ponds take up about two-thirds of the mill area. “What we do eliminates the need for so many ponds. All we need is the first pond, and the last two ponds,” said Dinesh. Not only was Hyper Fusion’s method better for the environment, he said, but also saved a lot of space in the mill area, which could be used for other operations such as farming. The process treats the effluent and reduces the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) by 80% in less than 10 minutes. The remainder is then sent into the last two ponds to complete the clarification process which takes about two weeks. When it is done using the traditional ponding method, the entire process usually takes between 90 and 120 days....

S&P lowers IOI Corp outlook to negative Wednesday, 2 September 2015; S&P credit analyst Vishal Kulkarni said he had revised the outlook as IOI’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) and cash flows were likely to be weaker than earlier expected over the next 12 months because of a recent sharp decline in CPO prices. “At the same time, IOI’s reported debt will increase following the depreciation of the ringgit. The company’s distribution of the majority of its operating cash flow to shareholders limits its deleveraging potential,” he said. Kulkarni has projected that IOI’s ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and Ebitda would deteriorate to more than 3.5 times for fiscal 2016 ending June 30, 2016. This is based on the assumption that the ringgit will stay at about 4.2 per US dollar and CPO prices would remain subdued for the rest of the fiscal year. “The negative outlook reflects our view that IOI’s debt-to-Ebitda ratio may not recover to close to 3 times over the next six to 12 months if CPO prices remained at current levels and the company’s shareholder distributions stay elevated....

Glencore Studies Selling Stake in Agriculture Unit to Curb Debt by  Javier Blas and Jesse Riseborough  September 7, 2015 — 3:21 PM HKTUpdated on September 7, 2015 — 5:43 PM HKT; Glencore Plc is considering selling a minority stake in its agriculture business as part of the Swiss miner and commodity trader’s wider plan to reduce its $30 billion of debt by about a third.
It could bring in investors in infrastructure assets in the agriculture unit including ports, rail and storage facilities, or even sell a minority stake in the overall business, Glencore Chief Financial Officer Steve Kalmin said. There’s been “quite a lot of interest” in food commodities from sovereign wealth funds in China and Japan, he said Monday in a phone interview. A sale would mark a retreat by Glencore, less than five months after saying it sought to expand in agriculture following the success of its C$6.1 billion ($4.6 billion) purchase of Canadian grain trader Viterra Inc. in 2012. Viterra said just two weeks ago it would spend C$190 million on an oilseed processing plant. Asian traders and sovereign funds have spent billions in the industry in the past two years as growing populations boost food demand....

22 August 2015: Expectations of weak 2Q2015 for Malaysian plantations, KL Kepong results, FGV denies raising wages

Tough times for palm planters Saturday, 22 August 2015  By: HANIM ADNAN Tough times for palm planters Saturday, 22 August 2015 By: HANIM ADNAN Weak CPO price to hurt earnings; rising stockpile and production to affect sentiment A BUMPY ride ahead is envisaged for plantation companies as their earnings are expected to be dragged down by weaker average crude palm oil (CPO) selling prices. The price of CPO, which has fallen by about 14% year-to-date, is currently trading below the RM2,000-per-tonne mark.  According to OilWorld estimates, world palm oil production this year will hit a record 60.7 million tonnes, thus contributing to a surge in the stock-usage ratio. Singapore-based Nomura Research, in its latest report, expects a weak second quarter 2015 (Q2) results for Malaysian plantation companies. “In the last few weeks, Indonesia and Singapore plantation companies have released their Q2 results. “All of the companies under our coverage reported results that were below market expectations, due mainly to the weaker average selling prices.”

KL Kepong core earnings below survey Thursday, 20 August 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Hwang Capital Research said Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s (KL Kepong) core net profit for the nine months to June 30 were below expectations due to lower selling prices for crude palm oil (CPO), palm kernel and rubber as well as continued pressure on manufacturing margins.
“Based on our lower CPO average selling price (ASP) forecast for 2015-2017 estimate, our core net profit forecasts are cut by 7%-10%, resulting in a lower price target of RM21.21,” it said.

Wages of plantation workers not raised, says Felda Published: 17 August 2015 10:54 PM; "We have not raised the wages of our plantation workers, including palm oil mill employees, and other general workers, by 8 to 10% effective April 1, 2015, as suggested in the report. - See more at:

Bumitama Agri's Q2 profit drops 26% By Nisha Ramchandani; Aug 13, 201511:45 AM PALM-OIL planter Bumitama Agri reported a 26 per cent year on year slide in net profit to 217.08 billion Indonesian rupiah (S$22 million) for the second quarter ended June 30, due to the lower selling prices of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK), share of losses of associate companies as well as higher costs and expenses.

First Resources' net profit from operations down 6.8% on weak palm oil prices - Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources.  Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG Aug 13, 2015, 11:48 am SGT by Yasmine Yahya; SINGAPORE - Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources, which said net profit from operations for the second quarter fell 6.8 per cent from a year ago to US$47 million, even as sales rose. Sales in the three months ended June 30 increased 5.9 per cent to US$118.8 million due to higher sales volumes of palm-based products, partially offset by the effects of lower average selling prices....

27 July 2015: PT Provident Agro key shareholders want to sell, First Resources acquires 6,000 ha, Genting Plantations said to buy 70,000 ha oil palm plantation

from AmBank research 27 July: Bloomberg reported that PT Provident Agro’s two largest shareholders are exploring a sale of their majority stake in the company. Provident Capital Partners and PT Saratoga Investments may start reaching out to buyers next month. The two shareholders own a combined stake of 88.3% in Provident Agro, which has a market capitalisation of US$339mil (share price of Rp640). Provident Agro has 44,475ha of planted landbank and 110,000ha of total landbank.

From CIMB research 23 July: First Resources has acquired PT Falcon Agri, an Indonesian planter with 6,000ha of planted oil palm estates, for an estimated US$11,000/ha, which we view as fair. Meanwhile, we expect the group to meet our expectations by delivering a core net profit of US$34m when it releases its 2Q results on 13 Aug. The stock remains an Add due to its young estates and strong management. Our target price stays at S$2.44, based on 15.3x or its historical average P/E.

MALAYSIA PRESS-Genting Plantations plans Indonesia expansion-Business Times Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:42pm EDT Malaysia's Genting Plantations Bhd plans to buy a 70,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Indonesia to grow its business in the country, Business Times reported on Thursday, citing sources. The plantations arm of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd has identified the site in Indonesia and is in talks with relevant parties before entering into an agreement, the sources was quoted as saying....

21 July 2015: FGV Emir to stay on, FGV to raise money from non-core asset sale, Dr M shared concerns says FGV activitist, FGV says no more new acquisitions;  Volac-Wilmar global animal feed fats business, Sime Darby plantations moves to dispose of its non-core business and ease future cashflow, Green Synergy Sdn Bhd a significant SME player in the Malayisa biomass sector

Emir to stay on? Tuesday, 21 July 2015 By: SHARIDAN M. ALI PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) group president and CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah’s contract to helm the plantation group is likely to be renewed for another year, sources said.
It is learnt that Emir’s contract that ended last Wednesday was extended. Previously there was speculation that there would be a new person to lead FGV following scrutiny on the company’s performance and deals. FGV had yet to get back to query on the issue at press time.
FGV market capitalisation has halved since its Bursa debut back in 2012 and its latest proposed purchase of a 37% stake in Indonesia’s PT Eagle High Plantations for US$680mil on June 12 was criticised as being an expensive deal.  Emir has defended the Eagle High deal as FGV was paying a lower enterprise value (EV) at US$17,400 per planted ha, contrary to market talk that its purchase of Indonesia’s third largest listed oil palm planter was overpriced.....

FGV to raise RM1bil from non-core asset sale Thursday, 9 July 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plans to raise more than RM1bil selling non-core assets as the world’s biggest crude palm oil producer focuses on plantations to repair investor confidence dented by an acquisition. Unprofitable crushing and refining businesses in the US and Canada that have drawn initial bids ranging from US$180mil (RM686mil) to US$250mil (RM953mil) may be sold later this month, chief executive officer Emir Mavani Abdullah said in an interview. Holdings in a travel firm, and engineering and information technology units may fetch a further RM300mil, he said.

Dr Mahathir shared concerns over FGV listing, says activist Published: 6 July 2015 10:14 PM; Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had feared that the listing of Malaysia oil palm giant Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) would not bode well for settlers under the government scheme to resettle and uplift the rural poor through smallholdings, an activist for Felda settlers said. National Felda Settlers' Children's Association (Anak) president Mazlan Aliman said this on his Facebook page after the non-governmental organisation met Dr Mahathir today at Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya. Mazlan, a PAS member, said the NGO had a one hour meeting with Dr Mahathir on Felda, FGV, Korporasi Permodalan Felda, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the goods and services tax and his criticism against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "Why did FGV throw away money to buy hotels, factories and invest overseas when there are room and vast opportunities to do so at home? Buying assets at high prices and taking advantage for personal interests...Mazlan said Dr Mahathir's views on Felda's listing was the most interesting issue he spoke about at the meeting, adding that the former prime minister had also talked about Najib and the things he had done which have "jeopardised" the country. - See more at:

Felda Global to strengthen investments, drive growth, new acquisitions out Tuesday, 7 July 2015; PETALING JAYA: Plantation conglomerate Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) said it would not be looking at any new acquisitions but would focus on strengthening its investments. “FGV will not be pursuing more acquisitions we will consolidate all our investments and drive growth,” the group said in a statement yesterday. “FGV will also focus on integrating and extracting efficiencies of recent acquisitions. Our goal is to empower management teams, guided by a unifying vision and culture of performance and sustainability,” it added.  In the last three years, FGV had spent more than RM4bil on mergers and acquisitions, comprising mainly brownfield plantations to fast-track growth expansion and improve its crop age profile.....

Volac, Wilmar form global animal feed fats business Published on: Jul 6, 2015; Volac International Ltd. and Wilmar International Ltd. announced July 6 the creation of a joint venture group to develop their added value animal feed fat business around the world. Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients combines the nutritional reputation, global brand and sales network of Volac with the operational raw material logistics and scale of Wilmar. The joint venture will focus on animal feed fats, supporting the dairy farming industry through nutritional expertise, by marketing an expanded "MEGA" branded range of feed fat products that will be responsibly sourced through a leading sustainability approach and by maximizing operational efficiency. Volac Animal Nutrition managing director David Neville said, "Volac believes that responsibly sourced feed fats will play a key role in sustainable livestock nutrition in the future and, therefore, we are expanding our fats business as part of our company strategy. The joint venture with  ilmar will supply sustainable and traceable fat nutrition ingredients, which will help improve the productivity of livestock production across world markets." Napoleon Pefianco, managing director of Wilmar Europe Holdings B.V., added that the two companies "have an aspiration to set the agenda for sustainability. Through the joint venture, we will use our combined resources to develop sustainable feed ingredients globally, putting the joint venture at the leading edge of ethically sourced feed fat ingredients." Volac and Wilmar have an existing business relationship through a joint venture called Volac Ingredients Sdn. Bhd. (VISB), which is based in Malaysia and was established in 2003. This joint venture produces MEGALAC rumen-protected fat under license in China. Volac is a privately-owned business based near Cambridge, U.K., that focuses on improving livestock productivity and helping consumers to live healthier lives for longer.

Tesco stake sale seen as in line with Sime Darby’s plan Thursday, 9 July 2015  By: EUGENE MAHALINGAM; PETALING JAYA: The proposed disposal of Sime Darby Bhd’s 30% stake in Tesco Malaysia will be in line with the plantation giant’s move to dispose of its non-core business and ease future cashflow.... MIDF Research, in a report yesterday, noted that Tesco Malaysia only accounted for 0.6% of Sime Darby’s total earnings last year. “In its financial year ended June 30, 2014 (FY14), Tesco Malaysia contributed RM25mil to Sime Darby’s profit before interest and taxes (PBIT). “Against the group’s PBIT of RM4.22bil, it was only 0.6%,” it said, adding that Sime’s Darby’s net asset for its 30% stake in Tesco Malaysia was RM94.4mil based on its FY14 annual report.” AmResearch in its report yesterday said the disposal of Tesco Malaysia, if it happened, could help Sime Darby to part-finance the recent acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL). “This could be positive from a cash flow point of view, and a disposal of its stake in Tesco Malaysia would be in line with a disposal of a non-core business,” it said...........

From palm waste to wealth Updated: Monday July 20, 2015 MYT 8:17:00 AM; Datuk Joseph Lim Heng Ye, 41, is now a well-known figure in the green business scene, having built up his startup which focused on turning palm waste into revenue-generating bio-products since 2008. Global Green Synergy Sdn Bhd (GGS), the company Lim founded together with Ngan Teng Ye, has now become a significant SME player in the local biomass sector. The company converts palm oil waste (biomass) into palm fiber, palm pellet and other palm-related products. It also makes the machines that produce these products. After Lim won the prestigious World Creative Young Entrepreneur Award (2011-World Champion Winner) by Brussels-based Junior Chamber International in 2011, there has been no shortage of green jobs for GGS. The RMB1bil project to green the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, which sees GGS partnering with China’s Elion Resources Group, is just the latest example. And a whopper it is, too. Back in 2013, the company set up a joint venture with Malaysia Palm Oil Board to produce palm bio-briquette to be used as biofuel. Yet another achievement for GGS is its partnership with Chinalight (Guangzhou) Import & Export Corp in October 2013 to supply biomass pellets to the Chinese power giant.....

8 July 2015: Najib announces RM88.8 million for Felda settlers, and highlights FGV plan to buy 420,000 ha in PNG

Najib announces RM88.8 million for Felda settlers, payment starts next week Published: 7 July 2015 8:39 PM; "We need to be with Felda, do not stray too far away... actually those who confuse Felda people are those who come to Felda like pests out to poison the minds of settlers so much so when we do good, the people say otherwise," he told Bernama. He said Felda has various plans to improve the income of settlers and overcome the constraints of land to be developed as plantations in the country. He added that FGV planned to purchase 420,000 hectares of land in Papua New Guinea which could generate revenue double the amount in this country as the volcanic land there is fertile. - See more at:

26 June 2015: Australian sugar industry reject Wilmar proposal, farmers prepare to fight, Wilmar calls on Singapore help to fight back - on Australia FTA obligation breach, Wilmar calls up boats for almost all record ICE sugar delivery, FGV Trading targets RM6-8 billion revenue, PT Eagle High Plantations unit in spotlight on forest clearance, FGV’s Indonesian deal a bailout for Najib crony, say bankers  - The Edge Review, Indonesia's Rajawali to maintain 2.55% stake in FGV (on Thursday it said it would like to hold at least 21% of FGV if the Malaysian firm decides to seek a controlling stake), Heng Huat Resources invests RM35m to expand in Kelantan, Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur  plans sugar investment, eastern Indonesia prepares 500,000 ha for sugar and cattle investors

Australian sugar industry reject Wilmar proposal, puts government under spotlight SYDNEY, June 25  |  By Colin Packham;  Australian sugar growers on Thursday rejected a marketing proposal from the country's largest sugar processor Wilmar International Ltd, saying it does not guarantee top prices, and called for laws that give them a say in exports. Wilmar, MSF Sugar, owned by Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol , and the Australian unit of Chinese agribusiness COFCO Corp plan to stop selling sugar through the industry-owned marketing body from 2017. Australian sugar is currently controlled by an independent entity, Queensland Sugar Limited. The three processors want to bypass the industry body and use their own exporting arm, which they say will allow them to control their supply chains and maximise revenues. But the move is unpopular with sugar farmers in Australia, the world's third largest exporter of raw sweetener. Sugar cane must be processed within a day of being harvested and with no alternative millers nearby, growers say they have no choice but to sell to the three processors and have little assurance on crop prices."An Australian sugar farmer should have free choice in his economic destiny and the Wilmar proposal does not allow that," said Steve Guazzo, chairman of the industry body, CANEGROWERS....

Debate on sugar marketing escalates 19th Jun 2015 5:00 AM; THE SINGAPORE government has become another player in the escalating debate between cane growers and sugar marketing giant Wilmar. Two codes of conduct, which would ensure growers have a choice in cane marketing and would retain existing market arrangements, are making their way through parliament. This followed Wilmar's announcement they planned to exit current sugar marketing arrangements during 2016. But a Wilmar executive general manager Shayne Rutherford said the proposed codes of conduct had prompted the company to raise concerns with the Singapore government. "We have raised our concerns about the expropriation of our manufactured sugar with both the Australian and Singapore governments," Mr Rutherford said. "Why would anyone want to invest in an Australian manufacturing or processing business if it doesn't own and control the product it makes?" He said the codes would likely breach free trade agreement obligations.

Farmers prepare to fight Asian tycoon over sugar marketing   Glen Norris  The Courier-Mail  June 15, 2015 11:43AM  The tranquil green fields of Australia’s biggest sugar growing district have become the focus of a battle between cane farmers and one of Asia’s richest men.  At stake farmers say is how they will be paid for their crop by mills owned by Robert Kuok’s giant Wilmar Sugar when new marketing arrangements are introduced in 2017. The escalating conflict comes as the Federal Government considers a mandatory code for the sugar industry that would give farmers greater rights to dispute contracts with millers. Wilmar and other foreign millers last year announced they would pull out of a long-standing arrangement whereby most sugar was marketed through the not-for-profit Queensland Sugar Ltd (QSL) and deal directly with farmers. Fearing Wilmar will use its market power to push prices down, Burdekin farmers last year formed their own company to allow them to better negotiate with the huge agribusiness that owns eight mills in central and north Queensland.

Wilmar calls up boats for almost all record ICE sugar delivery; Jun 25, 20157:23 PM [SINGAPORE] Wilmar International Ltd said it has booked for shipment almost all the 1.9 million tonnes of sugar it scooped up two months ago in the biggest-ever exchange deal, even as traders fret about weak demand and low prices. The Singapore firm, one of the biggest merchants in the 180-million tonne sugar market, has booked spots on vessels for all but 100,000 tonnes of the US$550 million worth of sugar it bought when the May contract expired. Wilmar expects to call on sellers to load the remaining tonnage this week, the company said in an emailed statement. After months of uncertainty about the pace of the shipments from Brazil and Central and South American growers, the news may help restore some calm to the sweetener market. Prices languish near 6-1/2-year lows as the market struggles through a fifth straight surplus year.

Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd appoints nominee directors of Wilmar Sugar Holdings Pte Ltd. Posted On: 2015-06-24 11:14:07  The Board of Directors of Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd at its meeting held on June 24, 2015, approved the appointment of Mr. Jean-Luc Bohbot and Mr. AtuI Chaturvedi as Nominee Directors of Wilmar Sugar Holdings Pte Ltd., w.e.f. June 24, 2015.

FGV Trading targets RM6-8 billion revenue this year Published: 19 June 2015 5:01 PM  Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV)'s wholly owned subsidiary, FGV Trading, is targeting revenue of between RM6 billion and RM8 billion this year. FGV’s transformation plan, which channeled its oil trading activities through FGV Trading, showed impressive growth with a revenue of RM2.5 billion in just four months of its trading operations since February, said a statement. Head of trading & marketing and logistics (TML) cluster Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz said FGV Trading would become the second largest contributor to the group's revenue, at 34 %. "So far, FGV Trading has traded 1.3 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) and this is a good achievement for a new company," he said. He added that FGV Trading aimed to trade 4.7 million tonnes of CPO, 60% from internal CPO, while the rest will be from external sources. FGV Trading, which is now headed by chief executive officer Datuk Wira Adam, also planned to explore the potential of other high-value vegetables oils, for example coconut oil from the Philippines for the international market. Its traditional market included China, Japan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, as well as, the Indo-China region such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, the statement said, adding that it was also involved in the premium market for countries in Europe. In line with FGV’s land bank expansion and increase in CPO production, FGV Trading is also eyeing new markets among the countries of West Asia, the Mediterranean, North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Balkan regions.

Indonesia's Rajawali to maintain 2.55% stake in Felda Global Ventures By: IZWAN IDRIS, SHARIDAN M. ALI Friday, 26 June 2015 PETALING JAYA: The Rajawali Group has no immediate plans to seek a bigger stake in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), even as the two companies plan to complete a deal by August.... 

UPDATE 2-Rajawali wants bigger Felda stake if Felda sees control of Eagle High By Cindy Silviana and Eveline Danubrata Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:05am EDT  * Felda's offer for 37 pct of Eagle High is too high-analysts * Felda shares down over 6 pct after announcing offer * Five bidders for Rajawali stake in Nusantara Infrastructure (Adds no comment from Felda, clarifies that Felda is the world's third biggest palm oil plantation operator) JAKARTA, June 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Rajawali Group said on Thursday it would like to hold at least 21 percent of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd if the Malaysian firm decides to seek a controlling stake in Rajawali unit PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk.

Felda Global Venture’s Indonesian deal a bailout for Najib crony, say bankers BY LESLIE LOPEZ Published: 19 June 2015 9:00 AM; State-controlled Felda Global Ventures Bhd, Malaysia’s largest listed plantation company, is touting its US$746 million (RM2.8 billion) purchase of a clutch of plantation and sugar assets owned by Indonesian tycoon Tan Sri Peter Sondakh as a demonstration of economic integration among the 10-member Asean. But portfolio investors and bankers are panning the acquisition, arguing that the deal is hugely expensive for Felda and smacks of a bailout for the Sondakh, who enjoys close ties to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Coming on the heels of the widening furore surrounding debt-laden sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the deal is raising serious corporate governance concerns over the management of so-called government-linked companies which dominate the Malaysian economy and use of public funds.... The deal, which will be financed through borrowings and internal reserves of Felda, will largely wipe out its cash reserves, which currently amount to RM2.87 billion (US$768 million)..... Sondakh’s Rajawali Group, on the other hand, is getting a sweetheart deal. Despite paying such a huge premium for its 37% equity interest in Eagle High, Felda will not gain management control of the company. The Rajawali group, with a reduced stake of 31.6%, will continue to run the company. The Sondakh-controlled group will also receive an immediate deposit payment of US$174 million, or roughly 23% of the total acquisition price, from Felda even before the completion of due diligence on the assets and cross-border regulatory approvals are obtained for the transaction. Bankers and investment analysts in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur say that the deal will provide a crucial financial lifeline to Sondakh, who has been struggling with his creditors to service debt obligations after an aggressive expansion into plantations and mining backfired following the collapse of commodity prices.....

One of Indonesia’s Richest Men Is Bullish on Commodity Processing  Jun 26, 2015; As the head of one of Indonesia’s largest investment companies, Peter Sondakh knows to follow market trends. It’s the reason he took up smoking cigars last year, he says, beneath the whir of air purifiers in his office. It’s also, he says, partly why he’s selling off stakes in his palm oil plantation – Indonesia’s third largest – in the hope of moving toward processing, refining and trading at a time when slumping commodity prices and weakened demand for raw materials from China have dented the economy. “I pride myself in adding value,” said Mr. Sondakh, whose PT Rajawali Corp. is one of Indonesia’s biggest conglomerates with investments in mining, property, plantations and media. “Added value products will have more profit.”... The need seems all the more urgent now that consumer spending, which makes up more than half of the country’s GDP, is dropping off. Mr. Sondakh says he’s concerned by the slump in consumption. Rajawali plans to divest shares in one of the country’s largest taxi operators, PT Express Transindo Utama, and focus on its core business sectors – mining, plantations and property.... Since Mr. Sondakh founded Rajawali in the 1980s, he’s earned a reputation for turning around ailing companies. He has also become one of Indonesia’s richest men; Forbes estimated his net worth this year at $2.3 billion. In the early 1990s Mr. Sondakh bought a bankrupt cigarette company, PT Bentoel Investama, and later sold his majority stake to British American Tobacco for $494 million. He bought cement producer Semen Gresik (now Semen Indonesia) for just $336.7 million, eventually selling it to the government in an equity transaction that raised $1.08 billion...

Malaysia's Felda Global to raise funds to buy stake in Eagle High KUALA LUMPUR, June 16

Felda buy in Indonesian company above market rate, says veteran newsman Published: 14 June 2015 9:34 AM
Palm oil giants to investigate company found razing Papuan rainforest; Monday 22 June 2015; Agribusiness giants Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are pledging to investigate a palm oil supplier after an Indonesian environmental group presented evidence of rainforest clearing in New Guinea. On Thursday, Greenomics-Indonesia released a report documenting destruction of forests in South Sorong, a regency in West Papua, Indonesian New Guinea. Greenomics found that PT Varia Mitra Andalan (VMA), a subsidiary of publicly-listed PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk, continued to clear high carbon stock forests through March 2015, potentially putting it in breach of sustainability commitments established last year by Cargill and GAR. Both companies buy significant volumes of product from Eagle High Plantations, according to public disclosures.  The findings led Greenomics to call on the companies to respect their “deforestation-free” sourcing policies. Both companies are signatories of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a corporate commitment to eliminate deforestation from supply chains...

Here Are 5 Of Singapore’s Cheapest Blue Chip Shares By Chong Ser Jing - June 26, 2015; There are many ways to value a stock and one popular method is to focus on its book value. The book value of a company is the cash that can theoretically be returned to its shareholders after the firm liquidates all its assets and settles all its obligations. Mathematically, the book value’s given in the formula below:
Book value = Total assets – Total liabilities. Companies with a price-to-book ratio of below 1 are selling for lower than their book values and investors who are able to buy such shares are therefore getting their hands on a potential bargain. With this in mind, the quintet of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H), Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21), Hongkong Land Holdings Limited (SGX: H78), Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited (SGX: J37), and CapitaLand Limited (SGX: C31) might rightfully be called Singapore’s cheapest blue chips; they have the lowest PB ratios (see table below) amongst the 30 constituents of Singapore’s market barometer, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI).

Heng Huat Resources invests RM35m to expand in Kelantan  Thursday, 25 June 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd is investing RM35mil to expand its operations in Gua Musang, Kelantan to process oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibre. It said on Thursday the new plant would enable the group to meet the rising demand from China and also export to new markets in Australia, South Korea and Japan. Managing director H’ng Choon Seng said the new plant would source the  raw material from palm oil mills in Kelantan which could provide a sustainable supply of EFB. Of the RM35mil, it would use RM11mil to purchase the land and build the factory, RM12mil for the machinery and RM2mil for vehicles and equipment. The remaining RM10mil would be for a biomass co-generation power plant which would enable the it to reduce its operating costs through better energy-efficiency and re-utilisation of production waste materials. The capital expenditure would be from bank borrowings and its own funds. Heng Huat currently has two oil palm EFB fibre factories in Seberang Perai, Penang.  The new plant in Gua Musang would increase its total oil palm EFB fibre production lines from 20 lines to 27 lines and annual production capacity rising from 100,500 tonnes to more than 135,000 tonnes. The new manufacturing facility is targeted to be operational in the second quarter of 2016. H’ng explained Heng Huat had been expanding its fibre exports to China and the expansion is timely as its plants are now running at 90% capacity.

BLD strives to keep costs low in midst of challenging outlook by Ronnie Teo, June 18, 2015, Thursday; KUCHING: BLD Plantation Bhd (BLD) aims to keep its costs low amidst a challenging outlook for the palm oil industry as crude palm oil (CPO) prices remain lacklustre. According to executive chairman Datuk Henry Lau, global demand for palm oil and its related products have not been as encouraging as expected. This was on the back of increasing costs of operations including minimum wages, goods and services which Lau said were generally on the uptrend....

Ta Ann enters into JV for oil palm projects Posted on 23 June 2015 - 05:40am PETALING JAYA: Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, which lost a legal battle to native owners in Sarawak over customary land last year, is making a second attempt at expanding its palm oil landbank in the state via a joint venture (JV). Ta Ann's plans to collaborate with the Sarawak state government and Native Customary Rights (NCR) owners to implement oil palm development projects spread over 28,195 ha in the state. Ta Ann's unit, Ta Ann Plantation Sdn Bhd (TAP), yesterday entered into two JV agreements with Pelita Holdings Sdn Bhd (PHSB), the trustee to the NCR owner, to develop 17,017 ha in Sibu and 11,178 ha in Kapit. In a Bursa Malaysia announcement yesterday, Ta Ann said the projects are "replacement" projects for the failed project entered into in Sept 28, 2012 between TAP and PHSB with the land owners owners at Matu-Daro, Mukah division; Tambirat-Asajaya, Kota Samarahan division; and Sebuyau Sebangan, Kota Samarahan division, all in Sarawak
Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the world's biggest instant noodle makers, plans to invest $150 million to build a sugar processing facility in eastern Indonesia, Kontan reported on Thursday.

Govt prepares areas for sugar, cattle investors Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, June 18 2015, 9:01 AM; The 26 investors who expressed a keen interest in entering the country’s sugar industry consisted of 11 refined sugar producers and 15 sugarcane plantation companies, Franky said. “There are also around two to three Japanese investors who are interested in investing in the sugar industry. However, most of the time, in the sugar sector, foreign direct investors choose to first collaborate with their local partners in joint-venture companies,” Franky said. According to his ministry’s calculations, Amran said, a sugar refinery with a capacity to process 10,000 tons of sugarcane per day would cost about Rp 5 trillion (US$374.4 million) to build. The Agriculture Ministry has also run the plan by the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, who agreed that the land in the three regions would be able to support the industry, Amran added. “We are planning to allocate 500,000 hectares of land in the three regions, calculating that one mill with a plantation will need at least 50,000 ha of land,” Amran said. Aside from the sugar industry, Amran said at least nine foreign and domestic investors also showed an interest in investing in Indonesia’s cattle sector, which would be located in regions such as East and West Nusa Tenggara, Buru Island in Maluku and East Kalimantan.

What are the Top Five Brands Bought by Indonesian Consumers? 08 June 2015 The five top brands that are purchased most often by Indonesian households are Indomie, Mie Sedaap, Royco, So Klin and Frisian Flag. This is the result of research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel (KW), a global research firm that investigates consumers' purchasing behaviour. Fabrice Carrasco, KW’s Managing Director for Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, wrote in a statement received on Monday that more than 90 percent of Indonesian households buy the five above-mentioned brands.

25 June 2015: UOBKH: Felda Global Ventures (FGV MK) - Plans For Its Indonesian Partnership, Sawit Sumbermas seeks Rp 3t/US$226 mill for refinancing, expansion - Jakarta Post

Sawit Sumbermas seeks Rp 3t for refinancing, expansion The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, June 24 2015, 9:46 AM; Publicly listed palm oil company Sawit Sumbermas Sarana is looking for Rp 3 trillion (US$226 million) in loans to refinance its debts and expand production, a company executive has said.Around Rp 2.36 trillion will come from syndicated loans from the country’s largest lender Bank Mandiri, while the remaining Rp 730 billion will come from state-owned financing agency Indonesia Eximbank.The company will use half of the total loans to refinance its debts to Bank Mandiri, worth Rp 1.3 trillion, and to Indonesia Eximbank, worth Rp 700 billion.Another Rp 1.5 trillion will be spent on the company’s capital expenditure to boost its production performance in both the upstream and downstream sectors, including to fund a new acquisition.“We need to take out loans as we have to maintain our cash,” finance director Harry M. Nadir said in Jakarta on Tuesday, adding that the company — which will offer its land-use permit (HGU), including land assets, as a guarantee — expected the five-year loans to be secured early in the second semester.Sawit Sumbermas spent around Rp 1.5 trillion to acquire PT Tanjung Sawit Abadi (TSA) and PT Sawit Multi Utama (SMU) in February, in an attempt to increase production capacity. - See more at:

UOBKH: Felda Global Ventures (FGV MK) - Plans For Its Indonesian Partnership, Thursday, 25 June 2015; FGV clarified concern over its partnership with Rajawali Group in Eagle High Plantation. Key messages are it is: a) penetrating large greenfield and brownfield developments, b) buying the sugar plantation to gain exposure to the lucrative sugar business, and c) exploring further in the downstream and consumer segments with Rajawali. FGV reported EV of US$17,400 per planted hectare, which excludes the valuation of the unplanted 267,000ha landbank..... FGV’s justification for the high valuation of the acquisition. FGV indicated that the acquisition price is fair and derived using a DCF method assuming long-term CPO price of RM2,900/tonne and discount rate of 9%. The valuation is lower than that for the acquisitions in the past three years, and slightly below the US$17,700/ha transacted in the land disposal by Tabung Haji in 2012. Also, this acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive by 2018 when more of BWPT’s planted hectarage move into young prime areas. .... Happy with a 37% stake for now. While FGV has no intention to do a mandatory general offer (GO) to increase its stake in BWPT, it may raise its stake in the future to consolidate BWPT into FGV. If FGV were to do a GO now, it would need to fork out
another U$1,833m, which we think is difficult for FGV, given its high gearing post the 37%
stake acquisition.....

23 June 2015: Ta Ann new NCR JV for 60% stake in 17,000 ha (60% plantable; Sibu and Kapit area) replaces 2012 agreements revoked for lack of land owners' interest; BLD questioned over "no deforestation, no peatland" policy; Palm oil a matter of national security for Malaysia (especially for smallholder interests) - opinion - /khorreports-palmoil/2014/11/rspo-meeting-sabah-considering-100.html

22 June 2015: FGV falls 3.4% after defending Eagle High acquisition - The Edge; an argument for the deal - it's strategic partnership to benefit smallholders and other stakeholders?

FGV falls 3.4% after defending Eagle High acquisition by Ahmad Naqib Idris /, 22 June 2015;

FGV-EHP partnership: a way forward to prosperity for two nations – HS Dillon Published: 20 June 2015 12:49 PM; The recent press statements reporting that Felda Global Ventures (FGV) intends to buy a substantial stake in EHP, and the ensuing debate, revive old memories. It is indeed remarkable that what had been my dream as a senior official of Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture, thwarted by vested-interests nearly quarter of a century ago, is now being promoted by visionary entrepreneurs.
Obsessed with creating greater equality in rural Indonesia, I gladly welcomed my appointment as Head of The Team for Restructuring State-owned Plantations in 1993. Due to strong support from the then very honest minister of finance, Marie Muhammad, we managed to consolidate the previous 26 separate corporate entities into nine plantation groups. Talking to the press after the brief meeting, the PM stated that Malaysia, facing land constraints, had no other option but to invest in oil-palm plantations in Indonesia. We then started to explore avenues for cooperation with senior Malaysian officials, including private placement into our state plantations. With the best Malaysian plantation management practices, utilising state-of-the-art technology, and good corporate governance, we could have launched an IPO within five to six years after entering into such a partnership. Therein, the Malaysian investors would have reaped relatively quick yields, and our state-owned plantations would have ranked among the best. Of course, the powers that be in Indonesia, gleaning rents from the status quo, did not allow this to materialise; but that is a different story.... Most of the current exchange has revolved around whether the Heads of Agreement signed last week by the two parties is commercially sound, in the narrow sense of generating immediate profits for their shareholders....But that which has been omitted from the exchange is what interests me the most: the smallholders and other stakeholders. This is more than just another B2B deal, it is a People-Private Partnership on both sides. Most observers apparently are not aware of the genesis of FGV, and do not realise that more than a 100,000 members of Felda are shareholders. Around 60 years ago, former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to launch a massive initiative to help poor rural households climb out of poverty, who at point were not very different from their Indonesian cousins.....Education and rural infrastructure managed to lay the foundations of a productive middle-class. Now the descendants of the erstwhile poor Malaysian smallholders have become bosses, with oil-palm holdings being tended by the progeny of the still poor rural Indonesian households. Indeed, by overcoming rent and wage barriers to expansion, this FGV-EHP partnership should enable Felda members to continue earning handsome returns, but around the same number of Indonesian smallholders already partnering with EHP in contract-farming schemes, also stand to benefit.....FGV institutional memory would be better suited to striking rapport with rural Papuan households, for instance, than the colonial institutional memory inherited by a number of Indonesian plantation managers.....What would be the repercussions, or what economists call second-round effects? Other Indonesian plantation groups might enter into such partnerships to remain competitive...

The Edge articles:

21 June 2015: Genting Plantations in WSJ article on ties with 1MDB and politics

20 June 2015: Rajawali and FGV talk of rationale for investment plan

Rajawali to adopt Felda’s technology for business expansion Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, June 18 2015, 9:26 AM; Industrial conglomerate PT Rajawali Corpora says it plans to strengthen its downstream palm oil business by adopting technology from a Malaysian company that recently bought its shares in local oil palm company PT Eagle High Plantation (EHP).Rajawali Corpora managing director Darjoto Setyawan said Rajawali had no plan to fully divest its ownership in the palm oil plantation after releasing 37 percent of total 68.5 percent stakes it had to Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world’s largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer.According to Darjoto, Rajawali is instead looking to enhance its business using cutting-edge technology it hopes to adopt from FGV.Rajawali and Felda signed the deal last week in a ceremony attended by Coordinating Economic Minister Sofjan Djalil and Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister, Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamed - See more at:

FGV eyes EHP acquisition in bid to further palm oil interests Friday June 19, 201509:55 PM GMT+8 - KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) today clarified that its proposed investment in PT Eagle High Plantations (EHP) is in line with its plan to become a world leading integrated palm oil plantation company. “The proposed investment would increase landbank, improve age profile of crops, cost optimisation and provide strategic long-term partnership, with a conglomerate in Indonesia,” FGV said in a statement today.  FGV refers to article “EPF hopes FGV will address valuation concern on PT Eagle High” as reported by Bernama on Wednesday, questioning the rationale for the US$680 million, or RM2.55 billion, proposed acquisition of EHP from Rajawali Group which has been regarded as too expensive by analysts.  The partnership, FGV said, would also provide access to Asean’s largest single market, allowing FGV to gain a foothold in a key palm oil supply market.  FGV said it was important to note that the proposal implied equity value /hectare (ha) for the planted hectarage of Rajawali at approximately US$17,400, which was lower than the recent reported transactions involving Sime Darby Bhd’s acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (US$25,900) and IOI Corp Bhd’s takeover of Unico-Desa Plantations (US$23,500).
In comparing with recent Indonesian transactions, hectarages involved were small in nature, of less than 70,000 ha, said FGV. From a corporate perspective, FGV said, this deal presented it with a great opportunity as part of its expansion plan. EHP owns 425,000 ha, with 67 per cent in Kalimantan.—Bernama - See more at:

16 June 2015: FGV - Eagle High deal - The Edge reports 23% down payment prior to S&P agreement and Peter Sondakh / Rajawali cash raising and strategic deal witnessed by Sofyan Djalil (Econ Coordinating Minister) and Malayisa MITI's Mustapa Mohamed - Jakarta Globe

Rajawali Piles Up Cash, Gets Ready for More Acquisitions By Vanesha Manuturi on 05:08 pm Jun 14, 2015.... The venture would mark Rajawali’s second sale this year as the group works to focus on its other core businesses: property and mining.... Peter (Sondakh) built his reputation by buying then selling companies with a hefty profit in the past decade. The conglomerate’s most lucrative deals include the sale of Bentoel International Investama for $494 million in 2009 to British American Tobacco. In 2010, Rajawali sold $1 billion worth of shares in Semen Gresik, which it bought from Mexican cement maker Cemex for $337 million in 2006.....The business conglomerate — whose businesses range from palm oil, property to mining — signed an agreement with executives from Felda Global Venture on Friday, witnessed by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economy Sofyan Djalil and Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed.
The acquisition deal is expected to be completed by August, according to Darjoto. “This strategic partnership is a great collaborative example that is beneficial to both Indonesia and Malaysia,” Darjoto told reporters after the signing event in Jakarta on Friday.

source: image of article header in The Edge Malaysia

15 June 2015: Analysts worry about FGV - Eagle High deal. FGV shares move down toward analyst lowered price outlooks.

AMBank: Felda Global: No earnings enhancement from Eagle High investment: We are downgrading Felda Global Ventures (FGV) ..... We have reduced FGV’s FY16F EPS by 6% to account for the dilutive impact of the US$680mil investment in 37% of Eagle High and US$67mil acquisition of 95% of Rajawali’s sugar assets.

CIMB: FGV has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Rajawali group to buy a 37% stake in PT Eagle High Plantations (EHP) and a 95% stake in its sugar assets for US$746m (RM2.8bn)...... (3) we estimate the acquisition could dilute its FY16 net profit by 10%; and (4) net gearing will rise to 1.43x from 1.05x and cashflow will be negatively impacted. ....Key potential de-rating catalysts are this proposal and earnings risk.

source: screenshots from

10 June 2015: Unilever Indonesia capex spend of up to $90 million per year

Unilever Sets Aside $90m for Indonesia Expansion By Vanesha Manuturi & Antonia Timmerman on 07:27 pm Jun 08, 2015; Home and personal care products make up 73 percent of Unilever Indonesia's sales, with food and refreshment products accounting for the remainder. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)
Jakarta. Unilever Indonesia, one of the largest listed consumer goods producers in Indonesia, is setting aside Rp 1.2 trillion ($90 million) for investment this year as the firm foresees a continuing slowdown in consumer demand for the remainder of the year. “Our [capital expenditure] is set to range from about Rp 1 trillion to Rp 1.2 trillion. It’s around the same amount as what we invested last year. We still believe in Indonesia for the long-term,” Sancoyo Antarikso, corporate secretary at Unilever Indonesia, told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday. Much of the spending — funding for which will mostly be sought internally — is meant to increase the company’s plant capacity, improve distribution networks, as well as adding more ice cream cabinets in stores across Indonesia, Sancoyo explained. First established in 1933, Unilever Indonesia, the local arm of British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever, is among a slew of publicly-listed companies in Indonesia that have announced less-than-ambitious expansion plans this year amid a weak local currency and a nationwide economic slowdown. Indonesia, where household spending accounts for some 56 percent of the economy, grew 4.7 percent between January and March — its slowest pace of growth in five years. Meanwhile, the rupiah has depreciated by nearly 6 percent against the US dollar so far this year, data from the central bank showed.

8 June 2015:  APRIL promises stop harvesting of natural forest; FGV price fall questions; Wilmar news items - in spite of new moves, more criticisms; supplier issues highlight by FPP and Australia sugar tussles, GAR in Liberia and Moody's spotlight, Sime Darby credit rating cut

Deforestation, exploitation, hypocrisy: no end to Wilmar's palm oil land grabs Anne van Schaik & Godwin Ojo 27th May 2015 With the deadline due this year for the full implementation of Wilmar's 'No peat, no deforestation, no exploitation' promise, the oil palm giant is keen to push its green image in Europe. But for communities suffering its land grabs in Nigeria, nothing has changed. While Wilmar spins green rhetoric, its bulldozers are still destroying vast swathes of forest and farmland.

Ghosts of problems past and present loom over Nigerian palm oil plans  by A youth leader who lives near one of Wilmar's Nigerian oil palm projects shows an alternative water hole the community has dug as a result of the ...

GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea Wilmar, another palm oil titan, put its business with the company, Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Agri, on hold in April, though it waited nine months ...
Golden Agri's Liberia unit under sustainability fire by Chan Yi Wen The Business TimesTuesday, Jun 02, 2015 Last week's violent demonstrations at Golden Veroleum Liberia's (GVL) plantations in south-east Liberia came after recent criticisms levelled at GVL, and its lead investor Singapore-listed palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources, for its efforts (or lack thereof) at sustainability. The blow-ups at GVL's plantations last Tuesday were started by a local group with specific grievances, which included the desire for more jobs to be made available to the community, GVL said on its website.
GVL's narrative runs contrary to a Reuters report that had speculated the riots were sparked by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), a group campaigning for the rights of indigenous people.
In April, FPP had accused GVL of taking land without community consent. - See more at:

Rating Action: Moody's changes Golden Agri-Resources' outlook to negative; affirms Ba2 Global Credit Research - 03 Jun 2015  Singapore, June 03, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has changed to negative from stable the outlook for Golden Agri-Resources Ltd ("GAR").  At the same time, Moody's has affirmed GAR's Ba2 corporate family rating. The outlook change reflects the continued deterioration in GAR's credit metrics, arising in turn from falling palm oil prices and weak returns from its heavy investment in downstream activities.  Accordingly, leverage has risen, with debt/EBITDA rising to 5.7x for the financial year ended 31 December 2014 from 2.4x in the year ended 31 December 2012.  At the same time, liquidity has tightened, with short-term debt totaling $1.72 billion as of 31 March 2015, including the likely put of its $400 million convertible bond on 4 October 2015. However, since March, GAR has issued SGD200 milllion of notes due 2018.
"From being strongly positioned for its rating range in late 2012, GAR's credit metrics have deteriorated steadily," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Palm oil regulator asked to investigate illegal land grabs by Wilmar Group supplier in Borneo News Date: 2nd June 2015 Borneo human rights organization files complaint alleging multiple breaches of RSPO standards by palm oil supplier PT. Swadaya Mukti Prakarsa / First Resources. By FPP.

'Trust, transparency and more power to growers' only way forward for divided sugar industry: new sugar chief by ABC Rural  By Charlie McKillop   Updated Thu at 8:34am  Queensland's peak sugar body has admitted it is no closer to reaching a compromise on marketing, despite renewed efforts to reopen negotiations with milling companies. After months of stalled negotiations, Canegrowers will meet with Australia's largest sugar milling company, Wilmar, in three weeks to discuss the preferred models being put forward by both parties.  Head of the State Government's sugar industry taskforce, George Christensen, also accused the Singaporean sugar giant of refusing to 'budge' on its initial position that would take growers' economic share out of the longstanding sugar pool.

Sugar code of conduct delayed but still on track to break sugar marketing deadlock: MP ABC Rural  Charlie McKillopUpdated Thu at 8:24am Cane growers have been told they will have to wait until the end of this month to hear from the federal taskforce set up to consider a sugar industry code of conduct. The head of the taskforce, George Christensen MP, said there had been a slight delay in the final report due to a flood of late submissions.  Audio: George Christensen says a sugar code of conduct will find a fairer way forward for growers against 'monopoly' millers (ABC Rural)
His comments come as the Federal Government announced a review of the code of conduct for the horticulture industry, a move widely welcomed by fruit and vegetable growers who say it has not met expectations. Mr Christensen said it highlighted the importance of the taskforce taking its time to "get it right" for the sugar industry.

Felda settler group rejects explanation on share price plunge BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 31 May 2015 3:42 PM; Felda settlers have rejected Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad’s (FGVH) explanation that the fall in share prices and the company’s poor performance were partly due to severe floods late last year which affected its plantation operations. National Felda Settlers' Children's Association (Anak), a group that represents settlers and their families, is also worried about blowback from the plunge in share prices, which have fallen by more than 50% since it was listed three years ago. Anak president Mazlan Aliman said the severe flooding occurred in Kelantan, which does not have much oil palm plantation. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "The severe flooding happened in Kelantan, how many FGVH plantations are there in Kelantan?” Mazlan asked. According to FGVH’s website, its largest plantations in Malaysia are located in Pahang and Sabah. “The floods in Pahang were not as bad. I do not buy the explanation. I think it’s just an excuse for the company’s poor business decisions,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted. - See more at:

Conservationists press Jakarta to follow industry lead on forests Nicholas Perry, Associated Press, Jakarta | World | Sun, June 07 2015, 11:40 AM - See more at: Conservationists are urging the Indonesian government to listen to business and start taking deforestation seriously after a major paper giant joined the growing ranks of companies pledging to stop clearing forests. Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL), the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia, announced this week it had stopped harvesting natural forest in a move hailed by its former critic Greenpeace as a "major breakthrough". Indonesia has some of the world's most extensive and biodiverse rainforests, but huge swathes have been chopped down by palm oil, mining and timber companies. As a result, Southeast Asia's top economy has become the world's third-biggest carbon emitter. APRIL and its major rival Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which together produce 80 percent of Indonesia's pulp products, have been accused of destroying vast tranches of the forests that are home to endangered species such as Sumatran orangutans and tigers. APRIL had only last year committed to phasing out deforestation in its supply chain by 2020, following APP's promise in 2013 to stop using any logs from Indonesia's natural forests in its mills. But in what APRIL's group president Praveen Singhavi called a major step in their "sustainability journey", the company ceased forest clearing in May and promised no new developments on Indonesian forest or peat land. - See more at:

Standard & Poor lowers Sime Darby credit rating 29 May 2015 @ 12:18 PM KUALA LUMPUR: Standard &Poor’s has lowered the credit rating on Sime Darby Bhd from A to negative outlook at A-.
The conglomerate’s acquisition of the palm oil plantation in Papua New Guinea New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), weaker operating cash flows and a weaker ringgit which have raised the company’s debt level were the reasons cited. "We lowered the ratings because of likely delays and amendments in the implementation of Sime Darby's deleveraging plan that could offset the impact of higher debt from the acquisition of NBPOL,” said S&P’s credit analyst Bertrand Jabouley.

28 May 2015: KLK buying Emery Germany oleochemical assets; slew of corporate results for Malaysia include Genting Plantations, TH Plantations, FGV, MSM, Hap Seng, TSH Resources, KLK, IOI etc.

KLK buying Sime Darby's Germany oleochemical assets By Chong Jin Hun /   | May 27, 2015 : 1:22 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) ( Financial Dashboard) is buying Emery Oleochemical GmbH's assets in Germany in an all cash Euro 40.5 million (RM162 million) deal. Emery is a unit under Sime Darby Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) (fundamental: 0.8; valuation: 1.4). In a statement to Bursa Malaysia today, KLK (fundamental: 1; valuation: 1.1) said it had signed a conditional asset purchase agreement to buy Emery's plant, tangible assets and inventories. KLK said the transaction would enable the company to "diversify into the tallow-based market". Tallow is a substance derived from animal fat. KLK said the acquisition would also complement its existing fatty acid and glycerine business. KLK said the transaction was scheduled for completion by the third quarter of this year.

24 May 2015: Wilmar's 700,000 tonne sugar order - a substantial tonnage of sugar looking for a final home;  Sime Darby denies strike (its a go slow), results; TH Plantations sets RM 500 million revenue target; Equatorial Palm Oil, Praetorian, Benso Oil Palm

Wilmar nominated up to 700,000 T sugar on expiry so far-trade  Wed May 20, 2015 10:54am EDT By David Brough * Sugar finds homes in Morocco, Algeria, India, Malaysia * Market talk of some cancelled vessel nominations  LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Trading house Wilmar has nominated vessels to take some 600,000-700,000 tonnes of raw sugar so far from a record 1.9 million tonnes delivery against the ICE May expiry, trade sources said. Some trade sources said around 500,000 tonnes of further nominations had been withdrawn until a later date. That still leaves a substantial tonnage of sugar looking for a final home, they added. "The market was hoping they were missing something - that Wilmar has a big home for the sugar. But no one was missing anything," one London-based trade source said. A spokesman for Singapore-based Wilmar could not immediately be reached for comment. Trade sources said there was talk that Wilmar had nominated some vessels and later cancelled them in order to test whether those scheduled to deliver sugar had supplies available. European traders said they believed that Wilmar had taken sugar for end-destinations where it had access to refining capacity, such as Morocco, Algeria, India and Malaysia. "I would say at least 500,000 tonnes has been withdrawn for a later date," a European commodities trade source said.

Wilmar Intl Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks (WLMIY) Posted by Seth Barnet on May 16th, 2015 // No Comments; Wilmar Intl l(NASDAQ:WLMIY) was downgraded by Zacks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Wilmar International Limited is an agribusiness group. The Company captures the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination and processing to the branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural products. Its business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, consumer pack edible oils processing and merchandising, specialty fats, oleochemicals and biodiesel manufacturing, and grains processing and merchandising. Wilmar International Limited is headquartered in Singapore, Singapore. “

Sime Darby denies strike (its a go slow) report  Published: Monday, 18 May 2015 02:10  The Management of  Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) has clarified that there is no strike at its plantation contrary to report in the media. “What is happening is a “go slow” action, which means that employees are coming to work but mainly with a purpose of discussing work-related issues with the management”, a press release issued by the company on Sunday said. According to the release, every April the company in accordance with the Liberian tax regulation, deducts Vacation Leave Payment tax from pay-checks, which causes employees’ dissatisfaction, adding, “We are currently talking to the representatives of the workers’ union to explain the issue and resolve any misunderstanding.” Recently, an online news outlet, Global News Network Liberia, reported strike at China Union and Sime Darby Plantation Liberia.

Malaysia's Sime Darby Q3 net profit drops 54.7 pct y/y Industries  |  Fri May 22, 2015 12:48am EDT  May 22 Sime Darby Bhd, the world's biggest listed palm oil producer, announced on Friday a 54.7 percent drop in its third-quarter profit due to weak commodity prices.

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:

TH Plantations sets RM500m revenue target  Alexander Winifred Thursday, May 21, 2015 TH Plantations (THP) Bhd, the plantation arm of Lembaga Tabung Haji, is aiming to achieve a revenue of more RM500 million this year, driven by production inccrase from maturing plantations and its entry into the international markets. THP CEO Datuk Zainal Azwar Zainal Aminuddin said the company expects a 5% increase in revenue for 2015 compared to RM489 million recorded in 2014. "More plantations are coming into maturity in the near future and it will ensure steady revenue growth in the coming years," he said this at the company’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Zainal says THP will also begin exploring the sale of its produce from its plantations in Sarawak to markets like China, India, and the Middle East.  "As long as they can give us a good price," he said. Presently, THP only sells its produce to the local market.  The group had embarked on an aggressive expansion plan that saw its plantation land increased to 106,000 hectares from 15,000 hectares in 2006.  For the final quarter of 2014, the group reported a net loss of RM2 million, dragging its full year profits to RM34 million, a 46% year-on-year drop in profits.

Equatorial Palm Oil First-Half Loss Narrows As Ebola Hits Operations Mon, 18th May 2015 11:19 LONDON (Alliance News) - Equatorial Palm Oil PLC Monday said its pretax loss in the first half of the year was in line with expectations after the Ebola crisis had a significant impact on its operations but said it is still in a strong position to carry out its strategy. For the first half of the financial year ended March 31, the palm oil producer reported a pretax loss of USD439,000, which is narrower than the USD745,000 loss reported a year earlier as the company cut its administrative expenses to USD458,000 from USD628,000. Equatorial said the loss was "in line with expectations". Equatorial also made a smaller operating loss from its joint ventures of USD245,000 from USD323,000, whilst interest income rose to USD230,000 from USD206,000 and other income totalled USD34,000 from none a year earlier.The company does not yet generate any revenue and said the Ebola crisis had a "significant impact" on its operations in the period due to the restriction of movement in Liberia until March. The company noted that the country has now been declared Ebola-free.  ttp://

Praetorian Resources shares soar as it offloads stake in palm oil firm  By Andrew Neil May 15 2015, 1:50pm Praetorian shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p. Praetorian shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p.  Shares in Praetorian Resources (LON:PRAE) doubled in value as the firm sold its entire stake in Equatorial Palm Oil (LON:EPO).
The Guernsey-based investment company offloaded its full holding for £637,500 in cash, higher than EPO’s book value of £552,000. The palm oil producer, which has plants in Liberia on the West African cost, had been part of Praetorian’s portfolio since the vehicle listed on AIM back in 2012. Praetorian, which also holds stakes in ASX-listed Ausgold and TSX listed Maya Gold & Silver, said the funds raised will be used to provide additional working capital for the company.
Shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p.

Benso Oil Palm Plantation makes profit Business News of Monday, 18 May 2015  The Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited made a profit after tax of 12.9 million Ghana cedis in 2014 representing 112 per cent increase over that of 2013.  Mr Ishmael Yamson, the Chairman of Board of Directors, announced this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company at Takoradi.  He said a dividend of GH¢ 0.0706.00 per share was approved for 2012 compared to GH¢0.0334 for the previous year.  He said by the prudent operation of the management, the company had been declared the first certified sustainable oil palm plantation in Ghana and second in the whole of Africa by the Round Table Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international organisation based in Malaysia.

22 May 2015: Palm oil machinery maker Dolphin to use IPO proceeds for factory expansion and working capital 

Dolphin to use IPO proceeds for factory expansion and working capital  20 May 2015 @ 7:02 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Dolphin International Bhd, headed for listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on June 9, will utilise more than 50 per cent of the RM31.28 million it expects to raise from its Initial Public Offering (IPO), for factory expansion and working capital. The rest will be for establishing a research and development facility and repay bank borrowings, said Group Managing Director Eric Low Teck Yin. He said the listing would place the company in a stronger position to tap into Malaysia and Indonesia’s huge palm oil milling machinery market.  There are over 439 mills in Malaysia and about 608 in Indonesia. Dolphin International is involved in the design, development, fabrication and sale of palm oil machinery. “We will concentrate on catering to the demand for process integration and automation solutions that enhance productivity, safety and efficiency, while improving our facilities in Shah Alam and Puchong as well as innovating new solutions for customers in both countries,” Low said.

Dolphin International IPO prospectus:

21 May 2015: Sarawakian timber and palm oil groups unhappy about frozen accounts

Sarawakian timber and palm oil groups unhappy about frozen accounts Updated: Saturday May 16, 2015 MYT 12:25:05 PM; KUCHING: Timber and oil palm industry lobby groups in Sarawak are unhappy that hundreds of bank accounts have been frozen under a probe on corruption and illegal logging.   In separate statements, the Sarawak Timber Association (STA) and Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (Soppoa) described the freezing of accounts under Ops Gergaji as extreme and disruptive.  STA chairman Pemanca Datuk Wong Kie Yik said that MACC's freezing of 519 bank account worth RM700mil was "too harsh".  He said Ops Gergaji, which began last Tuesday, had crippled daily operations of member companies, some of which not directly involved in the timber trade.  "This has put affected companies in dire situations of not being able to pay their contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and their employees when the Gawai Dayak festival is just around the corner," Wong said in a statement.  He added that those companies would break the law by not meeting statutory requirements of paying Employees Provident Fund, Social Security and the Goods and Services Tax.  Wong reiterated the industry's support for anti illegal logging efforts but said the methods deployed had been unreasonable and without compassion.  The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) has frozen more than 500 accounts involving nearly RM700mil and seized 1,785 logs worth RM1mil.  Ops Gergaji involved 400 officers and covered Miri, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Bakun and Kapit. Fourteen people, who are directors and managers of sawmill and log ponds, had been called up to assist in investigations.  In the Soppoa statement, issued late Friday, it said members welcomed the move to fight illegal logging but "strongly oppose the freezing of bank accounts of other businesses not related to such activities".  It said that accounts of plantation companies, educational institutions, hospitality businesses and many other businesses across Sarawak had been frozen.......

18 May 2015: Will FGV be removed from the KLCI?

Note: Thanks to alert from Felda case study team member on the chatter about FGV being removed from the KLCI. If so, this could dampen ETF tracking and institutional portfolio investment interest in the stock. Many such investors have a focus on holding the largest market capitalization stocks and presence on the KLCI (the key equity index for the Malaysia stock exchange) is important.

FGV company youtube videos,
Below some news articles relating to these FGV issues:

FGV to review LLA terms Saturday, 28 February 2015 By: HANIM ADNAN FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is believed to be in the midst of finding a solution to improve the terms of its land lease agreement (LLA) with the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) which has distorted the calculation of its profits, say sources. Under the LLA agreement signed in 2012, FGV has to pay Felda a fixed amount of RM250mil per year in cash for 20 years and a 15% share of operating profit from the sales of fresh fruit bunches derived from the estate land leased from Felda.
From a business perspective, sources says the LLA business model is working well at the FGV group’s operational level. However, the LLA factor in practice is distorting and complicates the fair value accounting treatment on FGV, which saw its profits pulled down in its recent financial year results. “Hence, FGV is trying to work out with Felda on how to make it easier for the LLA fair value change calculation to be done and better reflect on the operational profits based on measures taken by the FGV group since 2012,” adds the source.

FGV down on stock downgrade Thursday, 26 February 2015  By: S. PUSPADEVI PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) share price dropped by almost 13% after analysts downgraded the stock following the group’s disappointing quarter.  The stock closed 38 sen lower at RM2.56 yesterday, the steepest fall in the last 18 months. The counter saw 14.56 million shares being traded.  Some volatility in the shares is expected, as analysts have maintained their bleak outlook on the group’s performance, stating that the downstream segment remained a challenge.
CIMB Research attributed the weaker fourth-quarter earnings to lower plantation and downstream contributions.  It also downgraded the stock as it viewed the 34% share price rally over the past months as unjustified, given its poor quarterly results and potential removal from the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index due to its lower market capitalisation.

17 May 2015: Indofood trims capex plan, IOI Corp net loss and forex loss on US$ loans, First Resources and PT SAL, Bumitama Agri, CBPI, FGV sells non-core assets amidst leadership uncertainty, GAR-GVL palm oil mill, Wilmar profits and its Australia sugar tussle

Indofood plans lower capex of Rp 9t this year Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, May 09 2015, 10:54 AM; Publicly listed food and consumer goods giant Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF) has reduced its capital expenditure (capex) plans amid lackluster domestic economic growth. Indofood expects to spend Rp 9 trillion (US$686 million) capex for business expansion this year, down from Rp 9.6 trillion last year, which was a 60 percent increase from 2013.“Capex is usually used for expansion of existing plants as well as constructing new ones. This year, we will use our capex for upgrading our existing factories through installing new machines and so on,” Indofood president director Anthony Salim said at a press conference after the company’s general shareholders meeting on Friday.Indonesia’s economy, over half of which is driven by consumer demand, grew 4.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, the weakest growth rate since 2009, and far from the government’s 5.7 percent target this year.Indofood finance director Thomas Tjhie said 30 percent of this year’s capex would be allocated to its largest subsidiary and business division, Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur (ICBP), which is among the world’s top instant noodle makers.Other business divisions, such as Bogasari and agribusiness, obtained a 26 percent portion each. The remaining 18 percent will be split evenly for its distribution and cultivation divisions, Thomas added - See more at:

IOI Corp's 3Q sees a net loss of RM188m on higher net forex loss By Yimie Yong /   | May 14, 2015 : 8:29 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): IOI Corp Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) posted a net loss of RM188 million in the third quarter ended March 31, 2015 (3QFY15) from a net profit of RM2.18 billion a year ago, mainly due to higher net foreign currency translation loss. This translated into a loss per share of 2.95 sen, compared to an earnings per share (EPS) of 34.2 sen. Revenue declined 4.25% to RM2.78 billion, from RM2.9 billion a year earlier. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, IOI Corp (fundamental: 1.7; valuation: 2.1) said the group’s lower profit was also due to lower contribution from both plantation and resource-based manufacturing segments. Lower earnings from plantation business was due to lower fresh fruit bunches production and lower crude palm oil (CPO) price, while lower profit from resource-based manufacturing business was due to lower margin and sales volume. IOI Corp also explained that during the quarter under review, there was a net repayment of US$526 million (approximately RM1.88 billion) on its US dollar denominated borrowings. “As a result, the impact of the dollar-ringgit volatility on our US dollar denominated borrowings will be lower in the future,” it added.

First Resources' Q1 profit falls 38.5%, hit by lower palm-oil prices By Anita Gabriel  May 11, 20158:33 AM FIRST Resources on Monday reported a 38.5 per cent drop in net profit to US$27.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, from US$45 million in the year-ago period, as profit from operations declined 24 per cent due to lower average selling prices and sales volumes of palm-based products. Revenue fell 46 per cent to US$96.3 million from US$178 million. Cost of sales slipped 63 per cent to US$38 million mainly due to lower sales volumes, decrease in purchases of fresh fruit bunches and palm-oil products from third parties, as well as lower processing costs
Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) saw a 21 per cent decline to US$53.4 million, while Ebitda margin improved to 55.5 per cent from 37.9 per cent a year ago, which was partly contributed by lower purchases from third parties.

Weak moratorium endangers peatlands in Riau Adisti Sukma Sawitri, The Jakarta Post, Indragiri Hilir/Jakarta | National | Tue, May 12 2015, 6:20 AM; Thousands of hectares of peatland in Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau, are under threat by the advance of palm oil company PT Setia Agrindo Lestari (PT SAL), which has begun to clear the area to make way for new plantations.An indirect subsidiary of palm oil giant First Resources Limited, PT SAL obtained a location permit for the 17,059-hectare property, spread over five villages in Gaung district, from the Indragiri Hilir administration in 2012, a year after former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a presidential instruction (Inpres) banning the issuance of new permits to clear primary forests or peatlands. The forest moratorium, which was extended in 2013, mandates the protection of primary forests and peatlands. When Perspektif Baru Foundation and Kemitraan invited journalists from media companies, including The Jakarta Post, to visit a part of the PT SAL concession in Pungkat village last Wednesday, a new trench was opened by the company workers. The trench passes through the cleared area, which is the size of several soccer fields. By siphoning vegetation felled by the land clearing toward the village, the trenches have caused water supplies have become polluted, locals say. “The water has been murky for the past few days. We are lucky this is the rainy season, so we can still gather rainwater. I can’t imagine how we will survive during the dry season,” said Masniar, a Pungkat resident.The village has depended on water from the peatland areas during the dry season since 1974....In its 2014 financial report, First Resources Limited, which is publicly listed in Singapore, stated it held a 46.7 percent stake in PT SAL.Riko Kurniawan from the Riau chapter of the NGO Indonesian Forum fot the Environment (Walhi) said many palm oil companies still disregarded the forest moratorium, since it carried no punishment for violators. - See more at:

Bumitama Agri Q1 profits fall 41% to 181.6 billion rupiah Published on May 12, 2015 11:42 AM SINGAPORE - Palm-oil producer Bumitama Agri announced on Tuesday that net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, fell 41 per cent to 181.57 billion rupiah (S$18.44 million) from 307.84 billion rupiah for the year-ago period. The mainboard-listed company blamed lower selling prices for both crude palm oil and palm kernel, the higher cost of sales, foreign-exchange loss and share of loss of associate companies. Revenue for the quarter dipped 1.7 per cent to 1.33 trillion rupiah as the lower selling prices offset the increase in sales volume of both products. - See more at:

CB Industrial awarded more than RM250m worth of contracts this year By AmResearch / The Edge Financial Daily   | May 7, 2015 : 10:42 AM MYT

Felda Global Ventures to sell non-core ventures by third quarter Thursday, 7 May 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) will complete the disposal of its non-core businesses by the third quarter of 2015, said group president and chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah. The disposal, which includes Felda Travel, Felda Property and Felda Prodata Systems, will be carried out through open tender process.

Renewal of Felda Global Venture CEO contract remains unclear Published: 6 May 2015 7:58 PM Felda Global Ventures Bhd’s (FGV) CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah's answer was vague when asked whether his employment contract, which will end in July, will be renewed. “It is in the process,” Emir Mavani said cryptically when asked if he would continue to helm the plantation group, whose share price has come under heavy pressure as a result of the poor earnings performance. He was speaking to reporters after FGV's signing ceremony to establish the Rafflesia Centre for Research and Interpretation and Sun Bear Conservation Centre today. - See more at:

GVL oil palm mill coming soon  Published: Friday, 08 May 2015 00:22; Golden Veroleum Liberia signed a Letter of Acceptance with Malaysia-based Modipalm Engineering Sdn Bhd for the construction of its Tarjuowon Palm Oil Mill and Greenville Bulking Station.   A press release issued by GVL says the contract, worth upwards of 21 million USD, is expected to be completed by 2017 and will employ several hundred Liberians during construction and  pproximately 150 Liberians in industrial processing when in full operation. Currently, GVL employs approximately 3,700 in the South East of the country. “What we want to do is continue that number upward as we grow with the help of the communities,” said GVL Spokesman Stephen Binda. “The mill and bulking station will certainly help with that and ensure Liberia will have its own processing capabilities, which in essence means that there are products made in Liberia by Liberians.” When completed the mill will be used to process fresh fruit bunches, also known as FFB, typically within 24 hours of harvesting.  Then the oil would be transported to the bulking station. “This is a process that began for us a couple of years ago when we sent our first batch of Liberian engineers to Jakarta, Indonesia to train specifically in oil palm mill engineering. They returned and are now helping to run the company, and they will have an enormous task ahead of them with the mill. But they have stepped up to the challenge and we expect great things from them,” according to Binda. Of the current GVL workforce, 64 Liberians are in various management positions, the mill and bulking station will increase that number. When fully operational, the company expects to employ between 35,000 and 40,000, the release concluded.

UPDATE 2-Wilmar Q1 profit jumps on grains, oilseeds performance * Q1 net rises 49 pct to $241.2 million * Revenue falls 8.3 pct on lower commodity prices * Expects crushing margin to be positive into mid-2015 (Adds details on sugar business in paragraphs 1, 7,8) SINGAPORE, May 7 (Reuters) - Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd on Thursday said net profit jumped 49 percent in the first quarter as strong earnings at its oilseeds and grains business offset losses in other segments, including the company's sugar segment. The world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest buyers of soybeans reported profit of $241.2 million for January-March. That was on revenue which fell 8.3 percent to $9.4 billion due to a decline in commodity prices. Pre-tax profit from the oilseeds and grains division grew to $166.1 million from $13.6 million a year earlier, driven by higher crushing margins and improved performance in its consumer product business. Wilmar said crushing margins in China CNSOY-RZO-MRG rose due to a decline in soybean imports and prices. "Crush margins are expected to remain positive going into mid-2015," Wilmar said in a statement. High earnings contributions from associates in India and China also boosted profit, Wilmar said. That helped offset a pre-tax loss in Wilmar's sugar segment of $68 million in the first quarter, more than a quarter higher than the prior year's loss of $54 million, due to weaker performances in the company's Indonesian refineries and merchandising business.

Big Sugar Order Gives Prices a Jolt; More Than a Dozen Ships Are Lined Up in Brazil to Fulfill the Order; By  Carolyn Cui and  Julie Wernau  May 8, 2015 6:53 p.m. ET; One company’s purchase of an unusually large amount of sugar is sending the market scrambling. Wilmar International Ltd. bought 1.9 million tons of sugar on the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange and called on sellers to ship the order—the largest exchange delivery...

Wilmar believes fair competition in sugar is "premature" Emily Smith | 5th May 2015 6:00 AM
DRAFTING legislation to ensure fair competition in sugar marketing is "premature and unnecessary", according to sugar industry giant Wilmar.  The company responded yesterday to plans of a private member's bill the state Opposition wants to bring to parliament, designed to add pro-competition amendments to the Sugar Industry Act 1999. If it makes it through parliament, it would protect farmers from "no choice" marketing plans Wilmar proposed, after they break away from independent sugar marketer Queensland Sugar Limited in 2017.  But Wilmar's executive general manager strategy and business development, Shayne Rutherford, said the proposed changes already would take growers into consideration.  "Wilmar is disappointed the LNP is discussing a private member's bill without having met with us to understand the marketing model we are proposing or the status of negotiations," he said Wilmar believes fair competition in sugar is "premature"

LETTER TO THE ED: Choice is the key issue for cane farmers Kerry Latter, CEO Canegrowers Mackay | 6th May 2015 8:20 AM  WILMAR continues to fight against any opportunity to provide growers with a choice model in sugar marketing, commercial or legislative (DM 05/05/15).
Given the monopsony position of Wilmar's sugar mills, the key remedy to the issue is to provide cane growers with economic bargaining power and real choice.  This may be achieved by the twin means of explicitly and permanently granting all Queensland growers:  1. Beneficial economic interest in their share of raw sugar created from their cane under the current supply contract formulae;
2. The right to choose how and with whom that share of the raw sugar is marketed.  The key issue is choice. Queensland cane growers should be able to choose who markets their sugar. Whether that is the industry owned not for profit company, Queensland Sugar Limited, Wilmar or some other entity, it should be their choice.  The State Government needs to comprehend this and the impacts on Queensland families across the state, providing a simple change to the existing Queensland Sugar Act 1999 is not hard to do....

1 May 2015: Indofood sales, Angro-Eastern warns, second mill for Month Reththy Cambodia, Peter Lim (former Wilmar deal maker and owner) sets up for EU deal making

Indofood books sales of S$1.5 billionThe Jakarta Post/Asia News NetworkFriday, May 01, 2015 ;

Indofood books sales of Rp 15.02t The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, April 30 2015, 7:57 PM; Leading food manufacturer PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk (INDF) booked net sales of Rp 15.02 trillion (US$1.15 billion) in the first quarter of 2015, down by 0.1 percent compared to the same period last year.INDF president director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthoni Salim said Indofood CBP, which manufactures consumer branded goods, contributed 52 percent to sales, followed by Bogasari (25 percent), Agribusiness (15 percent) and Distribution (8 percent).INDF’s overall profits were down by 37.2 percent to Rp 870.1 billion.Meanwhile, the net profit margin declined to 5.8 percent from 9.2 percent, due largely to exchange rate losses as a result of the depreciation of the rupiah.Anthoni said by not calculating non-recurring accounts and exchange rate margins, INDF’s core profit which reflected its operational work performance grew by 11.6 percent to Rp 1.05 trillion from Rp 939.9 billion.“Entering 2015, the domestic economic situation is not yet conducive. In the midst of challenging market conditions and the depreciating rupiah, INDF’s operational work performance remains strong as reflected in its core profit,” said Anthoni. (ebf) - See more at:

Indonesia's Indofood Sukses net profit falls 37 pct in Q1 Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:20pm EDT  JAKARTA, April 30  (Reuters) - Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the world's largest instant noodle makers, reported on Thursday a 37 percent plunge in first-quarter net profit.

Anglo-Eastern Posts Profit Drop, Warns Of Challenges In Palm Oil Thu, 30th Apr 2015 13:14
LONDON (Alliance News) - Anglo-Eastern Plantations PLC Thursday reported a big drop in profit in 2014 despite an increase in revenue, due to a biological asset value adjustment, and warned of a challenging future as crude palm oil prices remain under pressure due to lower prices for alternatives like crude oil and soya and sunflower oil and because input costs are rising. The palm oil and rubber producer reported a 67% drop in pretax profit to USD51.2 million, from USD153.4 million in 2013, despite a 24% rise in revenue to USD251.3 million from USD201.9 million on the back of higher production of fresh fruit bunches. The profit drop was caused by a biological asset adjustment of USD33.7 million, compared with a credit of USD93.7 million in 2013, mainly due to the weakening of the Rupiah against the US dollar. Excluding this adjustment, its profit rose to USD85.0 million, from USD59.7 million....the company said the mill construction in Central Kalimantan is progressing on schedule and said it is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2015, while the USD5 million construction of the biogas and biomass plant in North Sumatera is now complete and has begun operations ........"The group expects to face tougher challenges with steeper rise in operating costs in 2015 due to rising fertiliser prices, higher wage inflation and removal of government fuel subsidies in Indonesia," the chairman added.

Cambodian PM inaugurates 2nd palm oil plant; PHNOM PENH, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday inaugurated a 20 million U.S. dollars palm oil factory in southwest Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk province. It was the kingdom's second palm oil plant that was jointly invested by Cambodia's Mong Reththy Group and Thai Charoen Corporation Group. Hun Sen said the factory was a new achievement in the development of agro-industrial sector. "The launching of the factory will contribute to developing the economy and reducing poverty through job creation in rural areas," he said. Mong Reththy, president of the Mong Reththy Group, said the new plant is capable to process 45 tons of fresh oil palm fruit per hour, while the old factory, launched since 2002, is able to process only 30 tons per hour.

Billionaire Valencia Boss Taps LVMH Dealmaker for Europe Push 'By'Joyce Koh 12:00 AM HKT   April 30, 2015; Lim, a 61-year-old former stockbroker, made his fortune through holdings in palm oil producers and a chain of Manchester United cafes in Asia. He also has stakes in supercar maker McLaren Automotive Ltd., Singapore property developer Rowsley Ltd. and security provider Soverus Group Pte.....

26 April 2015: Sime Darby Bumiputera vendor devt programme, Wilmar US$1 billion complex at Maloy East Kalimantan, Cargill seeks poultry play, more palm oil mills in Indonesia; GAR's US$1.5 billion multicurrency medium term note programme; PZ Wilmar Nigeria refinery capacity 300,000 tons/year and 50m000 ha of oil palm soon;  Presco's Investment in Nigeria over US$1bn

Sime Darby launches Bumiputera vendor devt programme Wednesday, 22 April 2015 By: ZUNAIRA SAIEED; KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd has launched the Bumiputera vendor development programme to help specific Bumiputera companies develop their capabilities to become more competitive in the local and global markets. Sime Darby said on Wednesday it had identified nine companies that have signed the MoUs with Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property, reflecting a spread of Bumiputera vendors in both divisions. “In support of Malaysia’s national agenda, the group is determined to increase our pool of approved Bumiputera vendors in the approved vendor list to 30%,” said Sime Darby president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh...... The selected vendors would be given opportunity to supply goods and services to needs of Sime Darby for a period of three to five years. “Sime Darby will also assist the vendor to obtain financial and training assistance from government agencies, financial institutions or any other certified technical agencies,” Sime Darby added. If the selected vendors KPIs are met after graduating from the programme, the vendors would be recognised as “Sime Darby Preferred Vendor’, which would likely increase their opportunity to be involved in future projects..... For its financial year ended June 30, 2014, the group’s saving from procurement activities stood at RM60mil....
Wilmar to Build $1b Integrated CPO Factory in E. Kalimantan By Amrozi Amenan on 11:34 am Apr 20, 2015; Gresik, East Java. The biggest crude palm oil processing company in the world, Wilmar Nabati Indonesia — the local unit of Wilmar International — plans to build a $1 billion integrated factory in the Maloy industrial area in East Kalimantan to produce more processed CPO products. The company is currently negotiating on land for the factory with the East Kalimantan government, Wilmar Nabati Indonesia president director Hendri Sakti said last week. “Once we get the land, we will start building the factory. It will be similar to our factory in Gresik,” Hendri said...... Wilmar Nabati Indonesia has a 100-hectare CPO processing factory in Gresik that produces processed CPO products such as oleo-food, oleo-chemical, bio-fuel, bio-lefin and bio-avtur......

Cargill Seeking Poultry Play, Building Palm Oil Mills In Indonesia - Minnesota-based company is also considering entering aquaculture for the first time By Ben Otto  April 20, 2015 8:30 a.m. ET
JAKARTA, Indonesia—Cargill Inc. is seeking to enter the Indonesian poultry sector and is investing in mills for its growing palm oil business there, part of its plans to pour $1 billion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy in the coming years...... The Minnesota-based company is “in active discussions” to enter the poultry sector in Indonesia, which will include building a new facility and likely partnering, Alan Willits, Cargill...

Golden Agri's S$125m three-year notes priced at 5.5% a year By Cai; 22 Apr7:52 AM; PALM oil plantation company Golden Agri-Resources said on Wednesday that it has priced its S$125 million senior unsecured fixed rate notes due April 27, 2018, at 5.5 per cent a year. The company is getting funding from a US$1.5 billion multicurrency medium term note programme. The latest offering is managed by Credit Suisse, MUFJ, and OCBC Bank......  Golden Agri said net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital needs, including but not limited to the repayment of outstanding borrowings......

Banks raising $400m for palm oil expansion 'must examine high risks' by Oliver Tickell 20th April 2015; Banks preparing to launch a $400m bond issue for a global palm oil giant with a history of legal violations and broken standards have been warned of their 'high risk client' and the 'extreme and outstanding' social and environmental conflicts in the palm oil agribusiness sector. "Banks and investors must examine the full range of environmental, social, reputational, legal and market risks prevalent in the palm oil sector", warns a new alert from the Banktrack Network. They should also "ensure that they undertake enhanced, robust due diligence procedures to identify, understand and screen these risks prior to any financing", the group insists......  The warning was issued as a syndicate of three global financial institutions - Credit Suisse, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities - prepare to issue $400 million in bonds for palm oil expansion.
The syndicate is acting for Singapore-registered Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) - one of the world's largest palm oil companies and a part of the Sinar Mas Group - according to a Debtwire report last week. And it's beginning meetings this week with credit investors this week in Hong Kong and Singapore......

Nigeria's path to revamping oil palm sector by Femi Adekoya on April 22, 2015

PZ Wilmar Nigeria refinery capacity 300,000 tons/year and 50m000 ha of oil palm soon  - Backward integration ‘ll cut palm oil import by $300m April 22, 2015 Written by Chikodi Okereocha; On-going backward integration plan for palm oil embarked upon by PZ Wilmar Nigeria Limited, a palm oil processing, packaging and distribution company, will help Nigeria save foreign exchange by eliminating imports to the value of $300 million per year now being spent on palm oil import, its Managing Director, Mr. Santosh Pillai, has said. The backward integration programme, which aims at making the country self-sufficient in oil palm production would also create about 9, 000 direct and 45, 000 indirect jobs,......He said: “With refinery capacity of over 300, 000 tons per year, it will reduce Nigeria’s estimated 500, 000 ton annual supply shortage by 60 per cent.”..... According to Pillai, Nigeria’s total market for palm oil is estimated at two million tons, and local output meets about 75 per cent of total. He said to close the supply gap of crude palm oil in the country, the company is working to increase the availability of locally sourced products, as well as introducing modern plantation management. He said the company has acquired 26, 500 hectares of land in Cross River State for oil palm plantation, adding that the target is to acquire 50, 000 hectares soon...... The 26,500-hectare project is part of an integrated end-to-end value chain in oil palm production and processing. The project, according to Pillai, is the result of a joint venture between PZ Cussons and Wilmar of Singapore to explore the opportunities in the agro-allied industry and in the process deliver benefits to the Nigerian economy......

Presco's Investment in Nigeria ?Hits $1bn 21 Apr 2015; The investment injected into the Nigeria economy by Presco Oil Palm plc in the past one decade has risen beyond $1 billion, THISDAY has learnt...... With the company bringing in a minimum of $100 million investment into the country annually for the past ten years, the companies total investment in the country has risen over a billion dollars during the period. Chairman of the company, Mr. Pierre Vandebeeck, explained that the investments  included procuring high quality state-of-the-art ‎equipments, automated steam turbines and a biogas plant  for power generation, oil palm processing mills, refineries  and plants and machineries.....  Vandebeeck in an interview with THISDAY, said the company is going forward by building a new refinery and oil mill that would gulp another $30 million to boost oil palm production in Nigeria. In his words: "I have not done the feasibility study yet but the cost estimate for the oil mill  is about $20 million and the refinery is $10 million summing up to a $30 million investment. A hectare of new plantation is about $6000 so multiply that to know how much we are investing every year. We are not stopping. We are like a vehicle driving very fast  all the time, although I do say should we  slow down a bit but there are so many opportunities that come up that we do not want to miss and therefore you are more or less pushed to continue investing. ‎"........"We are the only company in this industry in the world that has succeeded  in cloning rubber trees. We started two years ago and will be planting our first cloned rubber trees in Ivory Coast and Ghana because we believe through this system we will be increasing the rubber yields by about 30 per cent per hectares by 2 tonnes to 3 tonnes, but I believe it will be more‎," he said..... ‎He noted that for the past  ten years, Presco has being investing in what he described as a genetic block of oil palm having over 200 different crosses ‎and varieties from all over the world, saying that the company will propagate and make it available to anyone willing to pay the price. "We have the first result for this and five years after planting, we added 20,000,000 per hectares with an extraction rate of 29 per cent and this means we are doubling the oil yields per hectare of what is coming now.‎ We are doing the same thing ‎for cocoa because personally I believe in three crops which are  rubbber, oil palm and cocoa. We are going to produce high performing clones that are disease resistant, he said......

Asian and African business leaders form business council to boost trade, prosperity Published on Apr 21, 2015 6:45 PM; JAKARTA - INSTANT noodle producer Indofood plans to build a factory in Morocco, its sixth in Africa, this year. It is one of a growing number of Asian companies investing in the continent of late. More natural resources from Africa, such as crude oil from Angola, are also flowing to Asia. But trade between both regions remains well below its potential, and business leaders on both sides today agreed to form an Asian-African Business Council (AABC) to step up links, share know-how and boost investments.....

22 April 2015: Sabah biorefinery complex at Lahad Datu, Astra Agro capex plans US$230 million for 2015 - more mills, plans for PK crushing, government cattle farming integration plan

Sabah soon to have world’s first palm oil based biorefinery complex  by ruben sario Updated: Wednesday April 22, 2015 MYT 6:39:05 AM; KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is set to become a key producer of sustainably produced raw materials for the manufacture of detergents, lubricants and plastics once the world’s first palm oil based bio refinery complex is operational in the east coast of Lahad Datu district. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin said the bio refinery complex would be producing speciality chemicals such as olefins, saturated methyl ester and methyl ester sulphonate. He said the RM2bil metathesis biorefinery plant at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Lahad Datu was a joint venture between US-based Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc and Genting Plantations Bhd. “The plant is expected to be operational in about two years and will propel Malaysia as a key producer of sustainably produced specialty chemicals,” Ewon said after the launching of the BioBorneo conference and exhibition here on Monday. ...Ewon said bio-refinery complex was one of the 13 key projects nationwide under the bio-economy transformation programme, of which three were located in Sabah. He said the other two projects in the state utilised oil palm waste for the manufacture of compressed natural gas and organic fertiliser. Ewon said the Felda Palm Industries would be equipping its Hamparan Badai, Kembara Sakti and Nilam Permata palm oil mills to convert raw biogas from the effluent into compressed industrial grade natural gas. “Each of these facilities would have the capacity to produce 900 cubic metres per hour of this compressed natural gas,” he added. Ewon said the palm oil waste was also be used to produce organic fertiliser with local firm Green Plant Organic Fertilizer Sdn Bhd constructing plant on a build-operate-transfer basis for Sawit Kinabalu in Sabah.........

Astra Agro to venture into cattle farming Tassia Sipahutar, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, April 15 2015, 8:41 AM; Major plantation company PT Astra Agro Lestari (AALI), part of diversified conglomerate PT Astra International (ASII), is set to venture into cattle farming in an effort to diversify its business, according to its top boss.Astra Agro president director Widya Wiryawan said on Tuesday that the publicly listed company — whose major commodity is crude palm oil (CPO) — was assessing in more detail the possibility of entering the cattle-breeding business.“It may go hand-in-hand with our existing palm oil plantation, creating a business synergy. We have many flat plantation sites that may suit the cattle’s needs,” he said in a press conference after the company’s annual general shareholders’ meeting. At present, Astra Agro’s plantation sites are scattered across the country, but most of them are located in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. In addition to palm oil, the company also has a rubber plantation in Banten.Widya acknowledged that cattle farming would provide a new business opportunity for the company, citing the government’s ambition to achieve national beef self-sufficiency. “But we will need more clarity from the government on the program before we move on to more concrete action,” he said...... According to Widya, Astra Agro has the potential to produce further CPO derivatives. “We have not really done anything with our palm oil kernels. The end product may be in the form of an oil that resembles coconut oil, but further study is needed,” he said. Astra Agro finance director Rudy said that his firm had allocated around Rp 3 trillion (US$231.14 million) to finance its expenditure this year.“About one third of the figure will be used for various plantation purposes, one third to upgrade existing plants or build new ones and the rest to improve infrastructure in areas around our plantations sites,” he explained. - See more at:
Astra Agro to Spend $24m for Two Palm Oil Plants By Antonia Timmerman on 01:07 pm Apr 15, 2015; Jakarta. Astra Argo Lestari, the palm oil unit of Astra International, is setting aside $20 million to $24 million for the construction of two palm plants in South Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi this year. “We are indeed trying to expand in many regions that so far have not yet been touched,” said Astra Argo director Joko Supriyono on Tuesday. The plants will be completed in October 2016 with production capacity of 45 metric tons per hour for each plant. Astra Argo will have 31 palm plants next year from 29 units this year. Astra Argo finance director Rudy said the company will finance the construction from its capital expenditure. In 2015, the company allocated Rp 3 trillion ($230 million) to Rp 3.5 trillion for capital spending.....

19 April 2015:  Fitch affirm ratings of GAR units, KLK raises RM1.6 billion multi-currency sukuk, Asahi Indofood's new beverage plant, Indofood and Tunas Baru new sugar mills, GAR guidance on output, FGV graphene venture, Queensland growers commercial fight with millers

Malaysia's KLK to raise up to 1.6 bln ringgit from multi-currency sukuk, KUALA LUMPUR, April 13; (Reuters) - Malaysian plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Bhd will raise up to 1.6 billion ringgit ($431.9 million) from Islamic bonds, rating agency RAM Ratings said on Monday.
 The multi-currency sukuk programme expires in 2027 and was rated AA1 or stable by RAM Ratings in a statement....

Fitch Affirms 3 Indonesian Palm Oil Producers; Outlook Stable (The following statement was released by the rating agency) JAKARTA/SYDNEY, April 14 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings of Indonesia-based palm oil producers PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Tbk (SMART), PT Ivo Mas Tunggal (IMT) and PT Sawit Mas Sejahtera (SMS) at 'AA(idn)', with Stable Outlooks. SMART, IMT and SMS are wholly owned by Golden Agri Resources, Ltd (GAR). At the same time the agency has affirmed SMART's IDR1trn bonds due in 2017 and 2019 at 'AA(idn)'. 'AA' National Ratings denote expectations of very low default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country... KEY RATINGS DRIVERS Delayed Deleveraging: Fitch now expects GAR to begin deleveraging about a year later than previously forecast, because of low CPO prices, thinner downstream margins and disappointing performance of its China operations. The affirmation of the ratings on the three GAR subsidiaries is driven by Fitch's expectation that GAR's consolidated profile will improve, with FFO-adjusted leverage falling to around 4x by end-2016. This is in line with management's expectation that losses at GAR's Chinese operation in 2014 are non-recurring, the global CPO price will rebound in 2016, and higher refining capacity utilisation will improve overall downstream margins....
Asahi Indofood opens new beverage plant, The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network Friday, Apr 10, 2015

UPDATE 1-Indofood Agri plans new Indonesian sugar mill to feed local demand Tue Apr 7, 2015 3:39am EDT By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana
* New mill may cost at least $150 mln -Indofood Agri CEO
* Indonesia is short of around 3 mln tonnes of sugar
* Tunas Baru to invest $100 mln in new sugar factory (Adds comment from CEO, government data, background)

Golden Agri sees 2015 palm output at lower end of expectations April 04, 2015  RECORDER REPORT; Golden Agri-Resources Ltd expects its palm and palm kernel oil production to rise around 5 percent this year, coming in at the lower end of a projected annual growth rate as dry weather hurts yields, a senior company executive said.... A smaller rise in output from the world's second-largest oil palm planter by acreage could underpin palm prices, which fell almost 15 percent in 2014 as high rival oilseed supplies and sliding crude oil prices dented demand for the tropical oil from the food and energy sectors..... Based on normal weather conditions, Golden Agri could expect a 5-10 percent rise in output, but this year "because of the weather concerns we are expecting to hit the lower end of that number", the firm's chief financial officer, Rafael Concepcion, told Reuters on Tuesday.....

Malaysia poised to become Asia’s largest producer of graphene Friday April 10, 2015; KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Malaysia is poised to become the largest producer of graphene materials in Asia once Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) sets up a graphene plant in the country within two years. FGV Executive Vice-President of Palm Downstream Cluster Datuk Zakaria Arshad said the RM15 million plant was expected to have a production capacity of nine kilogrammes of graphene per day. “The location of the plant has not been specifically identified, but it is expected to be located at one of FGV’s mills,” he told reporters at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority seminar on Graphene here today. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that combines extreme mechanical strength, exceptional electronic and thermal conductivities, impermeability to gases as well as many other properties that make it highly attractive for a broad range of applications. This downstream production of graphene material would be used in the development of products in various industries encompassing aerospace, telecommunications, rubber, palm oil, electronics, oil and gas and solar, he said. Giving an example for graphene use in palm oil, Zakaria said this innovative development enables methane and other by-products from crude palm oil to be used as raw input at very low costs, while producing high quality materials. Last year, FGV, in a joint venture effort with Cambridge Nanosystems, built a carbon nanotubes and graphene plant in the United Kingdom that produces between 50 and 100 tonnes of products a year to cater the European market. - See more at:

Settlers lost RM177 million from Felda Global, says Pua BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 8 April 2015 1:39 PM ,,,The 94,125 settlers who still have shares in Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) have lost a total estimated RM177 million, DAP MP Tony Pua said today, citing the market closing price of RM2.09 per share yesterday. He said the government revealed yesterday that 99.9% of the 94,219 settlers who bought their allocated 800 shares in FGVH at RM4.45 in 2012 still held on to their shares. “Unfortunately, these settlers who held on to their shares would have lost an estimated total of RM177 million based on yesterday’s market closing price of only RM2.09 per share..... “This is the result of a 53% drop in the share price over the past two years,” Pua told a press conference at the Parliament lobby. - See more at:

Blockade at Wilmar mill could erupt into full-blown strike by Andi Fachrizal  April 03, 2015
Local people blocked the road to a Wilmar palm oil mill in Sungai Malaya, a village in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province, demanding the release of nine day laborers who were arrested during an earlier protest over delayed wages.... As of April 1, the company’s operations were paralyzed, with trucks carrying fresh fruit bunches from nearby plantations unable to deliver their cargo. School buses and other vehicles were allowed to pass unimpeded..... The protesters threatened that if the company, a Wilmar subsidiary named Bumi Pratama Khatulistiwa, did not meet their demands by April 4, all workers would go on strike..... According to Maulana, a youth leader from Sungai Malaya, Kubu Raya regency, the case began in January when day laborers who were fed up with Bumi Pratama’s consistent failure to pay them on time rallied in front of the company’s office.....

Sugar price slump canes Queensland growers Apr 10 2015| THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW| A drop in the sugar price is causing huge woe for growers. But the problems don't end there: a fight has broken out them and millers over the end of a century-old monopoly marketing arrangement.....

Wilmar warns of potential Australian sugar production shortfall Wed Apr 8, 2015 2:26am GMT By Colin Packham; SYDNEY, April 8 (Reuters) - Australia's sugar production during the 2014/15 season may miss official estimates as a result of recent dry weather across the northeast coast of the world's third-largest raw sugar exporter, Wilmar International Ltd said on Wednesday. Much of Queensland, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the Australian sugar cane production, received less than half the typical levels of rain between January and March, Wilmar said. Australian sugar production relies on rains during the first few months of the year when rainfall is at its heaviest.
Less Australian output would support global sugar prices, which fell to more than six-year lows in March on ample supplies....

6 April 2015: Indomie Morocco, Delta Wilmar CIS, FGV replanting, Fitch negative outlook on Sime Darby rating, Genting refinery, XingHe Selangor plant, Equatorial Palm Oil awaits HCS study, Liberia tax records warning

Indomie to build factory in Morocco | The Jakarta Post - Ukraine: Delta Wilmar CIS to increase the margarines export to Poland

FGV focus on replanting to ride out CPO price slump - The Rakyat Post

Fitch revises Outlook on Sime Darby issuer ratings to Negative - Business News | The Star Online

tcetoday | News | Genting plans 600 t/y palm oil refinery

XingHe to set up first plant out of China in Selangor | theSundaily

Equatorial Palm Oil holds back on development pending HCS study - Yahoo Finance UK

Liberia transparency body warns resource companies over tax records

RSPO RT15 Bali: Why did RSPO volume drop in 2016? P&C new policy watch. Sabah-MSPO discord?


20 Dec 2017: Why did RSPO volume drop in 2016? P&C new policy watch.

Editor's note: I had readers asking why RSPO volume dropped in 2016. A few reasons are cited, including the switchover from GreenPalm. Also, I keep an eye on volume from the big buyers. Notably the biggest buyer submitted volume reports as follows:
So eyes will be on return of volume in 2017 and that spreads volume (very big) under new owner KKR holds up well. 

For those wanting to hear the side-lines chatter on RSPO, please get in touch for direct briefing. Please note specialists point out that the new P&C has many new policy proposals, including one that conflict estates cannot be sold. FGV investigation on over-priced purchase (considering that 40% unplantable under enviro-social voluntary rules).

Unilever Sells Spreads Business to KKR for $8.1 Billion By Thomas Buckley December 15, 2017

International NGOs Condemn IOI Group’s Plan to Divest from Conflict Palm Oil Plantation -- If IOI divests, communities of Long Teran Kanan risk losing their lands, culture and livelihood December 14, 2017

Newsbreak: FGV investigating overpriced Asian Plantations purchase - The Edge Malaysia  December 18, 2017

12 Dec 2017: POIG charter for processors, AOMG update notes RSPO reports loss of 0.55 million tonnes of demand, Sabah-MSPO discord?

Editor's note: 

Glad to have chatted to AOMG's Mr Qua who was in Bali. He comments: "At the RT the release of the 2017 Impact Report was announced. Here we saw that total CSPO sales in 2016 had decreased to 5,632,731 MT, down by 549,963 MT from 2015.  At RT 14 we heard the oil palm growers co-chair of RSPO, Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen in his welcome address hitting out at RSPO members who were using the “no palm oil” label on their products...". Please read here, 

Checking the more recent data, reported sales up to Sept 2017 is 4.5 million (the chart below seems not to have been updated). The dampening impact on non-certification traceability on RSPO volumes has been increasingly apparent; but hopefully, yoy volume expansion can pick up again for 2017. For 2018 onwards, European and global buyer demand and supply from MSPO will be worth watching. Also, Sabah is aiming to come on strong with RSPO supply, it will be good to see what demand commitments they have for this. Sabah says that it will compete on governance, and the discord between Sabah's policy plan and MSPO has hit the news headlines. 

source: RSPO

SFD: Sabah palm oil should compete via governance  November 18, 2017

(Sabah) ‘RSPO is one man’s wish list’ Sangeetha Amarthalingam / The Edge Financial Daily November 14, 2017

POIG publishes charter for sustainable palm oil processors 11-Dec-2017 By Niamh Michail --
The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) has launched a charter for traders and processors of sustainable palm oil that will "break the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peatlands".

RSPO Investigating Reports of Ongoing Labor Abuse at Indofood Plantations By Sheany, December 11, 2017

8 Dec 2017: Post-RT News flow (more added)

Editor's note: Keeping an eye on post-RSPO RT newsflow. Some who were at the Bali meeting report "not more than 200 in the hall". There were various side meetings going on too, but some NGOs did not make it or left pretty fast. A couple of people were there are now complaining about insurance not covering the travel glitches. A more substantive post-mortem to emerge when participants have time to report.

RSPO Must Respond to Complaints Against Sime Darby: Rights Group By : Dames Alexander Sinaga December 05, 2017 -- Sime Darby said in a statement on Monday (04/12) that the land dispute has been discussed at the RSPO's annual meetings since 2012. "Throughout this period, RSPO complaint manager also visited the communities four times. As of December 2017, SDP [Sime Darby Plantation] management has held 25 meetings with the communities surrounding MAS to earnestly resolve the outstanding issues," the statement said.

Labor abuses persist in RSPO-certified palm plantations, report finds by Hans Nicholas Jong on 8 December 2017

Deforestation in Sumatra carves up tiger habitats into ever smaller patches
by Basten Gokkon on 5 December 2017

The palm oil industry promises reform, but there’s still no sign of change, Blogpost by Bagus Kusuma - 4 December, 2017 -- In 2013, Wilmar became the first palm oil trader to adopt a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy. Others followed suit, and by the end of 2014, most household brands and big palm oil companies had sworn to protect Indonesia’s rainforests...Not one of the traders could prove it wasn’t buying from palm oil companies that destroyed rainforests. Most could not even say when there would be no deforestation in their supply chains. Instead of cutting out dirty palm oil, traders have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy...

Palm Oil Giant Vows to Reform After Indonesian Child Labour Probe By : Beh Lih Yi, November 30, 2017 -- The world's biggest palm oil processor Wilmar has launched fresh measures to improve conditions of thousands of children living on its plantations, but campaigners said on Wednesday that it was not doing enough to tackle widespread use of child labour. ilmar was targeted in an Amnesty International probe last year which found children as young as eight were working in "hazardous" conditions on plantations run by the Singapore-based firm and its suppliers in Indonesia.

Indonesia Says Palm Oil Key to Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals By : Sheany, November 29, 2017 -- "The palm oil industry is key to Indonesia achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty eradication and narrowing the development gap," said Mahendra Siregar, executive director of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), as quoted in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Indonesia has criticized a resolution on palm oil and deforestation the European Parliament adopted in April, which the country said discriminates against palm oil manufacturers and disregards efforts to introduce sustainable practices in the industry. Mahendra also cited the Amsterdam Declaration, which he said, if adopted, would be an example of discriminative policy, because it does not apply to other vegetable oils. "There have been negative marketing campaigns by several companies, including one by KLM [Royal Dutch Airlines], which demanded that its suppliers not use any palm oil in their products," he said. He also referred to ongoing antidumping policies and subsidies in Europe and said they are unreasonable, because they are not based on any clear evidence. ...

30 Nov 2017: RSPO RT15 Bali (from afar) - newsflow and comments, Wed and Thurs (Day 2 and 3) 

Editor's note: For various reasons including the more obvious (I don't have substantial corporate expense budget for non-insured travel to Bali), I am looking at RT15 Bali from afar. Am hearing lots from industry friends. Quite a few didn't make it before airport closure and also some left pretty quick once the eruptions escalated. A note on the travel dilemmas here, The airport reopened Wed afternoon, as the winds shifted! Look forward to catching up with participants on and offline. I've updated for Day 2 items, (Day 1 cancelled)  and have added Day 3. Those interested in "commensurate effort" should be interested in Ferrero's estimates in the newsflow link.

The great thing is that you can follow RSPO RT15 here...  Video of the opening here, Thanks to RSPO and those posting! These are official channels. For wider opinions channel, try #RT15 on twitter,

Report is of 300  participants remainung at RSPO RT15 as per yesterday afternoon. Compared to 800 participants at RSPO RT14 last year (according to AOMG's write-up, 

Related newsflow

Here are newsflow and chat items related to RSPO and contemporaneous (these are also in my LinkedIn, RSPO RT time is widely regarded as that time of year when negative newsflow is especially high for palm oil:

  • Wilmar International reports some positives with green finance and child labour policy. Read and its Child Protection Policy.
  • Greenpeace   complains on palm oil traders. Read and its report. 
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines  slammed over inflight magazine for ‘campaign’ against palm oil  
  • So I am hearing from Bali that some teams are leaving Wed and Thurs (Tues program cancelled and abridged RT15 program set for Wed-Thur). The Surabaya route seems the choice for most. About travel to Surabaya, 
  • Ferrero and sustainable palm oil: ...sourced 180,000 tonnes of palm oil or 0.3 per cent of the total global production annually. Out of which, 90 per cent came from Malaysia and the rest from other producing countries. "So, if all edible palm oil used in EU has the same premium as Ferrero, the extra cost would be 500 million euros per annum - that would go to the upstream of Malaysia and Indonesia. "Assuming this extra cost is fully passed to EU consumers, that would mean one euro per capita per year," he explained....
  • RSPO Secretariat leaves out Malaysian palm oil concession maps, says it infringes OSA TheEdge Nov 29, 2017--  “We have been told by our lawyers that the Malaysian maps are under the OSA (and) we want to be on the right side of the law, so we will leave it at that. “However, Sabah has told us categorically that it is absolutely okay with the maps being made public, because its land is a state matter. So for Sabah, members’ maps are published on our website,” he said. 
  • In chat groups: 1) issue of HCV assessment system (HCVRN-ALS) at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and 2)  Greenpeace's allegations rebutted by Aksenta Socio-Enviro Management Consulting (refer to tweet: A response to Greenpeace).

Khor Report's synopsis and some comments on RSPO RT15 

(screen shots, sources: RSPO Tweets and Linkedin sources as indicated)

RSPO P&C 2018 to include HCS Approach? But what about RSPO Next. Market uptake for this has really muted expectation, and so "commensurate effort" view is gloomy? Some see HCSA inclusion as necessary for survival, some have the very opposite view and ponder demise of interest from non-integrateds.

On Africa - Liberia, Gabon presentations. Was plantable area in forested Africa 41 or 63%? I had my eye on the incremental areas in Africa. Added HCV 13,405 ha and is that plantable 22773-13405= 9368 ha for 41% plantable in total area in forested settings? Oh hang on, maybe they calculate HCV+certified=total; so 13,405+22,773=36,178 so certified (planted) ratio is 63%.  

On Smallholders. Talk of RSPO Smallholder Academy,  of RSPO Smallholder Empowerment Platform. Mr Sutiyana was the first smallholder in Kalimantan to get RSPO certified. It took a year and a half to become certified and he hopes the 1% of certified independent smallholders will increase to 5% in the next few years. A study reports says that independent smallholders can increase premiums through certification as FFB quality increases and they can sell direct to mills. If profit-NPV is so good for smallholders, I'm just wondering: a) why supply-chain experts report that 1/3 of early certified RSPO smallholders have chosen not to stay on (lead farmers already had better practices!) and b) why I hear year-in year-out from so many working on this their worries about smallholders renewing (and moreover, trouble to convince them to join) and NPP for smallholders? We need studies covering of larger number of certified (and no longer certified) smallholders, done over time. In contrast, some other supply-chain efforts in cocoa and others report much better numbers, even approaching 100,000 of independent smallholders (Indonesia scheme oil palm smallholders are relatively easy to certify as large areas are even fully managed by the inti). Worth checking these other approaches perhaps? Also, it is not accurate to negatively depict smallholder zones as being weak links and black boxes. In reality, a lot of the old-customary use areas are smallholders (post independence decades), and it is in fact expansion in more recent decades that is led by corporate expansion. Well, okay, so smallholders aren't good at documentation and reams of paperwork... so bad.

On HCV. Report that HCV patches smaller that 200 ha are still important for biodiversity and connectivity. 70 plantations NPPs reports were digitised and studied.

On GHG. Faizal Parish presented Impacts of GHG assement and reporting: "Of the 3% peatlands identified in assessments,  100% has being conserved; leading to 308,000 mtVO2/yr of peat oxidation avoided.... 194,100 ha assesses with 30% set aside for HCV, HCS and social."

Panel – Simon Lord, Ben Vreeburg, Faisal Parish: On ‘weak-link’ companies - remove or rehabilitation? One to one basis? “Use a carrot, not a stick”. Certification and beyond to NDPE - how can can RSPO deliver on these. More philosophical question on whether certification is successful if it merely distinguishes leaders from laggards (and not 100% inclusive). "It’s not about beyond certification. It’s about certification AND beyond," said Dr Simon Lord. On addressing the haze, a gloomy statement "national rules will not impact action on the ground". WRI asks about an accountability framework? (remark from a reader: yes, there already is RSPO Next, but are buyers interested?).

End of Wed, Day 2 (Day 1 cancelled), some side events cancelled.

Update on complaints procedures:
  • further alignment with the dispute settlement made, strengthen relations with certification + accreditation bodies, separation of power 
  • GA13 resolution has been fully passed - Complaints Panel no longer need endorsement of the Board. CP have power for suspension and termination
  • How is a successful complaint filed? CP need clear info and evidence to proceed
  • Complaints Panel invite authors of reports to put an official complaint forward. This will enable the full expertise of the CP to investigate. The result is a faster, more transparent resolution
  • In response to why complaints are prolonged, the Complaints Panel explain standard operating procedures must be followed. Delays in responses and waits for investigative reports must also be taken into consideration
  • Q from @lizajmurphy: what mechanisms are in place for Complaints Panel to learn from past cases? A: CP learnings over the last year are now moving into the P+C review 
(quotes from:

RSPO P&C 2018
A collection of items, I think are relevant on the new Principles & Criteria 2018 above. "Theory of Change" is important, I am told. Also there is reference to HCS Approach being included? 

In the RSPO Tweets:
  • Panelists discuss one thing they are proud of being achieved in #RSPO P&C revision, with simplification of text being a highlight for Perpetua George - Wilmar #RT15
  • Rosemary Addico @Solidaridadnetw shares a that highlight from the P&C Review is the further inclusion of #smallholders. #RT15 
  • There are now more specific indicators for implementation, and for auditors says @daryll_reads. #RSPO Criteria is now nuanced #RT15 #sustainable #palmoil
  • .@darrelwebb ‘Our vision was to make this the most inclusive P&C to date. Over 10,000 people were reached and given the chance to comment on the review.’ #RT15 #RSPO
  • Olivier Tichit ‘P&C is now looking beyond the production of palm, and instead looking at how to achieve the goal of industry transformation’ @ortichit #RT15 #sustainable #palmoil
  • “We are going in the right direction [with P&C Review], but we need to communicate what we are doing” @ortichit
(quotes from:

Some audience voting items (n=61, n=30+):

The sponsors; note the US-based conglomerates. Some relationship with the rise of US membership at RSPO?

The General Assembly

  • Resolution GA14-6a: To confirm the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the auditors of the RSPO for the financial year ending 30 June 2018. ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6b: Relocation of the De Facto RSPO Executive Office to Jakarta, Indonesia,;  NOT ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6c: Strengthening the RSPO Executive Office,; NOT ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6d: Generation of sustainability practices and fair trade for independent mills,; RESOLUTION REMOVED 
  • Resolution GA14-6e: Enhancing credibility of the "Annual Communications of Progress",;  NOT ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6f: Balanced representation in the RSPO General Assembly voting process based on membership category,; ADOPTED.
  • Resolution GA14-6g: Official recognition of IGC endorsed Indonesian RSPO grower member representatives within all RSPO forums, as formally representing the Indonesian Growers Caucus (IGC),; ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6h: Relocation of the RSPO Secretariat Office to Jakarta, Indonesia,; NOT ADOPTED
  • Resolution GA14-6i: Resolution to Amend The Statutes of the RSPO and the Code of Conduct for members to formalise the role of the Complaints and Appeals Panel,; ADOPTED

Source: and

End of Thurs, Day 3

Mount Agung volcano erupting in Bali – in pictures

Buyer policy listing: Ferrero says added EUR 1/person/year cost to EU consumers for low-contaminant & sustainable palm oil

Here's a gradually expanding listing of recent buyer policy updates on palm oil. Update for Cargill, added to top of this and sequence for most recent from the top. Early updates include: Walmart on organic, MPONGOC, J&J and a listing of TFT clients, Kao and Greenpeace challenge to key India and China producers and Adelaide Zoo switch form "palm oil free" to certified frozen desserts; adds on supply-chain certification news and the Cargill-TFT link up. Interesting contrast between Krispy and Dunkin. Also a report from Forest Heroes which seeks to "saves the Sumatran Tiger." It has a "media hit" with its campaign on Kellogg's Frosties (which has a tiger mascot). Hershey joined TFT, and Greenpeace and UCS reactions added - basically with critique of lack of third party verification and strict deadline under the TFT program. Then Bunge shifted to traceability and set to avoid high risk sourcing zones. Mondelez sets out rules on online data mapping, deforestation, and labour rights.

27 Nov 2017: Ferrero says added EUR 1/person/year cost to EU consumers for low-contaminant & sustainable palm oil

Editor's note: Also interesting to chat with mill process engineer expert who wrote this: How Cancer causing substances crept into food products containing palm oil? 20/11/2017 By EnergyWise 

Ferrero decided to directly obtain RSPO certified segregated palm oil, which keeps sustainable palm oil physically separated from non-sustainable palm oil and source it from certified sustainable plantations to the production line... "We also wanted a commitment from smallholders, (from whom RSPO was sourced), including (an assurance that they are) not using paraquat," he told Malaysia journalists after a talk on the food sector and sustainable palm oil policies at the European Palm Oil Conference on Thursday.... "So, the issue here is not in finding the right palm oil, because there is lot of palm oil in the market. The issue is whether the industry is ready to pay the right premium for the (RSPO) palm oil" he asked. Hence, for best practices in sustainable palm oil and low contaminants in palm oil, Ferrero pays a premium of 130 euros per tonne, which sums up to an additional 25 million euros, annually.... However, the impact of the price on the final product to the consumers is almost irrelevant, said Charrier. He said the company sourced 180,000 tonnes of palm oil or 0.3 per cent of the total global production annually. Out of which, 90 per cent came from Malaysia and the rest from other producing countries. "So, if all edible palm oil used in EU has the same premium as Ferrero, the extra cost would be 500 million euros per annum - that would go to the upstream of Malaysia and Indonesia. "Assuming this extra cost is fully passed to EU consumers, that would mean one euro per capita per year," he explained....

9 Dec 2016: Can the big brand buyers really get enough sustainable product?

Confidence in secure commodity supply chains 'misplaced' By David Burrows, 08-Dec-2016 -- Confident there’s enough soy, palm oil and beef to go around and your policies can weather the risks ahead on everything from climate change and deforestation to reputation and regulation? Think again, say the authors of two new reports. .... Almost three quarters (72%) of the firms believe they will be able to access a secure and sustainable supply of forestrisk commodities going forward. But this confidence may be “misplaced” for a number of reasons, CDP warned. For example, just one in five firms is looking at risks beyond the next six years, whilst only 30% of manufacturers and retailers can trace these commodities back to the point of origin. Fewer than half (42%) have evaluated the impact of the availability or quality of the commodities on their growth strategies further than 2020....

7 Dec 2016: Mondelez International palm supplier requirements, worries about saturated fats formulations

US food and beverage multinational Mondelez International set out new requirements on 10 November for its suppliers of palm oil. Key new provisions in its updated Palm Oil Action Plan require suppliers to:
- Map and assess the risk for all supplying mills on Global Forest Watch (an interactive on-line forest monitoring and alert system)
- Provide assurance that no deforestation occurs on their own concessions and exclude third-party suppliers who do not immediately cease deforestation
- Work with recognised third-party experts to protect labour rights

Findings point to risk from saturated fats outside some reduction guidelines, Harvard-Unilever study confirms link between sat fats, heart disease & importance of reformulation By Nathan Gray+ 28-Nov-2016 -- However, it goes further than previous studies by identifying links between specific saturated fatty acids – including stearic acid, which some countries such as France do not currently include in saturated fat legislation…. “Research from us and others has shown that some dairy products (such as yoghurt) and odd-chain fatty acids circulating in the blood seem to have health benefits rather than health harms, and this requires further study.”

And back in 2013…Industry saturated fat pledge is a ‘mixed message’ and ‘bit of hype’, says obesity expert By Caroline Scott-Thomas+ 28-Oct-2013 -- A food industry pledge to reduce the saturated fat content in a range of foods is a ‘bit of hype’ and will fail to change diets unless more companies sign up, according to trustee of the National Obesity Forum Tam Fry.... The UK Department of Health’s public health minister Jane Ellison announced the pledge on Saturday, under which some of the signatory companies have pledged to remove saturated fat from their products, and others have said they would reduce saturated fat content.... “It’s hugely encouraging that companies providing almost half of the food available on the UK market have committed to this new Responsibility Deal pledge and they are leading the way to give their customers healthier products and lower fat alternatives,” Ellison said in a statement.... According to the DoH, cutting saturated fat consumption by 15% could prevent around 2,600 premature deaths a year in the UK, from conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke....

10 July 2016: Michelin goes for Greenpeace's HCS Approach

Greenpeace France’s reaction to Michelin Zero Deforestation Commitment Press release - June 13, 2016 -- Michelin Group, world leading tyre manufacturer and first world buyer of natural rubber just published a zero deforestation procurement policy based on the methodology High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach

13 December 2015: Hershey- TFT update, Proforest sourcing guidelines, Proforest - AAK, Vopak Vlaardingen, the first RSPO terminal worldwide. Croda and BASF. Uptake problem. Rabobank forecast. Swedish initiative.

Hershey Expands Sustainable Sourcing Efforts with New Deforestation Commitments December 03, 2015  •New Pulp and Paper Policy expands commitment to help prevent deforestation  •Palm Oil Tracing Update: Tracing to mills nearly complete and mapping to plantations ahead of schedule... “Preventing deforestation has never been more important,” said Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company. “We continue to learn more about the geography of our palm oil supply chain and are having productive conversations with suppliers about our expectations. While we’re pleased with our palm oil sustainable sourcing progress so far, we know there is more work to be done. This effort, along with our Pulp and Paper Policy, will help us continue to ensure that we’re achieving our high sustainable sourcing standards.” ...Beyond pulp and paper sourcing, Hershey’s additional efforts to reduce its impact on deforestation include the company’s ongoing work with The Forest Trust (TFT) to trace its palm oil supply chain to mills and plantations. As of the second quarter of 2015, Hershey has traced its supply chain to approximately 90 percent of all the mills where the company’s palm oil is processed. Additionally, Hershey has achieved 10 percent traceability of its palm volume to the original palm oil plantations. These results keep Hershey ahead of schedule to deliver planation-level traceability by the end of 2016.

Proforest - New guide to responsible sourcing published 04.11.2015  - Proforest publishes new practical guide to implementing responsible sourcing commitments

Sourcing palm oil responsibly: our partnership with AAK. 21.10.2015 With Proforest's support, palm oil giant AAK has achieved 100 percent traceability of its palm oil to mill. Here, Proforest director and co-founder Neil Judd talks about the partnership, what it means to be a 'critical friend' and the Proforest approach to responsible sourcing. AAK partnered with Proforest in May 2014...

Vopak Vlaardingen, the first RSPO terminal worldwide 03 December 2015, Vopak Vlaardingen is the first terminal in the world to obtain RSPO certification. RSPO stands for 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil '. This organisation was created ten years ago, with the aim of developing standards for sustainable palm oil production, in order to promote and enhance the production and consumption of sustainable palm oil

Croda bags Certified Sustainable Palm Oil for its global manufacturing facilities By Simon Pitman+, 09-Nov-2015  With the growing importance on sourcing and processing sustainable palm oil, Croda has fulfilled requirements for all of its manufacturing facilities to comply with industry standards.

Low uptake of sustainable palm oil  7 November 2015... Only half of RSPO-certified palm oil finds a buyer. THERE is a sluggish uptake of sustainable palm oil, and the frequent excuse is that nobody wants to pay the premium. What is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) response to this?... Bek-Nielsen (who is RSPO co-chair, MPOA): People generally do not like broken promises. Growers are no exception and the growers who committed themselves to the RSPO in many instances feel short-changed. The producers have taken a leap of faith undergoing an herculean task (not without costs) to live up to the standards of sustainable palm oil set in force by a number of stakeholders, amongst them NGOs and multinationals like WWF, Conservation International and Unilever to mention a few....

Palm oil demand growth offers opening for niche certified producers By RJ Whitehead, 05-Nov-2015 Global demand for certified sustainable palm oil will double in five years, growing from 5.3m tonnes in 2014 to 11m by 2020, predicts Rabobank.

Swedish initiative for sustainable palm oil in chemical products by Joakim Persson / on November 1, 2015  Suppliers, manufacturers and retailers in Sweden have joined together in an initiative enabling a long-term switch to more sustainably produced, certified and traceable palm oil in both cosmetics and hygiene products such as detergents and cleaning products, reports

Is RSPO certification becoming irrelevant? By Niamh Michail+, 28-Oct-2015 Companies are increasingly demanding certified palm oil using criteria that are stricter than current RSPO standards – does the mean the RSPO certification is in danger of becoming irrelevant?

BASF’s 'new palm positioning' on RSPO certification in Asia By Michelle Yeomans+, 27-Oct-2015 BASF is expanding its commitment to only source RSPO-certified sustainable raw materials with upstream traceability for palm oil and palm kernel oil fractions and edible oil esters by 2025.

PepsiCo’s palm oil pledge should not exempt Indofood, NGOs say - The global food and beverage giant recently promised to source deforestation-free palm oil, but green groups say the commitment should apply to joint venture partners that sell its branded partners. That includes Indofood, Indonesia's largest food company. by  29 October 2015

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 also provides thousands of livelihoods worldwide - needs a new business model, not boycotts.  By Vaidehi Shah  16 October 2015

19 October 2015: BASF, PepsiCo, Cargill

BASF Expands Production Capacity for Emollients and Waxes in China NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2015/10/08 - BASF will expand its emollients and waxes production capacity with a new plant at its site in Jinshan, Shanghai - DE000BASF111

BusinessCase: Sustainability Initiatives Have Saved PepsiCo Over $375M Since 2010 September 25, 2015; The water, energy, packaging and waste-reduction initiatives have been tallied up, and PepsiCo, Inc. asserts that its environmental sustainability initiatives have saved the company more than $375 million since its goals were established in 2010. The company proudly announced this week that it also delivered double-digit net revenue and operating profit growth during the same time period, demonstrating a solid business case. The results of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose commitment are detailed in its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Report, and first-ever sustainability microsite, PepsiCo says the microsite is “an interactive and immersive experience” to engage users in discussion around how we will grow sustainably, thrive in a changing environment, and create opportunity.

Cargill Marks Anniversary of No-Deforestation Pledge With New Forest Policy; Greenpeace Wants More September 18, 2015 by Sustainable Brands; On Wednesday, just a few days from the first anniversary of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) — an international, multi-sector commitment to safeguard the world’s forests and to help tackle climate change signed by Cargill and other major multinational companies, governments, and civil society organizations at last year’s UN Climate Summit — Cargill released a new Policy on Forests. Backed by forest protection action plans for Cargill’s priority commodity supply chains, the policy sets a comprehensive approach for the company in its efforts to prevent forest loss. “Deforestation is a global issue, but a local challenge. We’re committed to working with farmers, government, business, advocacy organizations and consumers to help craft and implement solutions tailored to the diverse landscapes we seek to protect,” said Paul Conway, Cargill’s vice chairman. “Our Policy on Forests is one of the ways we are working to feed a growing population while also sustaining vital forest ecosystems for generations to come.”


13 September 2015: Starbucks, Oregon Zoo

Starbucks and palm oil, wake up and smell the coffee  Sponsored by: RSPO By Hanna Thomas Tuesday 25 August 2015 16.31 BST; Consumer action is vital if we’re going to tackle deforestation and social exploitation in the palm oil supply chain

Oregon Zoo to only sell food made with responsibly produced palm oil Posted:  Aug 25, 2015 4:34 AM Updated:  Aug 25, 2015 4:34 AM   By FOX 12 Staff Vivian, a Malayan sun bear, climbs a log at the Oregon Zoo. Sun bears are one of many species threatened by deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.Vivian, a Malayan sun bear, climbs a log at the Oregon Zoo. Sun bears are one of many species threatened by deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR  Read more:

7 September 2015: Clorox's commitment

Clorox Company’s New Palm Oil Commitment is a Step Forward September 3, 2015; WASHINGTON (September 3, 2015) – The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) today commended the Clorox Company for committing to responsibly sourcing palm oil in its supply chain by 2020; Clorox Company uses palm oil in product lines such as Burt’s Bees and Green Works, which the company markets as “natural” and environmentally friendly. “This is a win for forests,” said Lael Goodman, an analyst with UCS’s Tropical Forests and Climate Initiative. “Clorox’s competitors, including Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, have already issued deforestation-free palm oil commitments, so it’s good to see Clorox follow their lead, especially since they market some of their products as green. ” Earlier this year, UCS scored 10 major personal care companies on their palm oil sourcing standards.

24 August 2015: Why are companies hiding their sustainable credentials? FoodNavigator (some details)

Why are companies hiding their sustainable credentials? By Niamh Michail, 29-Jul-2015; Eco-labels make food taste better and consumers feel better about themselves. They boost a company's image and consumers are willing to pay more. And yet despite these benefits, only around half of total RSPO certified palm oil is sold as certified sustainable according to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), while just 35% of cocoa certified by the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ or Fairtrade bear a certification logo. For sugar the figures are even lower – in 2012 only 16% of certified sustainable cane sugar was sold as such, said the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN ). But why would companies go to pains to certify a key ingredient and then not inform their consumers?....
  • some feature it in certain brands as upmarket and niche and up the price tag
  • supply and demand are not always in sync and in part by a lack of industry commitment in certain consumer markets to sourcing and paying - RSPO
  • Rainforest Alliance logo may only be used if the certified ingredient was a ‘core ingredient’ ... or if it made up at least 30% of the total product
  • manufacturers weren't looking to conceal the sustainability of the ingredient – but rather the presence of the ingredient itself
  • in some countries sustainability issues simply do not resonate with consumers – such as India and China
  • Elsewhere it could be the exact opposite problem – that Western consumers are suffering from eco-label fatigue
  • standardisation of sustainability will further reduce the need for companies to communicate their efforts

22 August 2015:  Interest in sustainably sourced palm oil in India is minimal

Without India, you can forget about achieving a sustainable palm oil sector - All eyes are on India, the world’s largest palm oil importer, and whether companies can help shift consumers towards sustainable choices; India’s 1.2 billion citizens consume approximately 15% of the global supply of palm oil. The vast majority of the commodity (95% according to WWF figures) is used as edible oil, with the remainder added to haircare and beauty products. The country imports nearly all of its palm oil, more than two-­thirds of which is sourced from Indonesia.... At the annual World Bank conference on land and poverty held in Washington in March, Prabianto Mukti Wibowo, assistant deputy minister for forestry in Indonesia’s economic affairs ministry said: “We know that our primary customers are not concerned about deforestation.”
Unlike the boycotts and consumer awareness in Europe and the US, interest in sustainably sourced palm oil in India is minimal, putting little pressure on the domestic market to shift to more sustainable sources.

19 August 2015: Italian politicians defend palm oil, Why are companies hiding their sustainable credentials? FoodNavigator news. Consumer Goods Forum palm oil sourcing guidelines.

Italian politicians defend palm oil By Caroline Scott-Thomas+, 18-Aug-2015
Italian politicians have submitted two resolutions to parliament defending alm oil in the face of anti-palm oil campaigns, calling it a raw material of fundamental importance for Italian industry.

Why are companies hiding their sustainable credentials? By Niamh Michail+, 29-Jul-2015; A sustainable logo is known to add value to a brand – so why are so many manufacturers not showing their Fairtrade, organic or sustainable credentials?

The Consumer Goods Forum Publishes Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines  Published: Tuesday, 11 August 2015 12:16  Consumer Goods Industry’s First Ever Set of Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines to Help Drive Implementation of ‘Zero Net Deforestation’ Resolution; PARIS, 11th August 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) today announced publication of the first-ever ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines’ (the “Guidelines”). This publicly available document is an important step in helping the consumer goods and retail industries to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, as outlined in the CGF’s Deforestation Resolution....

20 June 2015: Nutella flap - Greenpeace defends position for maker which is part of POIG and apparent client of The Forest Trust (associated with Greenpeace in both)

Greenpeace says boycotting Nutella is wrong – it’s NOT destroying the planet by Lianna Brinded Jun. 18, 2015, 6:34 PM; Greenpeace says French ecology minister Segolene Royal is wrong – Nutella is not destroying the planet and a ban wouldn’t solve the world’s environmental problems.
A couple of day ago Royal went on French television network Canal+ and said that people should stop eating the popular hazelnut spread because harvesting one of its key ingredients, palm oil, leads to deforestation. But environmental activist group Greenpeace has now told news website Quartz that “a blanket boycott of this agricultural crop will not solve problems in its production.”
It also told the site that Ferrero, Nutella’s maker, is actually a supporter of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, which includes Greenpeace, other non-governmental organisations, and some palm oil producers. .....

'Stop eating Nutella' urges French ecology minister Agence France-Presse, Paris | World | Tue, June 16 2015, 11:34 PM; France's ecology minister, Segolene Royal, has rankled the company that makes Nutella by urging the public to stop eating its irresistible chocolate hazelnut spread, saying it contributes to deforestation."We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming. We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it's made with palm oil," Royal said in an interview late Monday on the French television network Canal+."Oil palms have replaced trees, and therefore caused considerable damage to the environment," she explained.Nutella, she said, should be made from "other ingredients".The comments needled Ferrero, the giant Italian chocolate group that makes Nutella.Without referring to Royal directly, the company issued a statement Tuesday saying it was aware of the environmental stakes and had made commitments to source palm oil in a responsible manner.Ferrero gets nearly 80 percent of its palm oil from Malaysia. The rest of its supply comes from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Brazil. - See more at:

7 June 2015: PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, others ask RSPO to strengthen standards; Europe set for 100% CSPO by 2020, segregated palm oil excludes small producers? Mondelez plan.

PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, others seek stronger palm oil standards  6/1/2015 -  by Jeff Gelski The R.S.P.O. was formed in 2004 to promote the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through global standards and stakeholder engagement.
BOSTON — Multinational food companies and institutional investors representing more than $5 trillion in assets signed a June 1 letter seeking stronger environmental and social regulations to qualify for certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Dunkin’ Brands; General Mills, Inc.; The Kellogg Co.; Mars, Inc.; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Starbucks were some of the food companies signing the letter sent to  Datuk Darrel Webber, secretary general of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Retail chains signing the letter included Albertsons-Safeway and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Other consumer packaged goods companies signing the letter included Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Cos

European Palm Oil Industry Sets Course for 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil by 2020  Published: June 4, 2015 6:52 a.m. ETAMSTERDAM, Jun 04, 2015 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) -- AMSTERDAM, June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Third European RSPO roundtable: regional objectives, tougher enforcement rules and innovative sustainability standards A new drive to address palm oil's global sustainability challenges emerged at RSPO's third European Roundtable held yesterday in Amsterdam, gathering an audience of around two hundred and eighty industries, NGOs and stakeholders from palm oil producing and importing countries. While all parties agreed that RSPO certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) is part of the answer and acknowledged the work done by RSPO so far, they did not see any room for complacency and stressed the importance of change.

Could Europe’s drive to segregated palm oil exclude small producers? By Caroline Scott-Thomas+SCOTT-THOMAS, 02-Jun-2015 A European push toward segregated certified sustainable palm oil may inadvertently exclude smaller producers from the supply chain, says GreenPalm manager Bob Norman.

Mondelez’s sustainable palm oil plan: “We want the whole supply chain to transform” By Caroline Scott-Thomas+, 01-Jun-2015 Mondelez International is on track to meet its goal of sourcing 100% traceable palm oil by the end of the year after reaching 70% traceability in 2014, says global director of sustainability Jonathan Horrell.

24 May 2015: Yum! Promised to Improve its Palm Oil Sourcing Policy Starting 2017, Colgate-Palmolive Releases 2014 Sustainability Report

Yum! Promised to Improve its Palm Oil Sourcing Policy Starting 2017 Byjason-seligman on May 19, 2015 The new policy sets December 2017 for putting up the latest safeguards when looking for palm oil sources. Yum!  said it will only source palm oil  from suppliers which set improvement in their carbon emission level and protect rainforests and peat terrains.  The giant fast food restaurant will implement the new roles in all its operations down to the restaurant levels. Greenpeace immediately praised the declaration, which led a crusade campaign in 2012 against the company’s paper pulp operation. Rolf Skar, Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA said that Greenpeace wants Yum! to ” define more clearly terms like ‘high carbon stock forest’ and ‘best management practices’ for peat lands in order to make sure change really happens on the ground.” However, an advocacy organization called the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), on Wednesday gave a score card for the company, zero out of 100 rank on its palm oil policy, wanted Yum! to pledge much more that what is promising to do.

Colgate-Palmolive Releases 2014 Sustainability Report That Details Progress on the Company’s Sustainability Strategy Submitted by: Colgate-Palmolive Company   Posted:  May 18, 2015 – 07:00 AM EST  NEW YORK, May 18 /CSRwire/ - Colgate-Palmolive has released its 2014 Sustainability Report titled, Giving the World Reasons to Smile. This annual report details Colgate’s long-standing commitments and achievements regarding sustainability and social responsibility around the world.  This year’s highlights include: • Colgate improved the sustainability profile in 72 percent of new products and the balance of its portfolio in 2014 (based on representative products evaluated against comparable Colgate products). • Colgate reduced greenhouse gas intensity by 19.7 percent and energy use intensity by 19.1 percent since 2005 and was named a U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the fifth year in a row, with recognition for Sustained Excellence.

16 May 2015: Forgot to post this before, a rather dramatic and unusual even ton an app to show products containing palm oil

'You will need to watch your back': The cowardly note threatening Aussie woman's family for developing app that shows which products contain jungle-wrecking palm oil By Freya Noble for Daily Mail Australia  Published: 13:30 GMT, 24 March 2015  | Updated: 15:18 GMT, 24 March 2015. A letter was sent to Lorinda Jane threatening her and her daughter. It claimed they knew where she lived and to 'watch her back.' She is President and Founder of not-for-profit Palm Oil Investigations (POI). POI are launching an app on Wednesday evening at 7pm. It tells consumers whether a product contains palm oil;

1 May 2015: The Corporate Capture of Sustainable Development by Leslie Sklair; /khorreports-palmoil/2015/05/the-corporate-capture-of-sustainable.html

22 April 2015: McDonald's supply chain commitment - refers to NY Declaration and HCS Approach

McDonald's to axe deforestation from its global supply chain - The fast-food giant announced it will work with its suppliers to end deforestation in its global supply chain. But do the super-sized claims stack up? by Siri Srinivas Tuesday 21 April 2015 22.06 BST; Global fast-food giant McDonald’s on Tuesday pledged to end deforestation across its entire supply chain..... The announcement follows recent similar pledges by Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Yum Brands and many others. But the World Wildlife Fund, which advised McDonald’s on its new commitment, said it could have big influence on other fast-food chains...... “McDonald’s brings size and scale to the debate of sustainable sourcing. Their reach is large, they are global, they work closely with the suppliers and so this outreach can only help,” said David McLaughlin, vice president of agriculture at the World Wildlife Fund. .........In an eight-point commitment, McDonald’s promises not to contribute to deforestation in areas most critical to reducing carbon in the atmosphere, known as high carbon value and high carbon stock forests. These are areas of high environmental value, including high biodiversity, as well as high value to their communities, that are often in danger of being cleared to make way for plantations. The world’s largest fast-food chain also said it would not source commodities from peatlands, or swampy areas that store a lot of carbon and can end up contributing to greenhouse gas emissions when disturbed. This commitment will affect 3,100 of its global direct suppliers as well as its more complex network of indirect suppliers, said Michele Banik-Rake, director of sustainability for McDonald’s worldwide supply chain management.......Also on Tuesday, the company released a sustainable sourcing statement outlining how it will work with suppliers to ensure that the beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil and fiber-based packaging it uses do not contribute to deforestation.
In the commitment, the company also said it would respect human rights and verify where the raw materials used to make its products come from. The company said that it will suspend or eliminate purchases from suppliers who do not meet its requirements. McDonald’s will also evaluate its progress in annual reports......In a palm oil scorecard released by the Union of Concerned Scientists earlier this month, McDonald’s fared poorly on its palm oil deforestation record, but the company, like other major brands, recognized global gaps in sustainable sourcing, said Lael Goodman, the author of the report......While McDonald’s said that its policy is effective immediately, their actual targets for zero-deforestation may be five to 15 years away. This is in line with the New York declaration on forests that it signed at the United Nation’s climate summit in September, along with other global corporations, to end deforestation due to agricultural commodities by 2020 and the loss of natural forests by 2030. Critics of the New York declaration called the 2030 target for ending deforestation and 2020 target for agricultural commodities unambitious, but others said it was worth applauding as a step in the right direction. ....The supply chain hub is sponsored by the Fairtrade Foundation. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled “brought to you by”. Find out more here....

Macdonald's Commitment on Deforestation:
Note: It talks of NY Declaration as well as the HCS Approach (Greenpeace-TFT-Forest Heroes and also used by Wilmar, GAR etc.)

4 April 2015: KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut adopt zero deforestation policy - with HCS and better labour policies - to apply to global restaurants, with Dec 2017 target.

KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut adopt zero deforestation policy for palm oil by Rhett A. Butler,  April 03, 2015; Yum! Brands, the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, on Thursday announced a zero deforestation policy for its palm oil sourcing. The move came after aggressive campaigns by environmental groups that argued the chains weren't doing enough to ensure the palm oil they used to fry foods wasn't linked to human rights abuses, destruction of peatlands, and logging of rainforests. The policy sets a December 2017 target for establishing safeguards for palm oil sourcing. Yum! says it will only source from suppliers who bar plantation development in high carbon stock and high conservation value areas, like rainforests and peatlands; have disputes resolution processes in place; offer traceability to the mill level; and avoid underage workers and forced labor. The standards apply Yum!'s global fast food business, meaning it applies to all of its restaurants.Yum! has a similar set of guidelines for its paper and fiber sourcing..... The announcement was quickly welcomed by Greenpeace, which campaigned against the company's pulp and paper sourcing practices in 2012. “Yum! Brands’ new palm oil policy is a good sign it’s listening to customers around the world who want rainforest destruction taken off the menu.” said Rolf Skar, Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA.  Skar added that Greenpeace still wants Yum! to "more clearly define terms like 'high carbon stock forest' and 'best management practices' for peatlands in order to make sure change really happens on the ground."... However the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an advocacy group that on Wednesday released a scorecard giving Yum! a zero out of 100 rank on its palm oil policy, wanted more from the company.....

Zero Deforestation arrangement for Palm oil to be implemented by KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut  April 5, 2015; Yum! Brands, the organization that claims KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, on Thursday reported a zero deforestation arrangement for its palm oil sourcing. The move came after forceful battles by ecological gatherings that argued that the restaurants weren’t doing what’s needed to guarantee the palm oil they used to cook food wasn’t connected to human rights misuses, obliteration of peat lands, and logging of rainforests.... The strategy sets December 2017 as focus for creating shields for palm oil sourcing. Yum! says it will just come from suppliers who block farmstead advancement in high carbon stock and high preservation esteem ranges, in the same way as rainforests and peat lands; have debate determination forms set up; offer traceability to the plant level; and evade underage laborers and constrained work.... The benchmarks apply Yum’s! worldwide fast food business, the importance it applies to every last bit of its restaurants.
Yum! has a comparable arrangement of rules for its paper and fiber sourcing.... The declaration was immediately accepted by Greenpeace, which battled against the organization’s mash and paper sourcing practices in 2012....

Some palm oil specialists point to the higher yield of palm oil and the larger area competitor oils use, a typical argument and rebuttal:

Attan Akmar: A pound of palm oil is produced on a tenth of the farm area required to produce the same quantity of soy oil. It's soy oil that should be discouraged especially after millions of acres
Denise Jurcyk ·  Top Commenter · Chicago, Illinois: Well said but.... that was a long time ago and it was not forest but prairie. Which is , if slowly being replanted. Rain forest has so much diversity and large mammals that are threatened with extinction , we must save . We learned our lessons and it's time to save the rainforests and it's inhabitants and the planet. Maybe you should develop agricultural methods that can greatly increase the production on land already cleared. And Stop clear cutting the rainforest !Maybe science can replace the use of palm oil !

3 April 2015: ADM Commits to No-Deforestation Policy for Soybeans, Palm Oil 

ADM Commits to No-Deforestation Policy for Soybeans, Palm Oil  'By'Shruti Date Singh  12:00 AM HKT  April 1, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., a global supplier of agricultural commodities, has pledged to curb deforestation that results from the farming of soybeans and palm trees.  ADM is committing to developing ways to trace crops it processes, make those supply chains transparent and protect forests globally, according to Victoria Podesta, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company. The policy “combines a clear commitment to no deforestation with progressive action focused on our most critical supply chains,” Podesta said Monday in an e-mailed statement.  The policy for soy production is the first for that crop, said Lucia von Reusner, an activist for Boston-based Green Century Capital Management Inc., a mutual fund manager that focuses on sustainability. Suppliers representing about 96 percent of globally traded palm oil already have adopted such measures, Green Century said in a statement Tuesday.

4 February 2015: LG Household & Health Care goes RSPO Segregated / SG at Ulsan and Onsan plants

LG Household & Health Care Acquires RSPO Certification by Jeana Shin 2 February 2015
LG Household & Health Care's two factories, in Ulsan and Onsan, South Korea, have received certifications from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international certification body. This significant step elevates LG Household & Health Care to equal global companies like Unilever and Basf.... LG Household & Health Care started to build a system for producing surfactants, which use eco-friendly palm oil, from 2013 in its Ulsan and Onsan factories as the demands for RSPO-certified products increased recently in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
It completed a system to use and manufacture the raw materials of palm oil that complies with RSPO Segregation requirements in every aspect of the process, from from raw material storage, production, product storage to shipment.... LG Household & Health Care plans to reinforce its overseas raw material business by exporting surfactant from its RSPO-certified palm oil....

18 January 2015: PepsiCo Doritos targeted

PepsiCo Fires Back at Doritos Spoof Ad Viewed 1.5 Million Times By Duane D. Stanford  Jan 16, 2015 3:01 AM GMT+0800; PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) dismissed as a “stunt” a social-media video posted by environmental activists challenging the snack maker’s reliance on palm oil in Doritos.
The clip, which was released by as a spoof of a Doritos commercial, alleges that PepsiCo’s palm-oil use destroys rain forests and kills animals. After the ad gained a following online, PepsiCo shot back yesterday, saying its policy on the ingredient is sound and the video distorts the truth.

22 December 2014: Big buyers and producers ratchet up pledges, RAN pushes traceability

Unilever, Cargill push to green their palm oil chain; Facing growing concerns about deforestation in Asia, companies are pledging to use green palm oil; But as more sustainable oil reached the market and the technology for tracing commodities improved, Unilever, Cargill and Nestlé among strengthened their pledges in the past two years to use only green palm oil... They were joined this year by more than 20 consumer goods companies—including Kellogg, Mars, Procter & Gamble  PG   and Johnson & Johnson  —which adopted zero deforestation policies. And in September at the U.N. climate summit, more than 30 companies including McDonald’s  MCD  and Wal-Mart Stores   committed to eliminate deforestation from their supply chain by no later than 2020.... It was part of a larger pledge at the summit by governments to half deforestation by 2020 and strive to end it by 2030. If fulfilled, the measure would eliminate between 4.5 million and 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year by 2030—the equivalent to removing carbon emissions produced by one billion cars.... Along with the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge, five producers this summer joined Cargill in signing the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto. The companies have signed onto a no-deforestation pledge and the establishment of a system to create a “traceable and transparent supply chain.” The companies, most of them based in Malaysia, also agreed to a moratorium on converting the most environmentally important high carbon stock forests until a study can be done to determine where those stocks are located......... Two investigations—one released in September by a coalition of environmental groups called Eyes on the Forest and another by Rainforest Action Network—illustrate the challenge ahead. The Eyes on the Forest investigation found scores of palm oil producers in Indonesia who have signed sustainability commitments caught sourcing oil palm from illegal plantations. Illegal produced palm oil from forests favored by endangered Sumatran tigers ended up in facilities of four producers as well as at ports these producers use to ship their products.... The RAN investigation implicated 40 palm oil growers operating in an Indonesia conservation area that his home to endangered orangutans as well as Sumatran tigers, rhinos and elephants. One major crude palm oil mill was caught sourcing from these growers and three large traders also sourced from them... “At the moment, there is no traceability at the plantation level in the global palm oil supply chain,” said Gemma Tillack, RAN’s agribusiness campaign director.

29 November 2014: Unilever and Cargill updates

Unilever to Use Only Sustainable Palm Oil in European Foods by End of Year
Company Pledges to Use Only Traceable, Sustainable Palm Oil World-Wide by 2020

Cargill Publishes First Palm Oil Progress; Cargill today released its first progress report on sustainable palm oil. The report lays out the company’s action plan to achieve a fully sustainable supply chain. "Sustainability has long been part of our palm ...

3 November 2014: National buyer platforms

Norwegian Food Industry Commits to Sourcing Only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil by 2015, RSPO News, 03 October 2014; "The Norwegian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil has agreed criteria to promote sustainable palm oil in Norway and contribute to the prevention of deforestation. The Alliance, which consists of most major food & drink producers and retailers in Norway, has committed to using only sustainably produced and certified palm oil that meets the RSPO Principles & Criteria, by the end of 2015. As of today, the signatories include: Coop Norge AS, Findus Norge AS, Hennig-Olsen Is AS, Ica Norge AS, Mills DA, Mondelēz Norge AS, Nestlé Norge AS, Nordic Choice Hotels AS, NorgesGruppen ASA, Orkla ASA, Umoe Restaurants AS, Unilever Norge AS...They also commit that by 2018 they will either phase out palm oil or switch to segregated or traceable CSPO, and publish their progress reports annually. Norway is the eighth European country to officially launch a National Initiative, a commitment by the main industrial actors to source only certified sustainable palm oil. Similar national platforms already exist in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark...."

2 November 2014: Bunge goes with traceability and signals Sarawak / high risk zone shift?

Bunge updates its palm oil sourcing policy in October 2014 for traceability. This can be differentiated from RSPO certification which was the key program As buyers face issues in implementing their near term pledges (often set for next year, 2015) for sustainable palm oil, there are shifts to extend deadlines and perhaps the more common new trend is to shift from sustainability (certification) to traceability.

The latter is now frequently associated with the TFT (Greenpeace associated) programs for customized (by supplier) trade terms for B2B dealings. In contrast, RSPO certification (part of WWF's roundtables / "market transformation" program) uses a multi-stakeholder model and its heavy NGO influence is commonly thought to have contributed to policy escalations that trouble supply-chain players with rising cost of compliance amidst a seeming glut of certificates, and perhaps more crucially the problem of it achieving inclusivity of small producers and smallholders. Hence, the competition for new programs for the palm oil sector, by other NGOs.

On NGO reactions to Bunge's move, the UCS campaign gives it a good nod (it is "impressed" and says this "will have huge implications for peatlands"), as does Forest Heroes ("it gives a clear signal to rogue actors in the palm oil industry"). Forest Heroes' Glenn Hurowitz is widely reported to have had a key role in negotiation Bunge's new policy (he says that Bunge's move is akin to a new "green revolution" to delink agriculture from deforestation). 

However the timeline for implementation has not been set. "We are currently in the process of developing an implementation plan in collaboration with suppliers and expect to release it in the coming months," a Bunge spokesperson told UCS concern is likewise on the deadline and says "while it rightly prioritizes tracing palm oil from high risk areas, it does not require that all palm oil be eventually traced back to the original plantation."

UCS notes that "Bunge’s commitment is particularly important because they source much of their palm oil from Sarawak, Malaysia, a peat-rich area" and it is reports that Bunge is among the biggest buyers from Sarawak.

We're not sure yet if this represents a sign-on with The Forest Trust, a key provider of traceability programs for Wilmar, GAR and Cargill. A check today on its blog ( and its website ( yields no recent news on Bunge.

The key Bunge document is here: Excerpt:

.....Bunge immediately commits to begin building a traceable supply chain, following the principles
below, for 100 percent of the palm oil and palm derivatives it trades, processes and utilizes in
commercial and consumer products worldwide:

Forest & Biodiversity Preservation: Protection of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas as defined by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) P&C 5.2 and 7.3 and High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests as defined by the HCS Steering Group

Reduction of GHG Emissions
  •      Protection of peat areas, regardless of depth1
  •  Application of RSPO best management practices for peat on existing plantations
  •  No burning
Labor Protections, Human Rights and Free, Prior & Informed Consent (FPIC)2
  •  Prohibition of forced and child labor, discrimination and harassment of workers
  •  Protection of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
  •  Respect of local and indigenous community rights and application of FPIC for land purchases and use
  •  Support of the Food and Agriculture Organization Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure
Legal Compliance
  •  Compliance with all relevant national and local laws
Bunge will strive for traceability to the mill level for all suppliers and, in areas of high environmental or social sensitivity, to the fresh fruit bunch level.
News links:

25 September 2014: Look out for pace of signings RSPO versus/and TFT.

And on this, notable that a new report by Forest Heroes places all TFT mega processor trader partner pledges at top of "greenest" suppliers list (TFT-Climate Advisers work with Wilmar, commonly reported as controlling half the global palm oil trade), alongside the solid niche producer already supplying full segregated and other certified oil: The website says: Our Green Tigers report ranks palm oil companies on their adherence to forest conservation requirements -- showing which companies are slated to prosper in the new era of forest protection, and which are lagging far behind. We ranked 18 of the world's largest palm oil companies, judging them on forest protection, high carbon stock protection, peat protection, and their human rights records. The website focuses on an advocacy and a professional "grassroots advocacy and communications firm Catapult helps guide the campaign and deliver our message where it can have the biggest impact." Contacts include Glenn Hurowitz, Forest Heroes Campaign Chair / Managing Director of Climate Advisers (advisor to Wilmar alongside TFT in its 5 December 2013 commitment). Link to report: Forest Heroes has useful list of "media hits" which covers a lot of US palm oil campaigning news:

Report rates palm oil companies on sustainability commitments by; October 05, 2014; "A new report published Forest Heroes, an advocacy campaign pushing for an end to deforestation, ranks global palm oil companies on their sustainability commitments.
The Green Tigers, authored by Glen Hurowitz, reviews the recent history of environmental policies in the palm oil sector.... The report notes that most of the companies that are signees to the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM), a commitment established this year, are on the yellow or red lists, while Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) companies are on the green list. Environmentalists have criticized SPOM as having weaker criteria than POIG, although several SPOM members just committed to a one-year moratorium on clearing of potential high carbon stock areas while they work out a definition of what constitutes forest...."

Major alliances

Cargill Joins Palm-Oil Makers to Pledge Forest Protection  By Mark Drajem  Sep 23, 2014 11:30 PM GMT+0800; "Cargill Inc. joined the world’s largest makers of palm oil in a pledge to prevent deforestation and vowed to work with Indonesia, the biggest global producer, to implement policies that will protect forests. Cargill announced its action today at the United Nations summit on climate change with more than 20 producers that account for about half of all palm-oil consumption. Consumers have been pressing the makers of products such as candy and cookies using palm oil to stop clearing forests to plant new palms.... Unilever has pledged forestry protection as part of its sourcing of palm oil, the world’s most-consumed vegetable oil, used by Kellogg Co. (K) to make Pop-Tarts, Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) to produce Oreo cookies and Mars Inc. (MMC) to make Twix candy bars.... As part of today’s forestry pledges, Norway, the U.K., Germany and others pledged $1 billion to persuade developing countries such as Liberia and Peru to preserve their forests.

Cargill and TFT join hands to advance sustainable palm oil,  September 2014:

Buyer policies

TFT sign up. Hershey Co. strengthens palm oil policy By TIM STUHLDREHER | Business Writer, Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:15 pm; "The Hershey Co. said Wednesday it is taking measures to ensure that the palm oil it uses is not linked to deforestation or labor and human rights abuses.
....Back in 2011, Hershey joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and pledged to source all its palm oil from RSPO-certified suppliers by 2015. In December, Hershey said it had met that goal, more than a year ahead of schedule. Earlier this month, Hershey announced an expansion of Learn to Grow, a component of its cocoa sustainability initiative...."; and Hershey policy here:

Hershey 'goes beyond RSPO' by Oliver Nieburg, Food Navigator US, 25 Sep 2014; "... we will go beyond RSPO-certified palm oil and achieve a truly responsible and sustainable palm oil supply chain...  the policy drawn up with (TFT)....Greenpeace previously accused Hershey... (responded positively but said) ".. it lacks the requirement of third party verification, and the necessary deadline for full compliance..." ... The Union of Concerned Scientists... added "Hershey can still improve its policy by committing to tracing all its palm oil to the plantation where it was grown"....

Krispy goes with RSPO and Dunkin with TFT. Time to make the donuts less evil - Dunkin’ Donuts cleans up its palm-oil act (and Krispy Kreme follows suit) By Nathanael Johnson 16 Sep 2014 3:16 PM; (details at bottom of posting for Krispy Kreme and Dunkin is here: 

But criticism here: New Dunkin’ Brands Palm Oil Commitment Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Science Group Says Statement by the Union of Concerned Scientists' Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sep. 16, 2014) -- Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced new commitments for sourcing deforestation-free palm oil, but is only applying them to U.S. operations, which would cover only half its stores, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

ConAgra adopts greener palm oil policy 08/14/2014) U.S. food giant ConAgra has adopted a new sourcing policy that will exclude palm oil produced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands.

Eliminating palm oil from Golden North ice cream not enough to secure Adelaide Zoo deal; Thu 7 Aug 2014, 8:46am; "South Australian ice cream maker Golden North is upset Zoos SA has ditched it in favour of a deal with a multinational, despite the local company avoiding use of palm oil in its foods. Golden North marketing manager Trevor Pomery says the SA company ... Zoos SA chief executive Elaine Bensted conceded Streets ice creams contained palm oil but said other factors led to the deal. "It does have a financial benefit to the zoo and I won't shy away from that, and it is a significant component," she said. "We're a not-for-profit charity, we have a responsibility to our members and that membership responsibility does include financial sustainability. By 2020 all of the palm oil that they buy globally will come from certified sources...."

Will other Asian consumer giants follow as Kao goes forest-friendly? Greenpeace challenges Asian consumer companies such as India’s Godrej and ITC and China’s Liby and Nice to make similar commitments as the Japanese beauty products maker commits to forest-friendly policy;

Johnson & Johnson commits to zero deforestation for palm oil, 1 May 2014;; J&J will work with The Forest Trust (TFT), an NGO that helps companies implement zero deforestation and zero conflict commitments for various commodities. TFT has recently signed similar commitments with Nestle, Indonesian palm oil giant Golden-Agri Resources, Neste Oil, Ferrero, Reckitt Benckiser, Asia Pulp & Paper, Wilmar, New Britain Palm Oil, Cerelia, Vandemoortele, Mars; Florin, and Delhaize Group, among others.

MPONGOC calls on Malaysian banks, GLCs to commit to sustainable palm oil; The Borneo Post  - 14 April 2014; KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian banks and government-mandated institutions that invest in growth sectors must commit to play a role in improving social and environmental standards in the palm oil industry. The Malaysian Palm Oil NGO Coalition (MPONGOC) ...; specialists say that in the past Malaysia NGO campaigning on palm oil issues has seen BORA Executive Director Datuk Dr John Payne play a key role. MPONGOC has been seen on-and-off in headlines the last few months and it's well reported in news who are the key leaders.

Wal-Mart Attempts the Holy Grail: Low-Cost Organic Food; April 10, 2014;; In one fell swoop, the super-retailer gets credit for being green, dives into a rapidly growing category, and creates a fantastic ideological conundrum for the anti-Walmart faction. Impressive.... Whatever global consciousness may be at work here, it’s true that organic groceries have some of the healthiest financials in the business. Safeway (SWY) recently said sales of its Open Nature brand surged 42 percent in 2013. Costco (COST) has been crowing about its trade in select organic products, such as milk and kale. “It’s a big business; it’s growing fast,” Richard Galanti, Costco’s chief financial officer, said on a recent conference call.
Of course both Wal-Mart and Target can use their scale to squeeze great deals out of farmers and suppliers—probably better deals than smaller grocery players, such as Fairway (FWM) and Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM), or even Safeway, can get......

Cargill commits to zero deforestation, but environmentalists have questions;;
(04/09/2014) After years of criticism from environmental groups, Cargill says it will establish policies to eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. But activists aren't yet sure what to make of the agribusiness giant's pledge. On Tuesday Cargill released a letter it sent to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets eco-certification standards, in response to a Greenpeace Report linking it to deforestation.
Procter & Gamble think they can ignore deforestation - here's how we turn up the pressure; Greenpeace UK (blog); The companies you buy palm oil from are cutting down huge areas of rainforest - Greenpeace has photographic evidence from palm oil companies;

Procter & Gamble bows to pressure on palm oil deforestation; The Guardian,  9 April 2014;; Procter & Gamble has bowed to pressure from environmentalists and revealed a new, extensive no-deforestation policy in the production of its products, including demanding fully traceable palm oil from suppliers. In the wake of severe criticism by a ...

Indian food giant to source deforestation-free palm oil;;; Orkla, a Nordic conglomerate that owns MTR Foods, one of India's major food companies, has established a zero deforestation policy for the palm oil it sources, reports Greenpeace... Orkla's policy commits it to full traceability and bars palm oil produced via forest and peatlands conversion by 2017. There are also provisions for workers rights and local communities.

General Mills ramps up palm oil pledge to consider deforestation; 25 March 2014;; The cereal and snack titan said that while it was a, “relatively minor user of palm oil”, it remained committed to sourcing 100% of its palm oil responsibly and sustainably by 2015 - a pledge it first made in 2010. General Mills said it would continue ...

 Colgate-Palmolive Latest Company to Jump on Deforestation-Free Palm Oil ...; Union of Concerned Scientists  - ‎Mar 24, 2014‎;; BERKELEY, Calif. (March 24, 2014) - Just days after General Mills committed to sourcing deforestation-free palm oil, Colgate-Palmolive today released its palm oil sourcing policy. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), major companies ...

Supply chain certification news

27 August: In Switzerland, Clariant announced Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Mass Balance supply chain certification for its plant in Gendorf, Germany, in order to meet the increasing demand for sustainable certified palm-based ingredients from customers in the personal care and home care sectors. Gendorf is the first of Clariant’s plants to be RSPO certified and progresses its target to continuously increase the offer of certified palm based products and to have all relevant production sites certified by 2016.

Details of a recent RSPO plus commitment

Krispy Kreme September 2014: - Do you use sustainable palm oil? "Krispy Kreme’s responsible palm oil sourcing efforts began in January 2014 with a commitment to only source products for its US locations from suppliers who are certified members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and those who can guarantee compliance with all sustainable palm oil production methods as defined in the RSPO guidelines. Additionally, Krispy Kreme has purchased enough GreenPalm certificates to cover 100% of its estimated usage of palm oil in the United States through the end of 2014.... Krispy Kreme is now expanding its commitment to achieve 100% responsible sourcing of palm oil. By the end of 2016, a large percentage, if not all of the brand’s palm oil usage will be sourced through some combination of RSPO certified segregated supply, RSPO mass balance mixed-source supply, and the purchase of GreenPalm certificates.... Krispy Kreme is expanding its commitment to achieve 100% responsible sourcing of palm oil. By the end of 2016, a large percentage, if not all of the brand’s palm oil usage will be sourced through some combination of RSPO certified segregated supply, RSPO mass balance mixed-source supply, and the purchase of GreenPalm certificates. All of the brand’s suppliers will be required to trace their palm oil sourcing to plantations that adhere to the principles for protecting forests (including High Carbon Stock (HCS)[1] and High Conservation Value (HCV) landscapes), peat lands of any depth, and no exploitation of communities and workers (including respecting human and worker rights and obtaining Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from communities for all development on their lands); and to comply with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles and criteria. Krispy Kreme will work with its suppliers to meet these commitments as rapidly as possible, with a deadline for full compliance by the end of 2016. Suppliers who are found not in compliance will be required to submit a viable action plan for closing any identified gaps, or risk removal from the brand’s supply chain.... Krispy Kreme will provide a detailed implementation plan and progress reports on its responsible palm oil sourcing efforts through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives."