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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is set to benefit with palm oil importers shifting demand from Indonesia to Malaysia following Indonesia’s “surprising” and “unexpected measure” to impose an export ban on the commodity, which will also further raise overall global vegetable oil prices, Public Investment Bank said.

Indonesia, the world’s top producer, and exporter of palm oil announced its decision to impose an export ban on the commodity from April 28 until further notice to tackle rising domestic cooking oil prices. Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer.

Indonesian palm oil exports make up about 57% of global palm oil exports and 32% of global vegetable oil exports.

“The surprising move comes amid the heightened concerns over the tightening global vegetable oil supplies. In response to the unexpected measure, soybean oil prices soared to a record high of US$1,795 per tonne (RM7,790) and palm oil futures rose RM36 to RM6,349 per tonne,” it said, maintaining an “overweight” call on the plantation sector.

In its note on April 25, the investment bank’s research said with the export ban, there is little room for upstream plantation players to bargain for higher prices with the refiners.

“Based on the latest combined crude palm oil (CPO) export tax and CPO excise levy of US$575 per tonne, coupled with the CPO export tax of RM474 per tonne in Malaysia, we think Indonesia is currently trading at a steeper discounted CPO price of RM4,800 per tonne compared to Malaysia’s RM6,773 per tonne.

“Malaysian plantation players such as Genting Plantation, KLK, Sime Darby Plantation and TSH that have strong exposure to the Indonesian market would not be able to fully capture the current strong CPO price performance due to the hefty export duties and zero export policy in place,” it added. – Bernama

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