As production in top growers climbing and prices hovering near three-year lows, the last chance to arrest Palm Oil’s decline this year is Indian demand ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that’ ll be widely celebrated in the top importer in November.
Purchases of the tropical oil by India may surge about 10 per cent from a year earlier to 2.4 million metric tons in the October-December quarter on cheaper Palm and tight domestic vegetable oil supplies. That could underpin Palm Oil prices in Kuala Lumpur, which have lost about 12 per cent this year.
Palm Oil prices in Kuala Lumpur are expected to average 2,220 ringgit ($535) a ton in the fourth quarter, that compares with an average of about 2,660 ringgit a year earlier. Prices need to drop below 2,100 ringgit to make Palm Oil competitive and regain exports.
India’s Palm Oil imports were initially expected to climb to around 950,000 tons in each month of the fourth quarter, but the rupee’s slump has shrunk the working capital of importers and could limit that. Many companies will be in deep trouble because it’s more costly to buy any edible oil, whether it’s Palm or Soybean Oil.