Malaysia end-May palm stocks fall to 10-month low- MPOB

* Malaysia palm stocks fall for third consecutive month
* Palm exports, local consumption rise on Ramadan and Eid
demand –
* Output edges up on increased harvesting - trader

(Updates with details, background, quote)
By Emily Chow
KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil
stockpiles fell to a 10-month low at end-May, according to
official data on Wednesday, extending monthly falls since March,
as export gains outpaced an unexpected rise in production.
Benchmark palm oil prices have eased about 5% since the
start of the year, weighed by concerns about high stocks and
flat demand. Falling stockpiles could support palm prices
, which were last up 0.1% at 2,009 ringgit ($482.70) a
tonne at the midday break.
Stockpiles at end-May in Malaysia, the world's second
largest producer of the edible oil, fell 10.3% to 2.45 million
tonnes from the previous month, data from industry regulator the
Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed.
It was the third straight month of inventory declines and
took stocks to their lowest levels since July 2018. <MYPOMS-TPO>
"Stocks went down on higher exports and local consumption,"
said a trader at an oil palm milling company, adding that
Malaysia's local consumption of palm oil rose due to higher
demand during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Exports rose for a third month in a row in May, up 3.5% from
April to 1.71 million tonnes, the MPOB data showed, taking
shipments to their highest since August 2016. <MYPOME-PO>
"June exports might not be as good as May as the Ramadan and
Eid demand will be over," said the trader.
Ramadan sees Muslims worldwide break day-long fasts with
communal feasting for a month leading up to Eid, increasing
usage of palm oil for cooking purposes.
Palm oil output unexpectedly rose slightly in May by 1.3% on
a month earlier to 1.67 million tonnes, taking production to its
highest for the month of May in four years. <MYPOMP-CPOTT>
"There was a higher number of working days in May, and
workers may have harvested more aggressively before going on
holidays," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader, referring
to the Eid public holidays in early June.
"June production then should be lower," the futures trader
A Reuters survey had expected production to dip in May as
fasting during Ramadan would affect the productivity of workers
on oil palm estates.
The Reuters poll had forecast palm oil stockpiles at end-May
to fall 9.7% to 2.46 million tonnes. Production was seen
dropping 2% to 1.61 million tonnes, while exports were pegged to
rise 3.3% to 1.71 million tonnes.
The following is a breakdown of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board
figures and Reuters estimates for May:

(volumes in tonnes)
May 2019 May 2019 poll April 2019 May 2018
Output 1,671,467 1,616,146 1,649,278 1,525,405
Stocks 2,447,441 2,464,500 2,729,389 2,170,431
Exports 1,711,882 1,706,500 1,651,249 1,290,601
Imports 61,789 74,000 61,112 32,260

(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and
Richard Pullin)

First Published: 2019-06-12 06:46:37
Updated 2019-06-12 08:14:37

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