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Malaysian May palm oil exports up 17.33% on Ramadan demand

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Malaysian palm oil exports during rose 17.33% on the month in May to 1.51 million mt, driven by Ramadan and Eid Ul Fitr festival demand from destination markets like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Egypt, data Tuesday from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed.

Market sources had said there had been a substantial spike in palm oil and palm product demand from destination markets, pre-Ramadan, most of which was shipped out during May.

Bangladesh imported 32,677 mt of palm oil from Malaysia in May, up from 383 mt in April. Pakistan imported 108,185 mt, up from 54,782 mt in April. Indian imports were 273,699 mt, up from 160,878 mt in April.

But analyst Ali Muhammaed Lakdawala of ITC India said Indian buyers were still quite "hand-to-mouth" in their vegoil buying, because of ample worldwide supplies of oilseeds and oils, and the expectation that vegoil prices, including palm oil, would fall further in coming months.

May CPO production in Malaysia increased 6.88% from April to 1.65 million mt.

Some market watchers had been predicting a smaller production rise in production during May because harvesting was down due to lower productivity on the plantations because of the start of the month-long Ramadan.

Most plantation workers in Malaysia tend to be Muslims and are observing the fast, leading to shorter working hours. Market sources expect June palm oil production to also be on the lower side.

Higher palm exports combined with lower than expected production in May, led to a 2.64% shrinkage of Malaysian palm inventories month-on-month to 1.56 million mt, MPOB data showed.

Finally, PME exports from Malaysia were in line with ITS export figures for May. MPOB data showed that PME exports from Malaysia during May totalled 32,087 mt, down 15.24% from April.

ITS May data showed that 32,000 mt of PME had been exported from Malaysia.

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