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Mapping The Palm Oil Price - 2013 Market Perspective:
Global Oils and Fats Outlook: 1st Half of 2013
Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron
TAN SRI DATUK DR. YUSOF BIN BASIRON aged 66, a Malaysian. He is presently holding several important positions which include: i. Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) ii. Director of Sime Darby Berhad iii. Chairman and Director of CBIP Berhad Apart from holding distinguished corporate positions, he is also involved in other organizations which are: (i) Senior Fellow and Past President of Academy Sciences Malaysia (ASM) (ii) Fellow member of Malaysia Scientific Association (MSA) (iii) Fellow member of Malaysian Oil Scientists' and Technologists' Association (MOSTA) (iv) Fellow member of the Incorporated Society of Planters His notable academic achievements are as follows: i. In 1972, he obtained his Bachelor in Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; ii. In 1974, he obtained his Post-Graduate Degree in Rubber Technology (ANCRT) in the United Kingdom; and iii. In 1976, he obtained his Masters Degree in Engineering specializing in Industrial Management (M.E.) and also in Business Administration (MBA) from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. Before he joined Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM) in 1979, he held the position of Rubber Technologist/Techno-Economist with the Rubber Research Institute (RRI)/Malaysian Rubber Research Development Board (MRRDB). In 1986, he completed his doctorate with a PhD in Applied Economics and Management Science from the University of Stirling, Scotland. He was later appointed as the Director-General of PORIM in 1992. He held the position for 8 years until April 2000 before assuming the role of the Director-General of Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB), an organization which existed as a result of a PORIM and Palm Oil Registration and Licensing Authority (PORLA) merger, from 1 May 2000 until 18 January 2006.
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In 2012, the global oils & fats production is estimated to be at about 184 million metric tonnes compared to 180 million metric tonnes in 2011, an increase of 2%. Palm oil production in 2012 is estimated at close to 52 million metric tonnes with Malaysia and Indonesia retaining their positions as the top two producers of palm oil, contributing to 86% of the total global palm oil production. The palm oil production from both these countries is crucial as they contribute to 24% of the total global oils & fats production.

Price of palm oil which started on a positive note at RM3,270/MT in 2012, saw prices climbing in the first quarter and reaching a peak of RM3,620/MT in April 2012. Thereafter, prices fluctuated and started dipping in the fourth quarter of 2012 and settled in the region of RM2,400/MT. Part of the reasons for the downward trend was due to the concerns over the high stock levels of palm oil especially towards the end of 2012 and the weakening demand from major users of palm oil. Concerns over the high production and stock levels of soybeans were also factors as in December China cancelled 300,000 metric tonnes of soybeans from the US which drove prices of oils and fats downwards.

This paper will analyse issues that will affect palm oil price in 2013 especially in the first half of the year. A regional analysis will be conducted where the supply and demand scenarios will be taken into consideration.

We use the Stock Usage Ratio (SUR) as our basis to determine the demand and price forecasts. The SUR is also a useful indicator to measure the amount of surplus in stock that can be carried forward to the next year, thus determining the number of days or months the surplus will be able to support the current demand.
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