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POINTERS
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Mapping The Palm Oil Price - 2013 Market Perspective:
Crude Palm Oil - A Fat Tail Event in Southeast Asia
Mr. Abah Ofon
Abah has over 21 years’ macroeconomic, commodities, trade and research experience in financial markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Prior to founding 3XG UK CONSULTING LTD, he was lead analyst at the London firm Agribriefing, Head of agri-commodity research and Africa economist for Standard Chartered Bank’s global franchise based in London, Dubai and Singapore. Abah has provided advisory services on agricultural markets to some of the largest agribusiness names and institutional clients including hedge funds and central banks. Abah is a prominent pundit in the financial and business media and was profiled in the UK’s Financial Times at the height of the 2008 commodity crisis. Abah is a graduate of the London School of Economics and has been a member of UK Society of Business Economists as well as a Financial Advisor licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
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In recent weeks, we met with crude palm oil (CPO) traders, producers and consumers in Southeast Asia. The focus of our conversations was the outlook for CPO prices. The CPO market started 2013 in much the same vein as it ended 2012, stuck in a range between MYR 2,250 and MYR 2,500/tonne (t). Contrary to our expectations, the market did not rally beyond MYR 2500/t for most of January, although more recent price action is increasingly bullish, partly due to a weaker Malaysian ringgit (MYR). Since Q4-2012, the market has been depressed by huge inventories in Southeast Asia, limited storage capacity and a surplus of other oilseeds in the 2011/12 season

In this report, we revisit the themes that shaped our view of the market in 2012, and discuss emerging dynamics in the industry that lead us to new conclusions. On the whole, we remain positive on the outlook for CPO prices in 2013, although we now expect the seasonal low to be in Q2-2013 rather than in Q1-2013. We continue to expect the market to peak in Q4-2013. We expect macroeconomic developments in Asia to support CPO demand, but we acknowledge that large stockpiles will continue to limit the potential for a sustained market rally.
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