Record lows for 2021 Malaysian palm industry: MPOB

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The Malaysian Palm Oil Board recorded multi-year lows for production, exports and stock levels in 2021 over quashed output and global high vegetable oil prices.

Covid-19 movement restrictions created a shortage of migrant labour workers on plantations that lowered supply by 5pc from 2020 to 18mn t, the lowest after the La Nina weather system ravaged harvests in 2016 when production barely broke 17.3mn t.

Farmers were contending with their own bouts of adverse weather last year, which alongside high fertilizer costs contributed to battered yields.

Monthly average inventories crashed to their lowest since MPOB records began in 2012 as a result to just 1.6mn t, beating 2020’s previous record of 1.72mn t.

The lack of output and consequent record high prices also undermined export sales, which dropped by 11pc on the year to an all-time low of 15.56mn t, beating the previous record of 16mn t during the 2016.

Biodiesel sales declined by 4pc from 2020 to 362,000t, a four-year low. The likelihood was for a downtrend in 2022 and beyond as an increasing number of European countries ban palm from their renewable transport fuel obligations and Malaysia plans to double its domestic mandate to 20pc by the end of the year.

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