Palm & Veg Report, March 2019

Edible oil markets are still plodding along at the sort of pace we would expect them to do at this time of the year and freight rates are broadly the same as they were a month ago. Most people share our view that the chemical, CPP and vegetable oil markets will not tumble to the depressing lows levels of activity that we experienced during the 2nd and 3rd quarter of last year, which was a period of slow torture for everyone, although it’s still difficult to say with any accuracy where we are heading. CPP markets, which continue to have a significant influence on edible oil freight rates are still yo-yoing along at the moment and sentiment is softening, especially out in Asia where average earning are back to the US$ 10,000 per day levels again.

The fall out from this years POC conference in Malaysia is still unclear, however our initial feeling is that most people from both the trading and shipping sides of the fence were a lot more upbeat this year compared to last. Palm oil imports to the EU, purely for edible usage may well have dropped off over the 5 years, because of food labelling concerns, but this shortfall has been replaced by the significant increase in the demand for bio fuel and the biofuel markets in Spain, Italy, Scandinavia and Russia should continue to grow exponentially this year.

James Woolfson