(By thejakartaglobe.com)

Palm oil production in Malaysia, the biggest supplier after Indonesia, probably climbed to the second-highest level on record for May, while exports increased the most in 14 months.

File photo of a worker collecting palm oil fruits inside a palm oil factory in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur

Production advanced 6.4 percent to 1.66 million metric tons from April, according to the median of six estimates from planters, analysts and traders compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest for the month since the 1.74 million tons produced in 2011, Palm Oil Board data show. Exports rose 7.9 percent to 1.36 million tons, the biggest gain since March 2013, the survey shows. The board releases the data on June 10.

Futures have lost 17 percent in Kuala Lumpur from an 18-month high in March as output recovered from a seasonal drop in the first quarter and shipments declined. Exports may rise as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan approaches and demand may also improve because of palm’s deepening discount to soybean oil, according to Rabobank International. Ramadan, when communal meals boost consumption, starts at the end of June this year.

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