Palm oil stocks dwindle on higher use, lower imports
Disappearance of refined palm oil from stocks (an indicator of utilization) for use in edible processing totaled 224 million pounds in March, a pickup from weaker use we saw in January and February. Disappearance in Q1 2021 showed year-over-year growth, but we may not see notable YOY increases persist during the rest of the year given 2020’s record utilization of palm oil in the U.S.
Processors dramatically increased consumption of palm oil last summer, using 1.4 billion pounds for edible purposes in the second half of the year vs. 1.1 billion during Jul-Dec 2019.
During those same months, U.S. imports of refined palm oil totaled 1.5 billion pounds in 2020 compared to 1.8 billion in 2019.
The consequence is lower stocks of refined palm oil. Stocks have declined YOY each month since last October, with March stocks down 28 percent from a year ago and the lowest level for March since USDA began reporting on fats and oils supply in 2015.
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