M'sian palm oil futures up as OPEC+ delay sparks global oil market volatility.


On Mar 18, '24, Malaysian palm oil futures climbed 0.47% to 4,240 ringgit due to global veg oil rise & OPEC+ meeting delay to Nov 30, suggesting a Brent oil price hike.

On March 18, 2024, the Malaysian palm oil futures market experienced a notable rise, with an increase of 0.47%, reaching a price of 4240 ringgit. This price increase was primarily driven by the global rise in vegetable oil prices. Although the market reacted positively to this change, concerns remain over poor export performance and anticipated production increases in some regions.

According to data from the Southern Peninsula Palm Oil Millers' Association (SPPOMA), production from March 1 to 15 increased by 38.8% compared to the same period last month, but export growth did not meet market expectations. Moreover, trading activities were weakened due to the US Thanksgiving public holiday. Against this backdrop, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, unexpectedly postponed the ministerial meeting discussing production cuts to November 30.


The market is cautious about the possibility of OPEC+ not deepening production cuts after the delayed meeting of the oil-producing countries' group, fearing that oil prices may continue to fall. Prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude futures both declined, dropping by approximately 1% and 0.66%, respectively. Saudi Arabia expressed dissatisfaction with some OPEC members seeking to increase production capacity and sought to further reduce global oil output to offset the impact of non-OPEC member countries' production increases on crude oil prices.

Before the delay of the meeting, oil-producing countries were striving to reach a consensus on production levels, but differences mainly involved African countries, especially Angola and Nigeria, which hoped to increase oil production. Analysts believe that despite the disagreements with Angola, Nigeria may receive some relief due to the importance it places on its relationship with Saudi Arabia.


Despite the downward market trend, analysts expect the market to rebound once traders return from the holiday. The outcome of next week's OPEC+ meeting remains uncertain, with Saudi Arabia potentially facing the dilemma of accepting lower oil prices or implementing unilateral production cuts. Russia's need to sell oil may exacerbate Saudi Arabia's situation.

There are reports that OPEC+ and African oil-producing countries are nearing a compromise on production levels for 2024. Moreover, an increase in US crude oil inventories has intensified market concerns about oversupply.

Despite facing many uncertainties, strategists at Germany's Commerzbank remain optimistic about the potential for oil prices to rise, expecting Brent crude prices to climb to $85 per barrel in the first half of 2024, and potentially further to $90 per barrel by the end of the year, suggesting that the oil market may again face tight conditions next year. This series of complex factors indicates that the global oil market may continue to experience fluctuations in the coming period.



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