Palm oil prices rise to 12-month highs, but value of other oils fall

1 RM (Malaysian Ringgit) = 0.21 USD
1 USD = 0.80 GBP

*Exchange rates calculated and market prices reported on April 1 2024

Crude Palm Oil

Average Palm Oil Export Prices

  • Indonesia
    $925 tonne (+$45/tonne)

  • Malaysia
    $885/tonne (+$40/tonne)

Average Palm Oil Export Prices April 24

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Malaysia palm market

Price increases in the early part of March held for the rest of the month, with values at their highest for more than a year. The average value for the whole of the month was 4,170RM/tonne (US$876), 7.8% more than the February 2024 average and 6.0% more than the March 2023 average.

The opening March 2024 price was 3,935RM/tonne (US$826). It broke through the 4,000RM/tonne (US$840) barrier three days later, and despite some minor fluctuations, rose to a month-high of RM4,298 (US$902). The last price of the month was 4,263RM/tonne (US$895). That price was 40% lower than the all-time high price of 7,104RM/tonne (US$1492) set at the end of April 2022.

Malaysia palm prices CPO Settlement Price RM April 24

Soybean oil

March 2024 Soybean Oil Export Prices $/tonneMarch 2024 Soybean Oil Export Prices $/tonne

Prices slip, but oilseed production expected to increase

US soybean prices have come under pressure because of ample global supply projections. Soybean meal prices have fallen in line with lower soybean oil prices. Palm oil prices have increased because of reduced supply in Malaysia. There were lower Black Sea sunflowerseed oil prices because of a large exportable surplus in Russia, with the gap between the oil and palm oil unusually wide.

The US Department of Agriculture modified its expectations for 2024 in its March report.

“The global oilseeds production forecast is lowered this month on a slight reduction in Brazil soybeans, more than offsetting a higher rapeseed crop in India. Global oilseeds trade is up slightly on higher soybean exports from Brazil. World ending stocks are down approximately 1.5 million tons due to a decrease in Brazil soybean stocks. Oilseed crush is slightly lower with soybean and peanut crush reductions more than offsetting higher rapeseed crush. Global protein meal exports remain nearly unchanged with cuts in Brazil soybean meal exports offset by larger exports of sunflowerseed meal from Argentina and Bolivia and rapeseed meal from Canada. Vegetable oil trade is slightly down on lower Malaysia palm oil exports. The projected U.S. seasonā€average farm price for soybeans is unchanged at $12.65 per bushel.”

Average 2022/24 Soybean Oil Prices $/tonne

Average 2022-24 Soybean Oil Prices $/tonne April 24

Rapeseed oil
Average 2022/24 Rapeseed Rotterdam (Canola) Oil Prices $/tonneAverage 2022/24 Rapeseed Rotterdam (Canola) Oil Prices $/tonne April 24Sunflower oil
Average 2022-24 Sunflower Seed Oil Prices $/tonne

Average 2022/24 Sunflower Seed Oil Prices $/tonne April 24

Shipping Update

Shipping costs fall but still much higher than last year

Shipping costs have eased following the increase in tension in the Middle East, with shippers placing contingency plans and work-arounds in place. The Drewry World Container Index was at US$2,929 per 40 foot container in its March 28th report. That was 26% less than the January 25th peak, but 66% more than the year before.

From the February 29 2024, Drewry World Container Index report:

  • The composite index decreased by 3% to $2,929 per 40ft container this week and has increased by 71% when compared with the same week last year.    
  • The latest Drewry WCI composite index of $2,929 per 40ft container is 106% more than average 2019 (pre-pandemic) rates of $1,420.
  • The average composite index for the year-to-date is $3,413 per 40ft container, which is $709 higher than the 10-year average rate of $2,704 (which was inflated by the exceptional 2020-22 Covid period).
  • Freight rates from Shanghai to New York decreased 6% or $318 to $5,058 per feu. Likewise, rates on New York to Rotterdam and Shanghai to Los Angeles declined 3% to $637 and $3,825 per 40ft container respectively. Similarly, rates on Shanghai to Rotterdam, Rotterdam to Shanghai and Shanghai to Genoa dwindled 2% to $3,159, $814 and $3,806 per 40ft box respectively. Also, rates on Los Angeles to Shanghai and Rotterdam to New York shed 1% to $691 and $2,261 per feu respectively. Drewry expects a minor decrease in spot freight rates in the coming week.

Shipping Update April 24

View Drewry shipping data here.

Disclaimer: The information in this document has been obtained from or based upon sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of writing. The document should be for information purposes only and is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete.