Palm and soybean oil prices hold steady in December, but shipping prices jump amid new tension in the Red Sea

1 RM (Malaysian Ringgit) = 0.21 USD
1 USD = 0.79 GBP

*Exchange rates calculated and market prices reported on January 31 2024

Crude Palm Oil

Average Palm Oil Export Prices

  • Indonesia
    $865 tonne (+$20/tonne)

  • Malaysia
    $840/tonne (+$22/tonne)

Average Palm Oil Export Prices Oct 23

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Malaysia palm market

Malaysian crude palm oil prices strengthened throughout January, driven by stronger demand and smaller stocks, although they ended the month on a weak note. The average value for the month was 3,828 RM/tonne, which was 2.2% more than the average December 2023 price, but 2.8% lower than the January 2023 average.

The opening January price was 3,621 RM/tonne. By January 26 it has jumped by 10.9% to 4,015 RM/tonne. That was the highest price since the beginning of September 2023. However, in the last five days of the month, the price fell to 3,828 RM/tonne.

Malaysia palm market Feb 24

Soybean oil

January 2024 Soybean Oil Export Prices $/tonne
January 2024 Soybean Oil Export Prices $/tonne Feb 24

Prices slip, but oilseed production expected to increase

Soybean prices fell in January, despite expectations of reduced production. In its latest oilseeds report, the USDA said:

“The global oilseeds production forecast is lowered this month to 660 million tons on large reductions in the Brazil soybean crop and sunflowerseed for Argentina, EU, and Russia, more than offsetting higher Argentina and U.S. soybean crops. Global oilseed trade is up slightly on higher Russia and Paraguay soybean exports, more than offsetting lower Russia sunflowerseed exports. Global oilseed ending stocks are down slightly on large reductions in Brazil and India soybean and Russia sunflowerseed, not offset by higher Argentina and U.S. soybean carryout.

Oilseed crush is down slightly on lower Brazil soybean and EU sunflowerseed crush despite higher Argentina and India soybean crush. Global meal production is lowered, but meal exports are unchanged with higher Argentina and India soybean meal exports offset by lower Brazil soybean meal and Peru fish meal exports.”

Average 2022/24 Soybean Oil Prices $/tonne

Average 2022-24 Soybean Oil Prices $/tonne Feb24

Rapeseed oil
Average 2022/24 Rapeseed Rotterdam (Canola) Oil Prices $/tonneAverage 2022/24 Rapeseed Rotterdam (Canola) Oil Prices $/tonne Feb24Sunflower oil
Average 2022-24 Sunflower Seed Oil Prices $/tonne

Average 2022-24 Sunflower Seed Oil Prices $/tonne Feb24

Shipping Update

Global container rates soar in January amid fresh Middle East tension

From the January 25 2024, Drewry World Container Index report:

  • The Drewry WCI composite index rose 5% in the week to January 25 to US$3,964 per 40 foot container, which was 138% more than the price a month before.
  • Tension in the Middle East means shipping costs have now risen more than 90% over the last year and are up 195% on lowest point over the last 12 months in October 2023.
  • The current price is the highest since October 2022 and 179% more than the pre-Covid pandemic rate that averaged US$1,420.
  • Of the eight routes tracked by Drewry, the biggest increases over the last year have been in shipments between Shanghai and Rotterdam – up 186% since January 2023. That is followed by a 129% rise in the Shanghai to Genoa route. Both those routes pass through the Middle East. In contrast, the cost of shipping on the Rotterdam to New York route has fallen by 75% over the last year.

Shipping Update Feb24

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.