FocusAsia lauric acids may extend gains on high CPO, CPKO prices

28 November 2011 07:20  [Source: ICIS news]

By Wong Lei Lei

palm fruitSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of lauric acids in Asia may continue to increase after rising sharply over the past two weeks, backed by high values of feedstocks crude palm oil (CPO) and crude palm kernel oil (CPKO), industry sources said on Monday.

Spot prices were assessed at $1,300-1,400/tonne (€975-1,050/tonne) FOB (free on board) SE (southeast) Asia in the week ending 23 November, up by $200/tonne or 16-18% from 9 November, according to ICIS.

“We are offering lauric at $1,500/tonne FOB SE Asia due to the current high CPKO price,” said a major Indonesian producer.

CPKO prices stood at $1,295/tonne FOB Malaysia on 25 November, according to the website of GateTrade, a trading platform for palm oil, coconut oil and biodiesel.

CPO prices are also on the rise on expectations of lower harvest due to the monsoon season in southeast Asia. 

On 25 November, CPO prices stood at M$3,070/tonne ($959/tonne), according to data from Bursa Malaysia.

Industry expert, Dorab Mistry of Godrej, forecasts CPO prices to hit M$4,000/tonne by end-June 2012 as production slows amid sustained demand.

Lauric acids are mainly used for the production of soaps and cosmetics. In southeast Asia, lauric acids are primarily derived from palm kernel oil and coconut oil.

Meanwhile, mid-cut C12-14 alcohols, which also use CPKO as the main feedstock, saw almost an 18% increase in prices over the past two weeks to $1,980-2,050/tonne on 23 November, ICIS data showed.

Some customers in the fatty alcohols market have been snapping up futures cargoes on expectations that prices will continue to rise.

A Malaysian fatty alcohol producer has concluded forward contracts for 2,000 tonnes of mid-cuts alcohols, for delivery in March-April 2012, at $2,200/tonne FOB SE Asia.

“[The] customer was able to accept the higher-than-current market price for the forward contracts as they were anticipating further rise in price of CPKO over the next few months,” the producer said.

($1 = €0.75 / $1 = N$3.20)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Wong Lei Lei

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