Palm oil prices to go into reverse next year

The price of palm oil has climbed resolutely since May, trading currently at a nine-year high of around MYR 3,800 per tonne. Nonetheless, we think that the price will fall in 2021, as supply constraints ease.
Nicholas Farr Assistant Economist
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Commodities Update

Omicron puts demand back in the spotlight

We were already downbeat on the outlook for most commodity prices in 2022, not least because we thought that prices had lost touch with demand fundamentals. The risk of Omicron-related effects on demand just adds weight to our view. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Commodities Overview Update to clients of all our Commodities services.  

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Most commodity prices fell on Friday after South African scientists declared they had identified a new COVID-19 variant on Thursday which may be more transmissible. We think it’s still early days to say what this means for the global economy, but it has raised concerns about weaker demand for some commodities, especially oil if travel restrictions are re-imposed. These developments will make the OPEC+ meeting next week even more intriguing. We now think that there is a much higher risk that OPEC+ decides to slow or halt the gradual return of supply given mounting concerns over demand and the release of reserves. Elsewhere, China will publish its manufacturing PMI data (Tuesday/Wednesday), which we expect to show a slight uptick in manufacturing activity. In addition, we should learn more about the new COVID-19 variant and how governments will respond.

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The slump in the Baltic Dry Index is all about iron ore

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Emerging Europe Data Response

Manufacturing PMIs (June)

The PMIs for June suggest that manufacturing sectors strengthened in Turkey, Czechia and Poland but weakened in Russia. Meanwhile, in Czechia and Poland, supply chain disruptions intensified, and there was further evidence of price pressures building across the region.

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Emerging Europe Data Response

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The EC’s Economic Sentiment Indicators showed a further rise in regional sentiment in June, driven by improvements in retail and services sectors. That said, there is also continued evidence of growing price pressures in the region, with firms reporting higher selling price expectations across various sectors.

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The sharp improvement in Turkey’s virus situation has brightened the near-term outlook and presents a risk to our view that the central bank will start an aggressive easing cycle in the coming months. Meanwhile, the temporary export duty imposed on certain metal products in Russia this week is yet another sign that the government is becoming more concerned about the consequences of high and rising inflation.

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