Thursday, January 10, 2008

UPTICK ALERT: Palm oil crisis driven by ethanol fuel push

From The Australian:

THE Malaysian Government has been forced to release emergency stocks of palm oil to stop a wave of panic buying after cooking oil prices soared.

The crisis has prompted palm oil rationing in a country that is one of the world's largest producers of the commodity, and the rush to buy it coincides with growing fears of cooking oil shortages before the banquets and general rise in the consumption of fried food over the Chinese new year.

Inventories are already low. The ethnic diversity of Malaysia means that Christmas, the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr and the Hindu celebration of Diwali are all marked with equal vigour, with festivities focusing largely on eating.

Refineries and palm oil producers in Malaysia have been ordered to step up monthly output of subsidised oil* to 70,000 tonnes in an increase of nearly 30 per cent....MORE

*What's a pre-req. to a 1000 level class?