* 2017 palm oil output to rise after drought hit yields yr
* Rising production, slowing Indian demand to anchor prices
By Naveen Thukral
KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 World palm oil production
is forecast to climb 11 percent to 65 million tonnes this year
from 58.3 million tonnes a year ago as near perfect weather
boosts yields, a senior industry official said on Tuesday.
"We are seeing excellent weather since October, there have
been ample rains to boost productivity across Malaysia and
Indonesia," said M.R. Chandran, a veteran industry official who
now works as a consultant.
"Normally February and March are dry months but there have
been very good rains."
Indonesia and Malaysia account for around 80 percent of
global production of palm oil, used in products ranging from
cookies to soap and as a biofuel.
Rising production and slowing demand from top importers,
however, are expected to keep a lid on palm oil prices.
India's booming edible oil imports are set to decline or
hold flat in the year to October 2017, failing to grow for the
first time in six years, as near record domestic oilseed output
boosts supplies, industry executives said.
The benchmark Bursa Malaysia crude palm oil futures
fell to their lowest since early November last week on
slowing demand and the outlook for higher production, although
the market has since picked up on technicals and price gains for
rival soybean oil.
Indonesia is expected to produce 34.8 million tonnes of
crude palm oil in 2017, up from 31.8 million tonnes a year ago,
when drought due to an El Nino weather pattern curbed yields,
Chandran said on the sidelines of an industry conference.
Malaysia is expected to produce 20 million tonnes of palm
oil this year as against 17.3 million tonnes in 2016, he said.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin)