* Palm oil's support at 2,500 ringgit, at least for 6 months
* Production for April-June quarter forecast to rise 3
* Plantation, property spin-offs targeted for end-2017
(Adds production forecast, comment about listing plans.)
KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 Crude palm oil prices are
expected to stay above 2,500 ringgit ($584) per tonne for the
next six months, the chief executive of Sime Darby Bhd
, the world's largest oil palm planter by land size,
said on Wednesday.
Spot palm prices, currently at 2,700 ringgit per tonne, will
see support at 2,500 ringgit for the next few months, Mohd Bakke
Salleh told reporters after Sime Darby reported a rise in
"For next month, we think the range is 2,600 to 2,800
ringgit per tonne of crude palm oil. We do not think price will
drop below 2,500 ringgit, at least for the next six months,"
Sime Darby's crude palm oil production for the April-June
quarter is forecast to rise 3 percent, plantation division
managing director Franki Anthony Dass said.
The company expects another 3 percent increase in production
in the last quarter of the financial year, largely from
Malaysia, with output from New Britain in Papua New Guinea and
Indonesia remaining largely flat.
"We will close the year 3-4 percent higher than last year,"
Palm oil output in Malaysia, the world's No.2 producer of
the tropical oil, is expected to rise from now until the third
quarter of the year in line with seasonal trend and as the crop
damaging effects of a dry weather El Nino wear off.
In turn, palm prices are widely expected to fall.
On listing two of its divisions as "pure play" companies,
Bakke said external candidates can be expected in leadership
roles in the plantation and property units.
The conglomerate said early this year it planned separate
listings of its plantations and property businesses on the local
stock exchange. Sime Darby would keep its trading and logistics
business in the parent company that would retain its listed
"We hope to see the listing before the end of the year; we'd
like to complete the exercise before the December break," Bakke
said, adding Sime Darby aimed to submit listing proposals in the
In February, Sime Darby said it would undergo a
restructuring to ensure "optimal capital structure" for its
plantations and property businesses spin off.
Sime Darby's plantations and property businesses accounted
for nearly 70 percent of its profit during the 2016 business
($1 = 4.2810 ringgit)
(Reporting by Emily Chow and Liz Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue and