August 30, 2017 / 10:36 AM / a year ago

Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures lowers fresh fruit bunch output target

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world’s third-largest palm plantation operator, lowered its target for fresh fruit bunch production for the year, state news agency Bernama reported on Wednesday.

FGV is targeting fresh fruit bunch production of 4.3 million tonnes this year, down from an earlier target of 4.5 million tonnes, due to younger trees and labour shortages, Bernama reported citing a company official’s comments at an earnings conference.

Malaysian palm oil planters had flagged earlier this year that they were bracing for a labour shortage, with workers who typically stream over the border from neighbouring Indonesia to harvest crops staying away due to the weaker ringgit and increased opportunities at home.

FGV said in May that Malaysia’s overall production would be below 2015 levels due to acute labour shortages.

Bernama also reported that FGV expects crude palm oil prices to range between 2,700 ringgit and 2,900 ringgit per tonne in the second half of the year, boosted by higher demand in China and India.

Benchmark palm oil prices were trading at 2,707 ringgit a tonne on Wednesday.

In a statement earlier on Wednesday, FGV said its second-quarter profit dropped more than 60 percent to 25.9 million ringgit from 73.6 million ringgit a year ago.

Revenue rose 2 percent to 4.22 billion ringgit. (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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