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VSA CAPITAL MARKET MOVERS - DekelOil Public Limited

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VSA Morning Agri Comment, 10/01/19

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DekelOil Public Limited - Q4 Production & Sales Update

Côte d'Ivoire agricultural company DekelOil Public Limited (LON:DKL) has announced a production update for Q4 2018.

  • Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) Collected: 24,903t, -23.1% YoY (Q4 2017: 32,364t)
  • Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Production: 5,464t, -22.6% YoY (Q4 2017: 7,055t)
  • CPO Sales: 4,950t, -24.8% YoY (Q4 2017: 6,586t)
  • Average CPO Selling Price: €517/t, -14.8% YoY (Q4 2017: €607/t)

VSA Comment

Following a 15% YoY increase in FFB collected in Q3, we were hopeful that Q4 would provide continued evidence of a strong recovery in crop levels and provide upside to our forecasts. Unfortunately, today’s data confirms that this was not the case. However, it should be noted that the comparable period appears to have been an exceptionally good quarter for cropping and Q4 CPO production was more than 15% ahead of production in Q4 2016.

Over the full-year, DKL collected 146,036t of FFB and produced 33,077t of CPO, in-line with our forecasts of 147,525t and 33,341t, respectively. Palm kernel oil (PKO) sales (2,861t sold vs. 2,124t estimate) and palm kernel cake (PKC) sales (3,795t sold vs. 2,950t estimate) were significantly higher than we had estimated.

Pricing premiums over the European benchmark in H2 (+19% in Q4, +11% in Q3) allowed DKL to secure an average FY CPO selling price above our forecasts (€543/t vs. €523/t estimated). Along with the higher-than-forecast PKO and PKC sales, this may provide slight upside to our financial forecasts for FY 2018 (revenue of c€20m and net loss of c€3m). Given strong regional demand, we expect premium pricing to persist through FY 2019.

In terms of CPO pricing outlook, the European benchmark price has increased more than 20% since mid-November to US$535/t (€465/t). Although South East Asian palm oil stocks are currently high, we are now entering the low production season for that region, with Chinese and Indian demand expected to increase, and Malaysian and Indonesian domestic demand also likely to rise as higher biodiesel blending regulations are rolled out. In addition, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has put a 90% chance of an El Niño forming in Q1. A strong El Niño has the potential to depress palm oil production and boost pricing.

On the bearish side, recent crude oil price falls have eliminated the premium of gasoil over Malaysian CPO (having been US$200/t+ in October). This will reduce discretionary palm-based biodiesel demand and could delay the implementation of further biodiesel blending regulations.

With 2018 now behind it, attention will turn to 2019, particularly with regards to the upcoming high season. In anticipation of this, DKL has established a fourth FFB collection centre near to its mill. Although never guaranteed, low production years are often followed by high production years, so we are hopeful that H1 2019 will be a positive one for DKL in terms of production. We look forward to a Q1 2019 production update in early April to confirm this either way. Recent CPO price increases, if sustained, could also help deliver an improved financial performance in FY 2019.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 12p.


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