- Palm oil producer REA said it missed its annual crop output target after palms entered a 'resting phase' after a bumper 2018.

French fruit bunch crops harvested in calendar 2019 rose to 800,666, above the 800,050 harvested in 2018 but below a 900,000 company target.

Crude palm oil production rose to 224,856 tonnes, up from 217,721 tonnes, as extraction rates improved to 23.0% from 22.5%.

'Upgrading and repair works in the mills helped to boost extraction rates which should improve further as the continuing works are completed during the course of 2020,' REA said.

'Delays with contractors and in supplies of materials postponed completion of the full planned expansion of Satria oil mill until the current year, but current mill capacity remains sufficient to process all of the group's fresh fruit bunches production as well as current levels of fruit purchases from third parties.'

'The full planned expansion is expected to be completed well in advance of the group's peak crop requirements.'

Having opened 2019 at $517 per tonne, CIF Rotterdam crude palm oil prices drifted to a low of $481 per tonne in July, before recovering steadily over the final four months of the year to $860 per tonne at the end of December.

The recovery had consolidated, REA said, in the first weeks of 2020, with the price currently at $795 per tonne.

At 9:20am: [LON:RE.] R E A Holdings PLC share price was -5.5p at 165.5p

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