Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 13 (2) September 2013 p. 38-51

The Impact of La Niña and El Niño Events on Crude Palm Oil Prices: An Econometric Analysis

Ayat K Ab Rahman*; Ramli Abdullah; N Balu and Faizah Mohd Shariff
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


Both the La Niña and El Niño events are deemed as being strong market sentiments issues that supported crude palm oil (CPO) prices in an upward trend. An analysis carried out was shown that both events have a positive relationship with CPO price movements in the market. This study also reveals that the effect of the La Niña event on CPO prices is greater than that of the El Niño event. Production will normally decline as heavy rainfall usually brings floods that could disrupt harvesting and the collection of fruits in low lying oil palm areas. Palm oil stock levels could also decline due to lower supply availability. In contrast, the effect of the El Niño event is seen on a long-term basis. Hot weather conditions during El Niño could result in less rainfall and have a stress effect on oil palm. This could bring down the yield of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production in the future. The study revealed that past El Niño events (at lagged 8 to 22 months) can also affect current CPO production. With the incorporation of these two phenomena into the model (La Niña and El Niño events) developed for this study, it was found that the CPO price can be forecast more accurately. By using the model, the direct and indirect impact of La Niña and El Niño events on CPO prices can be determined. The results also showed that when La Niña and El Niño events occur, CPO production in a year will decline by 3.37%, palm oil stock level will decline by 2.5%, while the CPO price is likely to be higher by 10.2% as compared to a situation when the phenomenon did not occur.

About Post Author


* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
E-mail: ayat@mpob.gov.my