13 November 2020
Anglo-Eastern Plantations Plc
("AEP" or the "Company")
Anglo-Eastern Plantations Plc, a major producer of palm oil and some rubber across Indonesia and Malaysia, today announces a trading update in respect of the third quarter since 30 June 2020.
Operational and financial performance
For the first nine months ended 30 September 2020, our own production of fresh fruit bunches ("FFB") was 812,460mt, an increase of 6% compared to the same period in 2019 (9M19: 765,240mt). North Sumatera and Bengkulu plantations contributed substantially to the increase of internal crop production with improved weather conditions and young maturing palms. FFB bought-in was 651,030mt, a decrease of 6% in comparison with the same period in 2019 (9M19: 690,470mt) because of the intense competition for external FFB. Total Crude Palm Oil ("CPO") produced was 295,330mt, marginally lower than the corresponding period in 2019 (9M19: 296,600mt) due to lower oil extraction rate.
CPO price ex-Rotterdam averaged $665/mt for the first nine months of 2020. This represents a significant increase of 26% from the average price of $528/mt recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. CPO prices have been climbing steadily since early June 2020 after the major economies relaxed their economic lockdown. CPO ex-Rotterdam closed at $763/mt on 22 October 2020. However, it is still lower by 16% from $878/mt at the start of the year.
The Group's balance sheet remains strong. The Company's Long Term Development Loans have been fully repaid as at 30 September 2020 (3Q19: $10.9m). The Group had net cash of $90.2m as at 30 September 2020 (3Q19: $81.2m).
AEP has plantations across Indonesia and Malaysia, amounting to some 128,200 hectares, of which approximately 72,696 hectares (including Plasma) are planted. The Group's new planting for the nine months ended 30 September 2020 totalled 1,776 hectares (including Plasma).
The contract for the civil and structural works for the seventh mill in North Sumatera has been awarded and the works at site are scheduled to begin in Q4 2020.
The construction of the fourth biogas plant in North Sumatera has been completed but AEP is unable to sell the surplus electricity generated as the national grid has suspended all uptake due to lower electricity demand following the shutdown of many economic activities during the virus pandemic in Indonesia.
CPO prices are expected to be strong for the remaining part of the year due to anticipated supply shortage because of the moderate La Nina weather phenomenon and the surge in the price of soyabean oil, a competing peer. However, there are rising concerns of a second and third wave of coronavirus pandemic in key importing countries which may affect market demand for palm oil.
For further enquiry, contact:
Anglo-Eastern Plantations Plc
Dato' John Lim Ewe Chuan
+44 (0)20 7216 4621
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
+44 (0)20 7886 2954
Note: The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014.