Palm Oil

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Dekel Agri-Vision has been boosted by record high prices for palm oil despite falling volumes at its operations in the Ivory Coast.

In a trading update for the half year to 30 June, the group reported a 36.3% fall in crude palm oil (CPO) production to 16,893 tonnes, while palm kernel oil (PKO) production decreased 25.2%.

Despite the “unusually” low volumes for the high season, which runs from February to May, the record high prices for CPO and PKO, along with strong extraction rates, meant the financial performance in the first half remained “strong” with increased gross margin percentage largely offsetting lower volumes.

There was a 24$ increase in the average realised CPO prices to record levels of €1,013 per tonne in the half, with average realised prices for PKO also at a record level of €1,454 a tonne, up 83.6% year on year.

Dekel executive director Lincoln Moore said: “We remain optimistic that the strong current international CPO prices will continue to trade at levels above historical averages of €750 per tonne.

“In addition, given the high levels of oil palm estates planted over the past 5-10 years in our region, we expect the current low levels of fresh fruit bunches volumes are a temporary agronomic variation.

“Therefore, together with continued high prices, the palm oil Operation is well-positioned to deliver a sustained period of operating profitability.”

Morning update

Domino’s Pizza Group has appointed Edward Jamieson as its new chief financial officer.

Jamieson, who is expected to join the business in October 2022, most served as regional finance director UK & Ireland at Just Eat Takeaway.

Prior to joining Just Eat as UK finance director in 2018, Jamieson gained multinational experience with senior finance roles at the likes of Amazon and Diageo. He also led an international finance team at Aggreko.

Jamieson will replace current interim CFO David Surdeau, who joined Domino’s in November 2021.

Chairman Matt Shattock said: “We are delighted to have attracted a CFO of Edward’s calibre to Domino’s.

“He brings a great blend of senior financial experience and a background in big consumer, digitally led brands which is exactly what we need to continue growing the Domino’s business.”

The FTSE 100 opened sharply down as investors worried about potential interest rate rises in the US to deal with inflation. The blue-chip index fell 1.1% to 7,120.32pts this morning.

Early risers in food and drink included Bakkavor, up 5.6% to 95p, Glanbia, up 4.5% to €10.95, McBride, up 2.5% to 17p, Nichols, up 1.8% to 1,221p, and Fever-Tree Drinks, up 1.1% to 1,310p.

SSP Group, WH Smith, THG and Greggs were among the fallers, down 3.1% to 230.6p, 2% to 1,377.5p, 1.8% to 80.6p and 1.8% to 1,909p respectively.

This week in the City

It’s looking like a quieter week as the City gears up for the summer holidays.

Tomorrow brings the latest monthly retail sales figures from the BRC-KPMG and the Barclaycard consumer spending data.

Outside of that there are no scheduled trading updates.