Palm oil production in Colombia is forecast to rise by 10% due to increased output, Nasdaq reported the president of the National Federation of Oil Palm Growers (FEDEPALMA) as saying on 2 September.

The producers’ association expected palm oil production in the country to reach 1.65M tonnes this year.

Production in the first half had already risen 8% to 953,000 tonnes due to the harvesting of crops planted in previous years and an increase in the workforce, FEDEPALMA president Jens Mensa was quoted as saying.

“It puts us on a path to recovery once again, compared to what we had last year when there was a contraction of production, and it has compensated in a way for what we’ve lost in price,” Mesa added.

Producers had been forced to reduce prices to try to counteract a fall in compensation due to lockdown measures to contain COVID-19.

“In the export markets we observed the same situation, so sacrificing price during the first semester was a way of moving exports and local sales,” Mesa said.

“And, by surprise… we’ve seen a slight continuing recovery,” he added.

Colombian palm oil sales had reached around US$1bn last year, Nasdaq said, half in exports.

Europe was the destination for about 60% of Colombian exports. However, plans to restrict palm oil purchases for environmental reasons could have a negative impact, Mesa said.