Belgian agro-industrial company Sipef reported palm oil production growing 8.4% last year against 2014, in its 2015 annual results.

“The vigorous overall growth in the fourth quarter (+11.3%) was recorded, particularly on our own plantations in Indonesia, both in the mature plantations in North Sumatra and those in Bengkulu province. At Hargy Oil Palms in Papua New Guinea, too, the growing maturity of the newly planted areas led to 8.2% growth,” the company said.

“We can, therefore, safely say that the negative impact of El Niño, which nevertheless was clearly noticeable in the overall output volumes of Indonesia and Malaysia, has left the places where our plantations are located virtually unaffected.”

Sipef said persistently low world market prices for palm oil and rubber were observed, and revenue for palm oil was down 22%, despite increased volumes.

Low selling prices resulted in a 64.5% decrease in profit before tax. The net result amounted to US$19,226,000 or 60.7% down on 2014.

“At current selling prices, we expect an even slightly lower result in 2016.”

Sipef mainly holds majority stakes in tropical businesses, which it manages and operates. The group produces a number of different commodities, principally palm oil.