KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 - Total palm oil output intop producers Indonesia and Malaysia is expected to fall in 2020hampered by a labour shortage, and last year's dry weather andlower fertiliser application, the Council of Palm Oil ProducingCountries (CPOPC) said. The prospect of a La Nina weather patter bringingwetter-than-normal weather to Indonesia and Malaysia could alsoadversely affect crop production and harvesting, it said. "The potential of La Nina in the second half of the yearwill dampen any prospects of increased production," CPOPC, apalm oil board led by Indonesia and Malaysia, said in a reportreleased on Wednesday. CPOPC forecast Indonesia's crude palm oil production thisyear would be 1-2 million tonnes below last year's 44 milliontonnes. Output in neighbouring Malaysia is expected to drop 4.3% to19 million tonnes. "The relentless pressure from NGOs (non-governmentorganisations) to stop oil palm planting, as well as theslowdown in new planting due to low prices up to 2019 andon-going moratorium policy, will inevitably keep Indonesia'sproduction growth low," CPOPC said. Environmental groups have in recent years criticised thepalm oil industry for widespread clearing of tropical forests. Leading industry analysts had in June forecast crude palmoil production Indonesia and Malaysia would rise. James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMCInternational, said Malaysian palm oil stocks will rise above 3million tonnes by the end of the year. REUTERS
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