KUALA LUMPUR: The Palm and Lauric Oils Outlook Conference (POC) 2012 attendance matched that of last year's, with more than 2,000 delegates gathering here.
There are more new faces from China. Their increasingly dominating presence at the POC series is reflective of their clout in the industry.
Bursa Malaysia has also provided more translation earpieces for Chinese traders who arrived in large groups.
China's robust economy, which has overtaken Japan as the world's second biggest after the US, is fuelling a bigger appetite for commodities like palm oil which is mainly made into cooking oil, baking fats, soaps, shampoos, moisturisers, biodegradable laundry detergents, and even health supplements.
For more than 20 years, the POC series has been able to attract top executives from major companies, traders and even foreign government officials to converge on Kuala Lumpur to get an insight on where the palm oil price is heading.
POC 2012, the 23rd edition of the series, carries the theme "Global Shocks ... Local Impact". This is in view of the volatile developments in the global economy and their effect on futures markets.
Following an agreement between CME Group and Bursa Malaysia in 2010, traders were introduced to palm oil contracts on the CME Globex, a global electronic trading system for futures and options.
Celebrity-status palm oil analysts Thomas Mielke, Dorab Mistry and Dr James Fry also flew into Kuala Lumpur two days ago. They are due to give their palm oil price forecasts today.
Meanwhile, at a POC 2012 gala dinner yesterday, Kenanga Deutsche Futures Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd, emerged the top overall performer for nine years in a row in attracting the biggest trades into Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.
"We strive to challenge ourselves to maintain our position as the leading futures brokerage in Malaysia," said K&N Kenanga group managing director Chay Wai Leong, when receiving the award from Bursa Malaysia Bhd chairman Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah.