Palm oil drops from 7-week top ahead of official data release


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures dropped over 1% in evening trade on Tuesday, falling from a near seven-week high hit earlier, weighed down by expectations of sluggish exports.

The market also declined ahead of official data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, which is forecasting stockpiles rising to their highest in over two years.

The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.1% to RM2,597 (US$648.12) a tonne at the close of trade, its sharpest daily drop in almost three weeks.

Earlier in the session, it had risen to its highest since Nov. 24 at RM2,635 a tonne on stronger demand expectations and a weaker ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, which typically makes the oil cheaper for foreign buyers and spurs demand.

Trading volumes stood at 45,069 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.

“The market weakened on rumours that exports (from Jan. 1-10) will come in flat or lower (than the corresponding period last month),” said a trader from Kuala Lumpur.

Cargo surveyors are expected to release Malaysian palm oil shipment data after 0300 GMT on Wednesday.

Official data for December stockpiles, production and exports from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board is also scheduled for release after 0430 GMT on Wednesday.

In other related edible oils, the March soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped 0.2%, while the May soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.3%.

The Dalian January palm oil contract gained 0.8%.

Palm oil prices track the performance of other edible oils, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices as of 1105 GMT

Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low    High  Volume
MY PALM OIL JAN8 2585 -28.00 2563 2591 97
MY PALM OIL FEB8 2602 -28.00 2593 2635 1343
MY PALM OIL MAR8 2605 -28.00 2593 2641 21829
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY8 5366 +44.00 5324 5368 224360
CHINA SOYOIL MAY8 5794 +16.00 5754 5794 232778
CBOT SOY OIL MAR8 33.47 +0.04 33.34 33.65 7177
INDIA PALM OIL JAN8 559.50 -2.30 558.40 564.7 922
INDIA SOYOIL JAN8 739.9 +0.50 738.9 741.5 4380
NYMEX CRUDE FEB8 61.88 +0.15 61.80 62.56 117107

Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in US cents per pound
Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
Crude in US dollars per barrel

(US$1 = RM4.0070)
(US$1 = 63.7100 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.5250 Chinese yuan)

Source : The Edge Markets


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