VEGOILS-Palm oil closes lower on demand concerns
* Malaysia Nov. 1-20 exports down 3.8 pct m/m to 1.01 mln T -SGS * Chinese demand rises, but exports to India, Europe drop (Updates prices) By Chew Yee Kiat SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures eased on Wednesday, inching down for a second straight session as lacklustre export data fuelled traders' concerns over a slowdown in demand. Malaysian palm exports for Nov. 1-20 fell 3.3 percent to 1.02 million tonnes from a month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Tuesday. Another surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a drop of 3.8 percent in shipments for the same period. Although Chinese demand continued to grow on festival buying ahead of the Lunar New Year and as buyers stocked up before stricter quality measures take effect in 2013, palm oil prices were weighed down by much weaker Malaysian shipments to Europe and India. "The market is fundamentally bearish and prices will further correct before positive sentiment enters the market," said a trader with a Malaysian commodities brokerage. "A correction towards 2,350 to 2,400 ringgit per tonne should be healthy for both consumers and packers." The benchmark February contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 0.6 percent to close at 2,443 ringgit ($798) per tonne. Prices on Tuesday had risen to 2,485 ringgit, the highest since Nov. 2. Total traded volumes surged to 29,018 lots of 25 tonnes each, compared to the usual 25,000 lots. European demand for palm oil could take a further hit after international lenders failed for a second week running to agree on how to get Greece's debt down to a sustainable level, suggesting the debt crisis could still drag on. However, in a bullish sign for palm oil, Brent crude rose above $110 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by fears of supply disruption from the Middle East, as clashes raged between Palestinians and Israelis despite overnight truce talks. In other vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for December delivery fell 0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most active May 2013 soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 0.8 percent higher. Traders also noted news on Olam International Limited , a Singapore commodities trader. Muddy Waters stepped up its battle against Olam with a letter criticising the firm's debt and cash burn. But Olam shares rebounded on Wednesday, in a sign that investors were relieved that Muddy Waters had yet to publish a long, detailed report on the company as it has with other targets. Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1002 GMT Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume MY PALM OIL DEC2 2340 -29.00 2338 2360 552 MY PALM OIL JAN3 2402 -24.00 2394 2426 6728 MY PALM OIL FEB3 2443 -14.00 2427 2460 14038 CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3 6782 +24.00 6734 6798 455950 CHINA SOYOIL MAY3 8538 +64.00 8484 8548 644404 CBOT SOY OIL DEC2 48.20 -0.12 47.85 48.39 5876 NYMEX CRUDE JAN3 87.21 +0.47 86.65 87.40 32446 Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel ($1=3.07 ringgit) (Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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