VEGOILS-Palm slips to lowest in over a week, investors await export data

Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:15am EDT

Related Topics

* Palm oil prices slip to lowest since March 19
    * Lower output in March crucial for palm in coming months
-trader
    * Prices could fall to 1,953 ringgit in Q2 -technicals

 (Updates prices)
    By Anuradha Raghu
    KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil
futures fell to a more-than-one-week low on Thursday, with
investors avoiding risky moves as they await key industry export
data due next week.
    Fears over Cyprus's bailout deal damaging the euro zone's
fragile recovery roiled global financial and commodity markets,
including palm, most of this week and kept investors on edge. 
    Palm's dismal export performance in the first 25 days of the
month also upset market players and weighed on prices, which
have lost more than three percent this week. Exports fell 7.5
percent over the period from March 1 to 25, from a month ago,
due to a slowdown in shipments of crude palm oil.
    Traders are now waiting for cargo surveyor data on exports 
for the full month, due next Monday, and industry regulator data
on output and inventory, due in mid-April, to gauge palm's
direction in the coming months.  
    "The market is consolidating and is still unsure -- there's 
no new factor currently moving this market," said a trader with
a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia. 
    "Everything depends on the production in March. If
production this month is lower, then you will see stocks
breaking below 2 million tonnes, for sure," he added.
    The benchmark June contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange lost 1.5 percent to 2,411 ringgit ($779)
per tonne by the close, which is also its intraday low, a level
unseen since March 19. 
    Total traded volume stood at 43,185 lots of 25 tonnes each,
higher than the average 35,000 tonnes seen so far this year.
    Technicals for the next quarter were bearish for Malaysian
palm oil. Prices are expected to fall to 1,953 ringgit,
indicated by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci ratio analysis,
said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.  
    Stockpiles in February in Malaysia, the world's No.2
producer, inched down 5 percent from January to stand at 2.44
million tonnes now. Stocks had hit a record high of 2.63 million
tonnes in December as strong production and tepid global demand
caused prices to tumble more than 20 percent in 2012.
    Traders say total exports of palm oil products in March need
to rise above 1.5 million tonnes for prices to recover, but also
stressed that output of the vegetable oil would play a big role.
    "It's very critical this month. If the base production is
low this month, then for the next few months you'll still have a
low base," the Malaysia-based trader said.
    In other markets, Brent futures held above $109 a barrel on
Thursday on hopes of a revival in demand growth in the world's
biggest consumer, the United States, following a surprise fall
in product inventories, while worries over Europe's debt
problems capped gains. 
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May delivery
 lost 0.4 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active
September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities
Exchange closed 0.8 percent lower.     
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1003 GMT
                                                                           
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2370   -40.00    2370    2400      62
  MY PALM OIL      MAY3    2401   -33.00    2399    2419    3159
  MY PALM OIL      JUN3    2411   -37.00    2411    2431   21048
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    6294   -88.00    6278    6420  593314
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    8036   -66.00    8020    8144  633428
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAY3   50.60    -0.21   50.50   50.95    5069
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAY3   96.64    +0.06   96.45   96.94   13859
                                                                           
  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=3.095 ringgit)   

 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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