VEGOILS-Palm slips to lowest in nearly 3 weeks, export data eyed

Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:27am EDT

* Prices hit 2,394 ringgit, lowest since June 6
    * Traded volumes thin at 25,843 lots
    * Malaysia June 1-25 export data due Tues

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, June 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
fell to their lowest in almost three weeks on Monday as they
tracked weaker soybean oil markets, but losses were limited by
expectations of robust export data on Tuesday.
    Soybean oil prices were pressured as optimal crop weather in
the U.S. Midwest raised prospects of higher soybean supplies.
Palm oil tends to track soybean oil prices closely as the two
are close substitutes.    
    But palm oil losses were trimmed by export data for the June
1-20 period and expectations that strong demand would continue. 
    "Prices are tracking losses in overseas soybean oil ...
Fundamentals are still positive with exports going strong and
the ringgit still weak," said a trader with a local commodities
brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.    
    The benchmark September contract on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 1.5 percent to close at 2,403
ringgit ($746) per tonne. Prices earlier fell to an intraday low
of 2,394 ringgit, a level last seen on June 6.
    Total traded volumes were thin at 25,843 lots of 25 tonnes
each, well below the average 35,000 lots.
    Traders are looking ahead to higher demand ahead of the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins in July this year.
Consumption of the edible oil typically rises during the period
as Muslims gather for communal feasts.     
    On top of that, a weaker ringgit against the dollar
could spur more purchases of crude palm oil as it makes the
feedstock cheaper for overseas buyers.    
    Cargo surveyors Intertek Testing Services and Societe
Generale de Surveillance will issue June 1-25 Malaysian palm oil
exports on Tuesday. Export data for the June 1-20 period showed
a monthly increase of as much as 16 percent.     
    Higher shipments and stagnant production growth would ease
Malaysian palm oil stocks further in June after a decline to
1.82 million tonnes at end-May, the lowest in nearly a year.
      
    Analysts feared palm oil harvesting in Malaysia could slow
this month, as smoke from land-clearing fires in Indonesia
pushed air pollution above hazardous levels in several parts of
Johor. 
    "We are concerned that the severe haze may cripple palm oil
supplies from estates engulfed by the haze," Ivy Ng, an analyst
with Malaysia's CIMB Investment Bank, said in a note on Monday.
    In other markets, Brent crude futures traded around $101 a
barrel on Monday, hurt by a stronger dollar and concerns over
slower growth in demand for oil in the United States and China.
     
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July edged
down 0.6 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active January
soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange
lost 2.3 percent.
            
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1004 GMT
                                                                                     
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JUL3    2390   -41.00    2385    2416     364
  MY PALM OIL      AUG3    2409   -37.00    2401    2434    4828
  MY PALM OIL      SEP3    2403   -36.00    2394    2429   14439
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4    5918  -118.00    5902    6016  562994
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN4    7376  -176.00    7352    7460  836728
  CBOT SOY OIL     JUL3   47.73    -0.29   47.60   48.05    3779
  NYMEX CRUDE      AUG3   93.59    -0.10   92.67   93.94   28038
                                                                                     
  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=3.22 ringgit)

 (Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue)
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