VEGOILS-Palm oil slips to 3-week low; export demand caps losses

Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:25am EDT

* Palm tracks weak soybean oil markets
    * Malaysia June 1-25 exports up 9.6 pct -ITS
    * Prices hit 2,377 ringgit, level last seen on June 5

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, June 26 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
fell to a 3-week low on Wednesday as investor sentiment remained
fragile on weak overseas markets, although losses were capped by
healthy exports and a still-weak ringgit.
    Fears of a credit crunch in China, the world's
second-largest palm oil buyer after India, sent Dalian soybean
oil for a fourth straight loss. That weighed on palm oil as the
two vegetable oils are close substitutes.        
    But rising shipments during June 1-25 over the same days in
May, indicated by cargo surveyor data on Tuesday, provided some
support to the market. 
    The benchmark September contract on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 1.3 percent to close at 
2,380 ringgit ($743) per tonne on Wednesday, a shade above the
day's trough of 2,377 ringgit, a level last seen on June 5.
    "We see U.S. and Dalian soybean oil continue falling to new
lows, this has weighed on palm oil," said a trader with a
foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. "But a weak
ringgit and local fundamentals are holding the palm market, I
see immediate support at 2,350 ringgit."  
    Total traded volumes on Wednesday stood at 22,812 lots of 25
tonnes each, lower than the average 35,000 lots.
    The ringgit lost nearly 3 percent last week against the U.S.
dollar, and has recovered slightly this week.
    Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported a 9.6
percent monthly increase in shipments for the June 1-25 period,
supported by higher festive demand from India and Pakistan ahead
of Ramadan in July. 
    Consumption of the edible oil typically rises during the
holy month as Muslims gather for communal feasts in the
evenings. 
    Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance,
will release export data for the same period on Thursday.       
 
    Palm oil prices have fallen in four out of the last five
sessions but analysts expect stockpiling and bargain hunting to
limit the price slump in the near term. 
    "We could expect decline in palm oil prices to be limited
... However, we forecast the rebound is likely to take place by
the end of June and to be capped below the 2,500 ringgit level,"
Phillip Futures said in a note on Wednesday.
    In other markets, Brent crude eased on Wednesday after
strong U.S. economic data supported plans by the U.S. Federal
Reserve to scale back its stimulus later this year, cutting the
flow of cheap central bank money that has boosted market
liquidity.     
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for December 
eased 0.6 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active January
soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange
lost 0.7 percent.     
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1009 GMT
                                                                     
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JUL3    2374   -26.00    2373    2385     515
  MY PALM OIL      AUG3    2382   -30.00    2381    2403    3383
  MY PALM OIL      SEP3    2380   -32.00    2377    2400   11224
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4    5878   -42.00    5818    5960  649500
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN4    7332   -64.00    7278    7442 1121452
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC3   45.63    -0.32   45.60   46.11    3877
  NYMEX CRUDE      AUG3   94.88    -0.44   94.27   95.37   30137
                                                                     
  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=3.203 ringgit)

 (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)