VEGOILS-Palm oil slips to 2-month low as exports remain weak
* Malaysia July 1-15 palm oil exports fall 22-24 pct - ITS, SGS * Palm oil to drop to 2,233 ringgit - technicals * Malaysia sets Aug export tax unchanged at 4.5 pct * India's June refined palm oil imports drop on weak rupee (Updates prices, adds SGS export data) By Chew Yee Kiat SINGAPORE, July 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell to their lowest in more than two months on Monday as worries persisted over weakening demand for the edible oil. Malaysian palm oil shipments for the July 1-15 period fell 22.8 percent to 547,857 tonnes from 709,860 a month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Monday. Another cargo surveyor reported a 24.1 percent decline to 536,391 tonnes for the same period. "Exports in the first 15 days were steadier compared to the first 10 days but they are still weak, and hopefully they will recover by the end of the month," said a dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. The benchmark September contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 1 percent on Monday to close at 2,278 ringgit ($714) per tonne. Prices earlier fell as much as 2.9 percent to 2,234 ringgit, the lowest level since May 6. The September contract slumped 3 percent on Friday, the steepest single-day loss since Nov. 5, as traders feared the weak exports will stretch through the month. Total traded volume on Monday stood at 47,577 lots of 25 tonnes each, well above the average 35,000 lots. Prices moved in a wide range between 2,234 to 2,287 ringgit. India's refined palm oil imports fell to 296,230 tonnes in June, the first monthly drop since February, as weakness in the rupee currency made overseas purchases more expensive. But the figures were still double that of last year and continue to hit India's oilseed growers and refiners, with plants operating well below capacity. Malaysia, the world's No.2 palm oil producer, will set its crude palm oil export tax for August at 4.5 percent, unchanged from a month ago, a government circular showed on Monday. Top producer Indonesia is expected to announce its export tax for August later in the month. Traders are keeping an eye on Malaysia's output trend as an uptick in production data from industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board signalled the start of a higher yield cycle. Higher oilseed supplies in the second half of the year may depress palm oil prices further, which have lost 6.6 percent so far this year. In other markets, Brent crude edged lower on Monday as data showing a slowdown in China's economic growth and weak momentum in the world's second-largest oil consumer weighed on the outlook for demand. Weakness in other vegetable oil markets also weighed on palm oil. The U.S. soyoil contract for December fell 1 percent in late Asian trade, while the most-active January soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange lost 1.6 percent. Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1005 GMT Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume MY PALM OIL JUL3 0 +0.00 0 0 0 MY PALM OIL AUG3 2287 -22.00 2243 2294 1404 MY PALM OIL SEP3 2278 -23.00 2234 2287 21200 CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4 5640 -202.00 5638 5780 787282 CHINA SOYOIL JAN4 7174 -116.00 7160 7280 943886 CBOT SOY OIL DEC3 45.28 -0.47 45.14 45.74 6986 NYMEX CRUDE AUG3 105.46 -0.49 105.26 106.38 24197 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=3.189 ringgit) (Editing by Anand Basu and Tom Hogue)
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