November 5, 2012 / 6:01 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil drops to 3-week low, stockpile concerns linger

* Market players expect Malaysian stocks at record high in
    * Prices fall to 2,381 ringgit, lowest since Oct. 12
    * India should tax crude palm oil imports at 10 pct -Mistry

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
tumbled to their lowest in more than three weeks on Monday, as
traders continued to worry over large stockpiles in the world's
No.2 producer of the tropical oil.  
    Traders and analysts expected inventories in Malaysia to
reach a fresh record high in October on strong production.
Weakness in other vegetable oil markets also weighed on palm oil
    "The market's dragged down by soybean oil and soybeans, and
local sentiment is also not good," said a trader with a foreign
commodities brokerage in Malaysia.
    "The question for oilseeds, especially palm oil, is
basically Malaysia's end-stocks figures for October. Exports may
be good, but end-stocks are not coming down. The question is how
much, and we are looking at 2.5 million or 2.6 million tonnes."
    The benchmark January contract on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 3.4 percent to close at 2,411
ringgit ($788) per tonne. Prices earlier fell to an intraday low
at 2,381 ringgit, weakest since Oct. 12.
    Total traded volumes stood at 44,480 lots of 25 tonnes each,
much higher than the usual 25,000 lots, as traders rushed to
liquidate their positions.    
    Concerns remained that strong exports of 1.6 million tonnes
in October would do little to counter healthy production that
may swell stockpiles. 
    Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
releases data on October inventory levels on Nov. 12.
    "We expect the upcoming MPOB data to be uninspiring, as
inventory is poised to increase further, to another record high
of 2.65 million tonnes," Alan Lim Seong Chun, a research analyst
with Malaysia's Kenanga Investment Bank, said in a note on
    "However, the high inventory should have already been
reflected in the very high discount of crude palm oil against
soybean oil, at more than $250 per tonne."
    The steep discount between palm and soybean oil could
trigger higher purchases from India, the world's biggest
vegetable oil importer, and top analyst Dorab Mistry called for
the country to impose an import duty of 10 percent on crude palm
oil to protect its farmers.        
    In related markets, Brent prices slipped to around $105 a
barrel on Monday, weighed down by a strong dollar and demand
destruction after Superstorm Sandy, while investors remained
cautious ahead of the U.S. presidential election. 
    In other vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for December
delivery slipped 0.8 percent in late Asian trade. The
most active May 2013 soybean oil contract on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange closed 3 percent lower.       
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1004 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      NOV2    2300   -70.00    2298    2300     107
  MY PALM OIL      DEC2    2352   -75.00    2316    2384    3513
  MY PALM OIL      JAN3    2411   -85.00    2381    2447   24037
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3    6784  -218.00    6764    6920  507862
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY3    8694  -268.00    8656    8840  924432
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC2   48.80    -0.46   48.45   49.22   13004
  NYMEX CRUDE      DEC2   84.59    -0.27   84.34   85.23   25964
  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 = 3.06 ringgit)

 (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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