* Exports and stocks data for March awaited, due on April 10
* Palm oil to drop to 2,335 ringgit -technicals
By Anuradha Raghu
KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 Malaysian palm oil futures
inched lower on Thursday, tracking weakness in competing soy
markets, with many investors preferring to stay on the sidelines
ahead of key industry data due next week.
Industry regulator Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will
release on Wednesday official figures of March's output levels
and palm inventories, an important indicator that could help
gauge the direction of the world's most traded edible oil.
Cargo surveyor data out earlier this week showed better
exports in March than February, marking the first monthly rise
in four months, boosted by higher shipments of refined products.
On Thursday, however, investors focused on soybean's fall
for a second straight session. Lower soybean prices could wean
away demand from palm oil.
"The external implications are bearish and that is going to
put a lot of influence on the market even though the local front
is supportive," said a trader with a foreign commodities
brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
By market close, the benchmark June contract on the
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had edged down 0.2 percent
to 2,392 ringgit ($777) per tonne. Prices on Monday fell to
2,335 ringgit, the lowest in nearly three months.
Total traded volume stood at 23,044 lots of 25 tonnes each,
thinner than the average 35,000 lots seen so far this year.
"We're waiting for next week when the MPOB figures will be
announced. I'm looking at a short term range of 2,350 to 2,400
ringgit," the Kuala Lumpur trader added.
Technical analysis showed palm oil is expected to drop to
its Monday low of 2,335 ringgit per tonne, as indicated by its
wave pattern and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, said Reuters
market analyst Wang Tao.
Stockpiles in Malaysia, the world's No.2 producer of the
tropical oil, currently stand at 2.44 million tonnes. Investors
are pinning hopes that the higher exports in March would ease
stocks to at least 2.35 million tonnes, despite expectations
that production levels could have risen as well.
In other markets, Brent crude oil steadied at around $107
per barrel on Thursday after its biggest fall in five months on
signs of faltering economic growth and rising stocks of fuel.
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May delivery
gained 0.2 percent in late Asian trade. The Dalian
Commodities Exchange will be closed until Monday for a public
holiday in China.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1006 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL APR3 2380 +9.00 2370 2380 20
MY PALM OIL MAY3 2383 -5.00 2351 2384 1338
MY PALM OIL JUN3 2392 -4.00 2360 2394 12582
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 6216 +54.00 6166 6300 851898
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 7858 +12.00 7802 7914 708660
CBOT SOY OIL MAY3 49.23 +0.09 48.96 49.25 4691
NYMEX CRUDE MAY3 94.45 +0.00 94.23 94.65 21794
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
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)