December 31, 2012 / 5:36 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm slips, set to post worst annual loss since 2008

* Futures down 22 pct since start of year, steepest loss
since 2008
    * Malaysia's December exports down 5.7 pct -ITS
    * Malaysia's new tax structure in focus for 2013 -trader
    * Malaysia's weather office upgrades heavy rain warning from
yellow to orange stage

 (Updates prices, adds details)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
fell on Monday, weighed by lower exports although losses were
limited by expectations that heavy rains in the world's No.2
producer may disrupt production and bring down record high
    Palm oil is on track to notch its worst annual performance
since the financial crisis in 2008, losing more than one-fifth
thanks to high stocks and a sluggish global growth that has
dented edible oil demand.
    For the coming year, traders are watching the impact of
Malaysia's zero export tax for crude palm oil in January and a
stricter import rule for edible oil to be enforced by China, the
world's second-largest edible oil buyer. 
    "Malaysia's new export duty will be tested. There are more
concerns on the tax structure because it is now an even
playground for both countries (Malaysia and Indonesia)," said a
dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia. 
    "I foresee an even fiercer price competition."
    Malaysian cargoes are still likely to be cheaper as it set
the January export tax rate at zero compared to Indonesia's 7.5
    By the midday break, the benchmark March contract 
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had lost 1 percent
percent to 2,471 ringgit ($808) per tonne. 
    Prices hit a high of 2,515 ringgit per tonne on Friday -- a
level last seen on Nov. 2, prompted some traders to book profits
soon after.
    Total traded volumes stood at 18,786 lots of 25 tonnes each,
higher than the usual 12,500 lots. 
    Malaysian palm exports during December fell 5.7 percent to
1,568,510 tonnes from 1,663,092 tonnes a month ago, said cargo
surveyor Intertek Testing Services on Monday.    
    Another cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance will
issue exports data for the same period later in the day.
    Concerns of heavy rains in Malaysia disrupting supply
persisted after the weather office upgraded its warning on
Monday from yellow to orange stage for key producing states such
as Pahang and Johor.     
    Brent crude was steady above $110 per barrel on Monday on
concerns over the U.S. fiscal crisis that could erode fuel
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for March
delivery rose 0.2 percent in early Asian trade. The most
active May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity
Exchange had gained 0.4 percent by the midday break.    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0523 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JAN3    2365    -2.00    2359    2370     304
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2428   -23.00    2428    2470    1079
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2471   -26.00    2470    2517    5992
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3    7006   +38.00    6966    7044  366186
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY3    8678   +36.00    8664    8740  299310
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   49.56    +0.12   49.29   49.70    5709
  NYMEX CRUDE      FEB3   90.84    +0.04   90.37   90.91    4462
  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=3.0565 ringgit)

 (Editing by Niluksi Koswanage)

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