* Malaysia July 1-15 palm oil exports fall 22-24 pct - ITS,
* 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 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
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
(Editing by Anand Basu and Tom Hogue)