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VEGOILS-Palm edges lower on higher export tax, posts weekly loss
February 15, 2013 / 6:31 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm edges lower on higher export tax, posts weekly loss

* Malaysia sets March export tax at 4.5 pct, up from zero
pct in Feb
    * Malaysia's Feb 1-15 palm oil exports up 18.1 pct -ITS
    * Shipments up 13.6 percent for the same period

 (Updates throughout, adds SGS export data)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
fell to their lowest in more than two weeks on Friday, giving up
earlier gains as investors turned cautious after the government
raised its crude palm oil export tax for March.
    The edible oil rose in the morning session after cargo
surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported a 18.1 percent
increase in Malaysian palm oil exports for the first half of
February from a month ago. 
    Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance,
also reported a 13.6 percent rise in shipments for the same
    But selling pressure emerged after the world's No.2 palm oil
producer said it will set its crude palm oil export tax for
March at 4.5 percent, up from February's zero percent, making
the crude grade more expensive for overseas buyers.
    "The export tax was more important in the traders' minds,"
said a dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala
    The benchmark April contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange closed 0.4 percent lower at 2,486 ringgit
($804) per tonne. Prices dropped as low as 2,476 ringgit, the
lowest level since Jan. 30. 
    Total traded volumes stood at 27,269 lots of 25 tonnes each,
slightly higher than the average of 25,000 tonnes.
    For the week, palm oil posted a 2.9 percent loss, snapping
four straight weeks of gains.
    A zero-percent duty tax structure introduced by Malaysia in
January and February had provided positive sentiment for
investors, but forecasts of bumper soy crops in Latin America,
palm's vegetable oil competitor, has weighed on the market and
kept prices rangebound.
    "For the past few months, high stockpiles and improving
weather conditions in Brazil and Argentina have continued to
weigh on prices," said Phillip Futures analyst Ker Chung Yang in
    In other markets, Brent crude eased below $118 per barrel on
Friday and was heading for its first weekly loss in five after
disappointing euro zone data revived concerns about the troubled
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for March
delivery inched up 0.1 percent in late Asian trade. The
Dalian Commodity Exchange is closed for the Lunar New Year
holidays and will resume trading on Monday.
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1007 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2428    -8.00    2428    2428       1
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2456   -19.00    2445    2495    1846
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2486    -9.00    2476    2521   11899
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    7088   -24.00    7082    7156  307504
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    8714   -42.00    8712    8788  218624
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   51.75    +0.05   51.55   51.98    4076
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAR3   96.89    -0.42   96.80   97.47   11567
  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=3.092 ringgit)

 (Additional reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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