April 1, 2013 / 10:27 AM / in 5 years

VEGOILS-Palm oil eases to near 3-month low, exports cap losses

* Exports inch up 2.8 pct m/m to 1.36 mln tonnes in March
    * Exports rise 5.5 pct for same period -SGS
    * Prices fall to 2,335 ringgit, level not seen since Jan. 11

 (Updates prices, adds SGS data)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
slipped to their lowest in nearly three months on Monday as
larger-than-expected U.S. soybean stockpiles continued to weigh
on markets, although losses were capped by a marginal increase
in exports.
    Malaysia's palm oil shipments for March edged up 2.8 percent
to 1.36 million tonnes compared to a month ago, driven by higher
exports of refined products, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing
Services said on Monday. 
    Another cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance
reported a 5.5 percent increase to 1.37 million tonnes for the
    But the market continued to feel the weight of the
larger-than-expected soybean stocks reported by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA). Plentiful soybeans for
crushing into oil may divert some demand away from competing
palm oil.      
    "It looks like the USDA's bearish stock level is still
leading palm," said a Singapore-based trader with a global
commodities house. "A marginal increase in exports is not enough
to counter the bearishness ... I think we will have to see how
low the production cycle is going to be in order to have some
supportive news."     
    By market close, the benchmark June contract on the
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had lost 1.8 percent to
2,336 ringgit ($756) per tonne. Prices earlier fell to 2,335
ringgit, a level last seen on Jan. 11.
    Total traded volume stood at 31,364 lots of 25 tonnes each,
compared to the average 35,000 lots seen so far this year.    
    A slight increase in exports and seasonal slowdown in
production could trigger a further decline in Malaysia's palm
oil stockpiles in March. Official data on inventory levels will
be released next week.
    In other markets, Brent crude eased to under $110 a barrel
on Monday after Chinese manufacturing data missed market
expectations, signalling possibly slower demand growth in the
world's second-largest oil consumer. 
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May delivery
 lost 1.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active
September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities
Exchange edged 1.4 percent lower.          
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1006 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2320   -20.00    2315    2320     160
  MY PALM OIL      MAY3    2332   -36.00    2330    2370    2697
  MY PALM OIL      JUN3    2336   -42.00    2335    2380   17639
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    6120  -102.00    6118    6246  444522
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    7808  -110.00    7808    7944  542680
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAY3   49.44    -0.67   49.32   50.23   10403
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAY3   96.71    -0.52   96.63   97.80   15700
  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=3.091 ringgit)   

 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tom Hogue)
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