April 30, 2013 / 10:31 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil inches up, falling exports cap gains

* Malaysia's April palm exports down 4.3 pct -ITS
    * Total volumes at 27,106 lots ahead of holiday
    * Palm oil to revisit April 26 high of 2,334 ringgit

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
edged higher on Tuesday after a near 2 percent loss the previous
day, but gains were limited by falling exports and investor
caution ahead of a holiday.
    Malaysian exports of palm oil products dropped 4.3 percent
to 1,305,120 tonnes in April from a month ago, cargo surveyor
Intertek Testing Services said on Tuesday. 
    Trading was subdued as investors avoided taking positions
ahead of the Labour Day holiday on Wednesday, with the market
shifting its focus to Malaysia's palm stocks level in April. 
    "The market is stagnant ahead of the holiday tomorrow and
the exports were no surprise," said a dealer with a foreign
commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. 
    "Production numbers will be eyed. Stocks will likely be
marginally lower and that could pressure prices as people are
expecting a sharper drop."
    By the market close, the benchmark July contract on
the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had gained 0.6 percent
to 2,286 ringgit ($752) per tonne, supported by bargain-hunting
after prices fell as much as 2.4 percent the day before.
    Total traded volumes were thin at 27,106 lots of 25 tonnes
each compared to the average 35,000 lots a day seen so far this
    Technicals showed palm oil is expected to revisit its April
26 high of 2,334 ringgit per tonne, said Reuters market analyst
Wang Tao. 
    With exports slowing compared to a month ago, investors are
now turning their hopes to near-stagnant production to help cut
stockpiles in Malaysia. Inventory at the world's second-largest
producer of the edible oil stood at 2.17 million tonnes in
March, down from February's 2.43 million tonnes. 
    Export demand may take a further hit as Indonesia's move to
slash its crude palm oil export tax to 9 percent in May from
April's 10.5 percent could hurt Malaysia's price
competitiveness, analysts said. 
    "Even though (Indonesia's tax) is still higher than the 4.5
percent imposed by the Malaysian government, the cut ...
heightened concerns that palm oil stocks may remain high,"
Malaysia's Affin Investment Bank said in a note to clients on
    In other markets, Brent oil fell towards $103 per barrel on
Tuesday, weighed by worries about the demand outlook, though
losses were capped on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve and
European Central Bank may do more to stimulate the global
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery
 edged up 0.1 percent in late Asian trading. The Dalian
Commodities Exchange is closed for Labour Day and will only
resume trading on Thursday.         
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1006 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      MAY3    2270   +22.00    2240    2275     147
  MY PALM OIL      JUN3    2283    +1.00    2270    2307    1874
  MY PALM OIL      JUL3    2286   +13.00    2270    2302   12831
  CBOT SOY OIL     JUL3   49.57    +0.06   49.38   49.69    4485
  NYMEX CRUDE      JUN3   94.52    +0.02   94.19   94.62   13532
  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=3.042 ringgit)

 (Editing by Joseph Radford and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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