Palm edges down ahead of data release, weaker related oils

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 10): Malaysian palm oil futures were down on Friday afternoon on caution ahead of official data releases at the midday break and on weaker related edible oils.

Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) reported a 1.3% monthly rise in July inventory levels to 2.21 million tonnes.

The data also showed that production rose 12.8% to 1.5 million tonnes and exports were up 6.8% at 1.21 million tonnes from the previous month.

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.5% at RM2,234 (US$547.68) a tonne at noon.

The market, however, is on track for its strongest weekly gain in three, and is up 1.7% on week so far.

Trading volumes stood at 9,550 lots of 25 tonnes each.

"Trading is cautious ahead of July MPOB figures," said a futures trader in Kuala Lumpur, adding that weaker related vegetable oils also weighed down on palm.

A Thomson Reuters survey had forecast palm oil end-July stockpiles to rise 7% to a five month high of 2.34 million tonnes.   

Meanwhile, Malaysian palm oil shipments during August 1-10 rose 7.4% from the corresponding period last month, reported inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia on Friday.

"We're not really seeing strong buying, but the data could give underlying support to the market," said another trader of the AmSpec data.

In other related oils, the Chicago December soybean oil contract slightly rose 0.1%, but the January soybean oil contract on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 0.4%.

The Dalian January palm oil contract was also down 0.3%.

Palm oil prices are impacted by movements of other edible oils, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0529 GMT

Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low    High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       AUG8        0   +0.00 0 0 0
MY PALM OIL       SEP8     2222  -11.00    2216    2225     276
MY PALM OIL       OCT8     2234  -12.00    2225    2240    4811
CHINA PALM OLEIN  JAN9     4930  -16.00    4924    4950   89524
CHINA SOYOIL      JAN9     5878  -24.00    5874    5918  210840
CBOT SOY OIL      DEC8    28.92   +0.00   28.77   28.98    3679
INDIA PALM OIL    AUG8   596.30   +2.80  593.20   596.4     501
INDIA SOYOIL      AUG8    735.9   +2.50   733.1   736.4    2080
NYMEX CRUDE       SEP8    66.70   -0.11   66.58   66.91   24239

Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in US cents per pound
Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
Crude in US dollars per barrel

(US$1 = RM4.0790)
(US$1 = 68.9700 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8521 Chinese yuan)