Palm oil edges higher on weaker ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 30): Malaysian palm oil futures inched higher on Thursday on a weaker ringgit, but caution ahead of export figures due early next week capped the gains.

The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.2% at RM2,222 (US$541.29) a tonne at noon on Thursday.

Trading volumes stood at 8,843 lots of 25 tonnes each at noon.

"The weaker ringgit had some impact on the market," said a Singapore-based futures trader. A weaker ringgit, palm oil's currency of trade, usually makes the edible oil cheaper for holders of foreign currencies.

The ringgit is currently trading at its weakest levels against the dollar since November, and was last at 4.1050 per dollar on Thursday afternoon.

"The market is also cautious waiting for export figures," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, referring to Malaysia's palm oil August shipments data, scheduled to be released by cargo surveyors on Sept 3.

In other related oils, the Chicago December soybean oil contract was up 0.3% while the January soybean oil contract on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 0.3%.

The Dalian January palm oil contract was slightly up 0.1%.

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

Palm oil may stabilize in a support zone of RM2,206-2,215 per tonne, and then retest a resistance at RM2,245, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0520 GMT

Contract           Month    Last  Change     Low   High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       SEP8      2179   +2.00    2177   2181      66
MY PALM OIL       OCT8      2204   +5.00    2202   2209    1166
MY PALM OIL       NOV8      2222   +5.00    2218   2226    3585
CHINA PALM OLEIN  JAN9      4880   +4.00    4842   4884  210448
CHINA SOYOIL      JAN9      5786  -18.00    5752   5802  294688
CBOT SOY OIL      DEC8      28.5   +0.09   28.38  28.54    3005
INDIA PALM OIL    AUG8    592.50   +0.10  592.50  593.4      77
INDIA SOYOIL      SEP8     726.9   -1.15   726.9  728.1    1110
NYMEX CRUDE       OCT8     69.66   +0.15   69.57  69.77   19725

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 = RM4.1050)
(US$1 = 70.6850 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8319 Chinese yuan)