Palm oil gains for third straight day on weaker ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 9): Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded from losses in its first half trading session, rising on Friday evening due to a weaker ringgit and expectations of stronger export data.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.8% at 2,514 ringgit (US$638.56) a tonne at the end of the trading day, its third straight day of gains. 

It is also up 1.9% this week, its strongest weekly gain in five weeks.

Trading volumes stood at 48,195 lots of 25 tonnes each at Friday evening.

"Palm is up on a weaker ringgit and on expectations of stronger exports," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, referring to Feb 1-10 export data from a cargo surveyor scheduled for release on Saturday. 

Shipments of the tropical oil have slumped in recent weeks and is forecast to fall 8% to 1.31 million tonnes for the full month of January, according to a Reuters poll.

Losses in the ringgit also gave support to palm by making it cheaper for foreign buyers. The Malaysian currency weakened by 0.3% against the dollar to 3.9370 around Friday evening.

In other related edible oils, the March soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.6%, after shedding over 1% on Thursday. 

May soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.1%, while the Dalian May palm oil contract was up 0.2%.     

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

Palm oil looks neutral in a narrow range of 2,481-2,520 ringgit per tonne, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
    
 Palm, soy and crude oil prices as of 1050 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL FEB8 2495 -6.00 2485 2505 67
MY PALM OIL MAR8 2520 +21.00 2485 2520 622
MY PALM OIL APR8 2515 +19.00 2481 2518 17280
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY8 5120 +10.00 5116 5158 259530
CHINA SOYOIL MAY8 5620 +4.00 5620 5664 219880
CBOT SOY OIL MAR8 32.4 +0.19 32.22 32.45 11437
INDIA PALM OIL FEB8 575.20 +2.80 570.40 575.2 620
INDIA SOYOIL FEB8 739.5 -0.50 737.35 740 6530
NYMEX CRUDE MAR8 60.52 -0.63 60.36 60.77 86916

 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
 India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
 Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
 
(US$1 = 3.9370 ringgit)
(US$1 = 64.3675 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.3240 Chinese yuan)