Palm rebounds as ringgit weakens, outlook for production bullish

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from losses in its early trading session on Thursday, rising for a second consecutive day on a weaker ringgit and expectations of falling output. 

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.4% to 2,495 ringgit (US$635.75) a tonne at the close of trade. It was earlier down at the midday break, tracking overnight losses in soyoil on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade.

Trading volumes stood at 33,495 lots of 25 tonnes each on Thursday evening.

"Palm rose on the weaker ringgit," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, while another trader added that expectations of falling output also supported the market. 
"Overall though, the market has been trading sideways," he said. 

A weaker ringgit, palm's currency of trade, supports the vegetable oil by making it cheaper for foreign buyers. It eased 0.5% against the dollar to 3.9245 on Thursday evening. 

Malaysia's output for the full month of January is forecast to fall 14.9% to 1.56 million tonnes, its lowest levels in seven months and the sharpest monthly drop in two years, according to a Reuters poll.

In other related edible oils, the March soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade declined 1.8% on Wednesday, in line with soybean futures which fell as traders squared positions, ahead of a monthly report due Thursday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It was last trading flat around 1033 GMT. 

The May soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was slightly up 0.1%, while the Dalian May palm oil contract rose 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 said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices as of 1034 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL FEB8 2502 +19.00 2474 2502 84
MY PALM OIL MAR8 2500 +12.00 2471 2500 1263
MY PALM OIL APR8 2497 +10.00 2470 2498 15751
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY8 5130 +12.00 5062 5146 335890
CHINA SOYOIL MAY8 5640 +4.00 5566 5650 291390
CBOT SOY OIL MAR8 32.56 +0.00 32.54 32.71 7617
INDIA PALM OIL FEB8 571.70 +0.40 569.10 572 504
INDIA SOYOIL FEB8 738.3 -2.05 736.4 739 5180
NYMEX CRUDE MAR8 61.28 -0.51 61.22 61.78 130927

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 = 3.9245 ringgit)
(US$1 = 64.3050 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.3208 Chinese yuan)