Palm registers sharpest drop in a month on weak soyoil and trade war

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 13): Malaysian palm oil futures registered its sharpest daily decline in a month on Monday evening, falling for a third straight day on weakness in soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade. 

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 1.7% at 2,204 ringgit (US$538.88) a tonne at the end of the trading day for its sharpest daily decline since July 13. 

It had dropped earlier by as much as 1.9% to 2,200 ringgit, its lowest since Aug 7.

Trading volumes stood at 35,352 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.

"Palm is down on soyoil," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader, referring to soyoil's sharp declines on Friday. Soyoil and soybeans on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade fell on market concern that a trade dispute between Washington and Beijing would cause U.S. stockpiles, already projected at a record high, to rise even further.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday raised its outlook for domestic corn and soybean harvests by a more than expected amount because of good weather during key phases of development.

The trader also said that palm oil could remain bearish in the medium term, citing rising production and end-stocks. 

"August exports are also not going to be good, as buyers would wait for the zero percent crude palm oil export tax rate to begin in September," he added.  

Malaysia lowered its export tax on crude palm oil for September to 0%, down from 4.5% in August, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said on Monday, citing the national customs department.

The MPOB had reported on Friday that July end-stocks in Malaysia rose by 1.3% to 2.21 million tonnes in a second month of gains, while exports grew by 6.8% from June to 1.21 million tonnes. 

Production in July rose 12.8% from the previous month to 1.5 million tonnes and is set to climb in line with the seasonal trend until its peak towards the last quarter of the year.

A second palm oil trader said that palm also came under pressure in the afternoon, from concerns over the U.S.-China trade dispute.

In related oils, the Chicago December contract for soybean oil extended Friday's 1.6% decline, dropping by 0.8% on Monday. 

The January soybean oil contract on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped 0.9%, while the Dalian January palm oil contract was also down 0.7%.

Palm oil prices are affected by movements of other edible oils that compete in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1102 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL AUG8 2150 -37.00 2150 2150 20
MY PALM OIL SEP8 2187 -37.00 2187 2212 1151
MY PALM OIL OCT8 2200 -38.00 2200 2227 15295
CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN9 4922 -34.00 4850 4978 277478
CHINA SOYOIL JAN9 5842 -52.00 5758 5908 374904
CBOT SOY OIL DEC8 28.17 +0.00 28.1 28.45 10302
INDIA PALM OIL AUG8 593.50 -4.30 593.50 597 367
INDIA SOYOIL AUG8 730.5 -6.80 730.5 736.5 2350
NYMEX CRUDE SEP8 67.25 -0.38 67.25 67.95 101133

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 = 4.0900 ringgit)
(US$1 = 69.4500 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8745 Chinese yuan)