Palm eases on trade war worries, ringgit strength

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 8): Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Wednesday, pressured by concerns over the Sino-U.S. trade conflict and as the ringgit strengthened.

A stronger ringgit, palm's currency of trade, usually makes the edible oil more expensive for foreign buyers. The ringgit, which has had seven straight days of losses, rose slightly against the dollar on Wednesday before ending the trading day flat at 4.1470. 

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was last down 0.2% at 2,037 ringgit (US$491.20) a tonne at the close of trade. 

It earlier climbed to a four-day high of 2,058 ringgit, before falling as much as 1.4% to an intraday low of 2,012 ringgit.      

Palm prices had risen nearly 3% in its previous session tracking gains in related edible oils.

"The market started strong on supportive external oils, but the ringgit strengthened along with some profit-taking which weighed on the market," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader.

She said the market was also uncertain over the U.S.-China trade talks that are scheduled to start on Thursday, when China's vice premier visits Washington.

Global stocks and commodities markets were hit earlier this week, after U.S. president Donald Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports.  

In other related oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract fell 0.3%, while the May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 0.04%. 

Meanwhile, the Dalian May palm oil contract slipped 0.6%.

Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, with which it competes for global market share.
                  
 Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1045 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL MAY9 0 -9.00 0 0 0
MY PALM OIL JUN9 2007 -9.00 1985 2030 1602
MY PALM OIL JUL9 2036 -3.00 2012 2058 18355
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY9 4160 -26.00 4160 4228 924
CHINA SOYOIL MAY9 5238 +2.00 5238 5400 490
CBOT SOY OIL MAY9 26.81 +0.00 0 0 350
INDIA PALM OIL MAY9 518.50 +0.10 516.00 520.1 822
INDIA SOYOIL MAY9 738 +2.15 733.55 739.5 5170
NYMEX CRUDE JUN9 61.14 -0.26 61.07 62.10 169323

 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 = 4.1470 ringgit)
(US$1 = 69.6250 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.7808 Chinese yuan)