Palm hits 1-week high on stronger U.S. soyoil, weaker ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): Malaysian palm oil futures climbed to a one-week top in early trade on Wednesday before paring some gains, charting a third consecutive day of gains as it tracked an increase in U.S. soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and a weaker ringgit. 

The ringgit, palm's currency of trade, on Wednesday, eased to its weakest levels against the dollar since end-December. It was last down 0.1% to 4.1730. A weaker ringgit supports palm oil by making it cheaper for foreign buyers. 

Benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.7% at 2,029 ringgit (US$486.22) a tonne at the close of trade on Wednesday. 

It earlier rose as much as 1.8% to 2,050 ringgit, its strongest levels since May 8.

"The market is tracking the overnight recovery in CBOT and further weakness in the ringgit today extended the technical pullback," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader.

"Expectations of higher exports and negative growth for production also added strength to the market."

Malaysian palm oil shipments rose for May 1-15, between 4-15% from the corresponding period last month, according to data from three cargo surveyors, Amspec Agri Malaysia, Intertek Testing Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance.

Palm oil output in May is also expected to see declines or smaller monthly growth from April. Data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board last Friday (May 10) showed April output fell 1.4% from the previous month to 1.65 million tonnes. However, it is the highest for the month since 2015.

Palm oil may test a resistance at 2,034 ringgit per tonne, following its second failure to break a support range of 1,940-1,967 ringgit, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
    
In related oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract had gained 1.5% on Tuesday, in line with soybean's gains as planting delays in the Midwest crop belt sparked a round of short-covering.

It was last up 1.1%.

Meanwhile, the May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.6%, and the Dalian May palm oil contract rose 0.8%.

Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, with which it competes for global market share.
                      
 Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1127 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL MAY9 0 +0.00 0 0 0
MY PALM OIL JUN9 2004 +16.00 1996 2024 1352
MY PALM OIL JUL9 2028 +15.00 2021 2050 16667
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY9 4146 +34.00 4114 4146 264
CHINA SOYOIL MAY9 5356 +34.00 5266 5356 4
CBOT SOY OIL JUL9 27.33 +0.33 26.9 27.33 8015
INDIA PALM OIL MAY9 524.50 -1.20 522.50 530 861
INDIA SOYOIL MAY9 758.05 +4.40 755 760.3 5250
NYMEX CRUDE JUN9 61.28 -0.50 60.85 61.61 183285

 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 = 4.1730 ringgit)
(US$1 = 70.3336 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8792 Chinese yuan)