Palm loses gains, falls to 5-mth low tracking weaker rival soy

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): Malaysian palm oil futures slumped to a more than five-month low on Friday evening, shedding earlier gains as they tracked a weaker performing rival soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Benchmark palm oil futures for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 0.5% at RM2,646 (US$598.24) a tonne at the end of the trading day, hitting an intraday low of RM2,645 in late trade.

The contract fell 3.5% for the week, and was down 14.5% for the quarter ended March.

Traded volumes stood at 44,116 lots of 25 tonnes each at the close of trade.

"The market is tracking lower soyoil prices ahead of the US Department of Agriculture report release, which may show a bigger supply (of soy) coming on to the market," said a Kuala Lumpur based palm oil futures trader.

Palm was down despite stronger export data, showing a near 7% gain in Malaysian palm oil shipments for the full month of March versus the previous month.     

Exports rose 6.8% versus the previous month, data from cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services showed, while Societe Generale de Surveillance showed a 6.9% gain.

Demand for palm oil is also expected to rise in April, as buyers stock up ahead of Ramadan, the Muslim festival at the end of May, marked by month-long fasting in regions such as India and the Middle East.

The festival results in higher palm oil consumption for cooking purposes, as Muslims break their fasts daily with feasts.

In other related edible oils, soybean oil on the Chicago Board of Trade slipped 0.7%, while the September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange declined as much as 2%.

The September contract for palm olein on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 1.2%.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1034 GMT

Contract          Month    Last   Change     Low   High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       APR7     2833    +2.00    2825   2851     177
MY PALM OIL       MAY7     2736    -4.00    2734   2780    4332
MY PALM OIL       JUN7     2647   -13.00    2645   2690   22414
CHINA PALM OLEIN  SEP7     5328   -66.00    5308   5388  321718
CHINA SOYOIL      SEP7     6034  -120.00    6024   6144  408756
CBOT SOY OIL      MAY7    31.78    -0.23   31.75  32.11    7030
INDIA PALM OIL    MAR7   538.90    +0.40  538.60    539     256
INDIA SOYOIL      APR7      637    -0.50   636.3  639.4    6630
NYMEX CRUDE       MAY7    50.04    -0.31   49.90  50.38  100720

Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in US 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 US dollars per barrel

(US$1 = RM4.4230)
(US$1 = 64.9300 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8890 Chinese yuan)