Palm recovers from 3½-mth low on bargain buying despite output concerns

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Wednesday to bounce of a more than three-month low in the afternoon session as bargain hunters shrugged off market expectations of higher supplies and weak demand.

Benchmark palm oil futures for May on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 0.9% to RM2,809 (US$631) a tonne by the end of the session. The contract had earlier fallen to RM2,763, its weakest level since Nov 7.

Traded volumes stood at 97,813 lots of 25 tonnes each on Wednesday evening.

"The market is up mainly on bargain-buying after the sharp drop yesterday," said a futures trader based in Kuala Lumpur, who had earlier expected prices to drop in the second half of trade as the market still has concerns over rising production.

"Perhaps the market selloff has cooled now, with traders squaring off positions after the heavy selldown," he said later in the evening.

Palm futures earlier recorder four straight sessions of losses as concerns over rising output weighed on prices and as demand remains weak.

Traders are expecting to see a recovery in output for the full month of February, as the effects of a crop damaging El Nino wear off.

Palm oil shipments declined 0.8% in the Feb 1–20 time period from the same period last month, according to data from cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services.

However, data from another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, showed that exports rose 1.7%.

In related vegetable oils, soybean oil on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.9%, while the soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 0.5%.

The May contract for palm olein on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 0.5%.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1110 GMT

Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low    High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       MAR7     3023   -2.00    2990    3038    1368
MY PALM OIL       APR7     2878   +7.00    2835    2898    9646
MY PALM OIL       MAY7     2811  +26.00    2763    2812   42390
CHINA PALM OLEIN  MAY7     5878  -28.00    5820    5890  544826
CHINA SOYOIL      MAY7     6654  -34.00    6606    6668  340086
CBOT SOY OIL      MAR7    32.96   +0.29   32.71   33.04   10562
INDIA PALM OIL    FEB7   544.40   -4.20  539.20   549.4    2031
INDIA SOYOIL      MAR7    653.8   -2.15  650.35  657.25   37190
NYMEX CRUDE       APR7    54.03   -0.30   53.95   54.60   90863

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 = RM4.4510)
(US$1 = 66.9725 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8775 Chinese yuan)