Palm recovers from two-month low on weaker ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Friday, in line to snap five sessions of declines, bolstered by a weaker ringgit and firmer related edible oils.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange jumped 1.5% to RM2,153 (US$528.86) a tonne at the midday break, its biggest gain since Jan 22.

The market, however, is down 4.6% so far on week, following a decline to its lowest levels in two months in the previous trading session.

Trading volumes stood at 18,192 lots of 25 tonnes each at noon.

"Firmer external markets lent palm support, along with the weaker ringgit," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader, referring to palm's traded currency.

A weaker ringgit usually makes the edible oil cheaper for holders of foreign currencies. The ringgit was last down 0.2% against the dollar at 4.0710.  

In other related oils, the Chicago March soybean oil contract had risen 0.5% on Thursday, but was last trading flat at around 0430 GMT on Friday.

The May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 1.7% and the Dalian May palm oil contract rose 1%.

Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market.   

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0436 GMT

Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low    High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       MAR9     1945  +30.00    1939    1950      94
MY PALM OIL       APR9     2097  +34.00    2067    2097    1516
MY PALM OIL       MAY9     2153  +32.00    2127    2153    8841
CHINA PALM OLEIN  MAY9     4598  +46.00    4534    4628  530054
CHINA SOYOIL      MAY9     5770  +94.00    5662    5802  505608
CBOT SOY OIL      MAR9    29.96   +0.00   29.96   29.96     777
INDIA PALM OIL    MAR9   554.00   +2.70  551.60   555.9     185
INDIA SOYOIL      MAR9    760.5   +4.10  756.35   760.8    1140
NYMEX CRUDE       APR9    57.41   +0.19   57.15   57.59   23969

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 = RM4.0710)
(US$1 = 70.8000 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.6978 Chinese yuan)