Palm in second losing session on profit-taking before holidays

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 26): Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Thursday evening in their sharpest daily drop in three weeks, recording a second straight day of losses as traders booked profits, ahead of the long break for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Weaker performing related edible oils on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange also weighed on palm, traders said.

Benchmark palm oil futures for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.2% to 3,087 ringgit (US$697.31) a tonne at the close of trade, its steepest daily fall since Jan 5. It earlier fell to an intraday low of 3,084 ringgit, palm's weakest level since Jan 16. 

Traded volumes stood at 47,090 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.

"We're seeing some profit-taking over the long break for the new year. There's no other bullish news as well, as exports have already been taken into account," said a physical trader from Kuala Lumpur, referring to data from cargo surveyors that showed improving exports.

"Interest is now very low, most players are already on leave." 

Palm oil export data showed rising demand, as shipments rose 9.3% in the Jan 1-25 period versus the previous month, two cargo surveyors said on Wednesday.

Bursa Malaysia will be closed for the second half of the trading day on Jan 27, and on Jan 30 for the Lunar New Year celebrations. 

Palm is also weighed down by a weaker Dalian, said traders, as it tracks prices of related vegetable oils. The May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 1.1%, while the May contract for Dalian palm olein dropped 2%.

In other related edible oils, the March soybean oil contract on CBOT was up 0.1%.

Palm oil remains neutral in a range of 3,089-3,169 ringgit per tonne, according to Wang Tao, Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1038 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL FEB7 3248 -18.00 3236 3265 679
MY PALM OIL MAR7 3151 -34.00 3147 3180 3807
MY PALM OIL APR7 3086 -38.00 3084 3119 23646
CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY7 6208 -126.00 6200 6336 317400
CHINA SOYOIL MAY7 6936 -76.00 6926 7022 236768
CBOT SOY OIL MAR7 34.89 +0.02 34.75 35 5570
INDIA PALM OIL JAN7 597.00 -0.10 594.10 598.1 749
INDIA SOYOIL FEB7 716.75 -1.35 712.3 718.3 17920
NYMEX CRUDE MAR7 52.84 +0.09 52.79 53.27 67890

  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 = 4.4270 ringgit)
(US$1 = 68.1099 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.8760 Chinese yuan)