Palm snaps 3-day losing streak, November output in focus

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17: Malaysian palm oil futures edged up on Monday to snap a three-day losing streak, although lacklustre export demand and investor uncertainty about November crude palm oil output in the world's biggest growers capped the gain.
    
"People are talking about lower production, but we're not sure how much production can fall," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
    
"The market is still in sideways trading. Any new change in fundamentals may move the market, but until then it may go on like this," he added.        
    
The benchmark February contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had edged up 0.8 percent to 2,232 ringgit ($666) per tonne by Monday's close, with prices trading between 2,206 ringgit and 2,234 ringgit.
    
Total traded volume stood at 35,472 lots of 25 tonnes, slightly above the usual 35,000 lots.       
     
Traders said a dip in export demand from Malaysia, the world's No.2 producer, could add to pressure on benchmark palm prices which have dropped 3.2 percent in the first half of November.    
    
Exports of Malaysian palm oil products fell 4.5 percent to 598,269 tonnes between Nov. 1-15 compared to the same period a month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services showed, as shipments to Europe and India eased.
    
Another cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance showed exports for the same period dropped 2.5 percent.
 
Buyers in the northern hemisphere typically cut back use of the tropical oil during winter because of clouding in cold temperatures.     
    
In other competing vegetable oil markets, the U.S. soyoil contract for December shed 0.2 percent in late Asian trade, while the most active May soybean oil contract  on the Dalian Commodities Exchange fell 0.3 percent.
    
In other markets, Brent crude fell more than $1 to near $78 a barrel on Monday following news that Japan, the world's fourth-biggest crude importer, had slipped into recession and after comments from the West's energy watchdog that a return to high oil prices was unlikely soon.        
 
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1015 GMT
                                                                                                          
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      DEC4    2212   +24.00    2195    2212     444
  MY PALM OIL      JAN5    2228   +24.00    2199    2228    9232
  MY PALM OIL      FEB5    2232   +17.00    2206    2234   14961
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY5    5340   -18.00    5314    5384  889232
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY5    5880   -20.00    5872    5942  458206
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC4   32.15    -2.50   32.11   32.35    5027
  INDIA PALM OIL   NOV4  447.30    -2.50  444.50  448.40     327
  INDIA SOYOIL     NOV4  575.00    -3.20  575.00  581.40    3015
  NYMEX CRUDE      DEC4   74.82    -1.00   74.76   76.18   26895
                                                                                                          
  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
 
($1 = 3.35 Malaysian ringgit)    
($1 = 6.1241 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 61.73 Indian rupee)