Last update: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09pm
Home » General News » Pakistan

Palm oil hits near two-week low

Malaysian palm oil futures touched a near two-week low on Monday, before reversing losses to end positive as traders positioned themselves ahead of export data due later this week. The benchmark June contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended 1 percent higher at 2,190 ringgit ($590) a tonne. Prices earlier hit 2,143 ringgit, its lowest levels since March 18 before climbing as high as 2,196 ringgit.

Total traded volume stood at 37,613 lots of 25 tonnes, just above the average 35,000 lots.

"The market is anticipating good exports tomorrow and this is the only bullish factor we have in the market right now," said a trader with foreign commodities brokerage.

"Dalian is down ... and crude oil is also down ... chances are, people are anticipating a better export figure for the end of the month."

Cargo surveyors Intertek Testing Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance are due to release data on Malaysia's March palm oil exports on Tuesday.

Data earlier this month showed that exports of Malaysian palm oil products for March 1-25 rose 3.5 percent and traders see this as a possible sign of more positive numbers this week.

In other vegetable oils, the US soyoil May contract was little-changed, while the most active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange lost 1.4 percent.

Crude oil prices fell as officials from Iran and six world powers discussed a possible deal over Tehran's nuclear programme that could bring an end to sanctions and allow an increase in Iranian oil exports.

"Earlier the market was down and following external factors like lower soyoil and crude oil," said a second Kuala Lumpur-based trader. "The market is trading a range between 2,100 ringgit and 2,300 ringgit. There are no new leads to get the market out. Seems like some physical buying this afternoon."

Offering support, the ringgit hit a one-week low as sliding oil prices renewed concerns that lower crude may hurt the country's current and fiscal accounts.

Palm prices are expected to trade lower in the coming months, however, traders added, with the monsoon season ending in dominant Southeast Asian producers and production likely to rise. In related news, The share of palm in India's growing edible oil imports is expected to drop to the lowest since 2005/06 in the current year to October.

Indonesia, the world's top palm producer, set its crude palm oil export tax for April at zero.

Copyright Reuters, 2015