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Palm retreats from 8-year high on fears of weak exports

  • Palm falls after hitting highest since May 3, 2012.
  • Nov. 1-20 exports expected to decline.
  • Low palm oil inventory may carry forward to mid-2021.
Published November 19, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm futures reversed early gains on Thursday, retreating from a more than eight-year peak as traders expect a sharp decline in November exports.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 0.65% lower at 3,342 ringgit ($815.52) a tonne.

Traders are awaiting Nov. 1-20 export data by cargo surveyors due on Friday, but have pegged it to fall around 17%.
Earlier in the session, palm rose 1.7% to its highest since May 3, 2012.

Palm prices were higher on technical buying, reflecting firm soybean oil, but palm exports are weak, said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

Meanwhile, UOB KayHian in a report said the combined palm oil inventory in the four major consuming countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China - fell to nine million tonnes by end-September, and is unlikely to increase significantly over the next 4-6 months.

The high crude palm oil prices could lead to demand rationing in developing countries, it added.

Dalian's most-active soyoil contract rose 2%, while its palm oil contract jumped 2.7%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.8%.

Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

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