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Markets

Palm oil falls more than 1pc on cheaper crude oil, soyoil

  • Breather for palm oil after weeks of volatile moves -analyst
  • Market sluggish after analysts say bullish factors priced in
Published March 25, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures extended early losses on Thursday, declining for a second straight session, as cheaper crude oil and soyoil contracts cancelled out optimism around improving March exports.

The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down 54 ringgit, or 1.38%, to 3,869 ringgit ($933.64) a tonne, after falling as much as 2.5%.

"Crude palm oil futures traded volume was low and the pace of trading sluggish after weeks of volatile moves," said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

"Leading analysts said most of the bullish factors have been priced-in," he said.

Global edible oil prices are nearing their peak but may be slow to decline to previous levels due to low stocks, a moderate recovery in output and higher global use in biofuel production, leading analysts said on Wednesday.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for March 1-25 rose 10.4% month-on-month to 1,017,730 tonnes, according to AmSpec Agri Malaysia.

Dalian's most-active soyoil contract rose 0.3%, while its palm oil contract fell 0.2%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.6%.

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

Oil prices fell as a new round of coronavirus restrictions in Europe revived worries about demand for oil products, even as tug boats struggled to move a stranded container ship blocking crude oil carriers in the Suez Canal.

Weaker crude oil futures make palm a less attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

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