KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures pulled back from a record high to end lower on Thursday, rattled by concerns over tightening regulations on the commodities market in China. The benchmark palm oil contract for January delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down 105 ringgit, or 2.07%, to 4,966 ringgit ($1,194.90). It touched a record high of 5,220 ringgit per tonne earlier in the session.
The spot contract for November delivery closed at 5,209 ringgit, after touching a record high of 5,393 ringgit. Crude palm oil futures (CPO) had surged higher on renewed worries over Indonesian production losses, covering in cash markets and persistently bullish energy prices, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.
But those gains were reversed on fears that key buyer China would strengthen regulation on speculative activities in the commodities markets, following news that Beijing signalled it might intervene to cool surging prices of coal futures. Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Oct. 1-20 fell 14% from the same week in September, an improvement from a 16% decline seen during Oct. 1-15, according to data from cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance.
A depressed production outlook and a reduction in import duties at key destination markets of India and Pakistan would support palm oil prices, Bagani said. Dalian's most-active soyoil contract rose 1.8%, while its palm oil contract 2.4%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 1.2%. Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.