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Markets

Palm settles lower after five straight sessions of gains

NEW DELHI: Malaysian palm oil futures settled lower on Thursday because investors booked profits after five straight...
Published December 21, 2023
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

NEW DELHI: Malaysian palm oil futures settled lower on Thursday because investors booked profits after five straight sessions of gains, and lower overseas demand for the cooking oil also weighed on the market.

The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 37 ringgit, or 0.98%, to close at 3,741 ringgit ($804.00).

Along with profit-taking, lower exports from Malaysia and weakness in rival soyoil also dragged down palm, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Dec. 1-Dec. 20 fell 8% to 837,475 metric tons from 910,513 metric tons shipped during Nov. 1-Nov. 20, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Wednesday.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, exported 3.00 million metric tons of palm oil products in October, down 31% from a year earlier, data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) showed.

Malaysia’s palm oil stocks at the end of November fell for the first time in seven months as a decline in production outpaced a fall in exports, data from the industry regulator showed last week.

Soyoil futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 1.5%. Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm oil may test a support zone of 3,775-3,781 ringgit per metric ton following its failure to break resistance at 3,813 ringgit, Reuters’ technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with Brent trading near $80 a barrel as higher inventories and record output in the United States overshadowed jitters over global trade disruptions in the Red Sea.

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

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