KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Monday evening on the back of a stronger ringgit and official data showing that output rose in March.
The palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 0.5 percent down at 2,667 ringgit ($686) a tonne for a fifth straight session of declines. It earlier touched an intraday low of 2,661 ringgit, its lowest since March 24.
Traded volumes were 35,643 lots of 25 tonnes each, against last year's daily average of 44,600 lots.
Traders said the market fell because of stronger than expected output data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), which reported a 16.9 percent rise in production and a 13.1 percent decline in stockpiles.
Malaysian shipments in March rose by 22.9 percent from a month earlier as sellers rushed to export crude palm oil ahead of a 5 percent export duty starting in April.
"MPOB stocks data could have been lower, and output was higher than expected by almost 10 percent," one palm trader said, referring to personal estimates, while another said that the stronger ringgit had capped palm's upside.
A Reuters poll of nine planters, traders and analysts had earlier forecast output to rise by 8 percent month on month to 1.13 million tonnes.
A stronger ringgit, the currency used for palm oil trading, drags on the vegetable oil's price. The ringgit strengthened 0.3 percent to 3.8870 against the dollar on Monday evening, making palm oil more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.
Palm oil still targets 2,629 ringgit a tonne as it has cleared a support at 2,716 ringgit, said Wang Tao, Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
In competing vegetable oil markets, the May Chicago Board of Trade soyoil contract gained 0.2 percent and the September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.2 percent.
The offer price for crude palm kernel oil dropped slightly to 4,993.45 ringgit a tonne
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1036 GMT:
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL APR6 2628 -14.00 2626 2655 114
MY PALM OIL MAY6 2651 -14.00 2645 2674 1531
MY PALM OIL JUN6 2668 -13.00 2661 2699 16069
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP6 5434 -38.00 5418 5562 1492044
CHINA SOYOIL SEP6 6046 +14.00 6024 6130 878452
CBOT SOY OIL MAY6 34 -2.90 33.83 34.32 13272
INDIA PALM OIL APR6 555.50 -2.90 553.40 559.4 1166
INDIA SOYOIL APR6 653.4 -2.15 652 658.8 2900
NYMEX CRUDE MAY6 39.56 -0.16 39.25 40.47 87143
Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound
Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
($1 = 3.8870 ringgit)
($1 = 66.4300 Indian rupees)
($1 = 6.4713 Chinese yuan)- Reuters