Malaysian palm oil price hits near one-month low

The palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.1 percent to reach 2,639 ringgit ($681) per tonne at the closing trade. Traded volumes were 43,083 lots of 25 tonnes each, versus a 2015 daily average of 44,600 lots

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell in evening trade Tuesday to the lowest in almost a month following the release of government data showing better-than-expected output growth in March.

   The palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.1 percent to reach 2,639 ringgit ($681) per tonne at the closing trade. Traded volumes were 43,083 lots of 25 tonnes each, versus a 2015 daily average of 44,600 lots.

    Palm oil, which fell for a sixth consecutive session on Tuesday, dropped 2.5 percent last week after reaching a near two-year high of 2,793 ringgit on March 29.

    Data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed a 16.9 percent jump in output in March from February, more than double the 8 percent growth forecast in a Reuters poll.

    "Everyone thought the report would be bullish as stocks fell to 1.89 million tonnes but the surprising factor was production growth. Had it not been for exports, inventories would have looked heavy," said a trader based in Kuala Lumpur. The trader added that Malaysia needs to see stronger palm shipments for benchmark prices to rise to 3,000 ringgit, as predicted by leading industry analysts.  

    "It's possible by June if we don't have aggressive production growth," the trader said.

    Output in the world's second largest palm oil producer Malaysia was expected to take a hit from the dry weather effects of the El Nino weather event, which lowers yields due to the scorching heat it brings across Southeast Asia.

    Analysts say new planted areas and better yields in Peninsular Malaysia made up for the low output. 

    A bearish target at 2,629 ringgit per tonne remains unchanged for palm oil, according to technical analysis by Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals Wang Tao. 

    In competing vegetable oil markets, the May Chicago Board of Trade soyoil contract fell 0.2 percent, while the September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.03 percent.

    The offer price for crude palm kernel oil further dropped to 4943.85 ringgit per tonne in the evening, down 50 ringgit from Monday evening, according to price assessments by Thomson Reuters. 

  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1039 GMT:
 Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low   High   Volume
 MY PALM OIL       APR6     2610  -23.00    2610   2620       84
 MY PALM OIL       MAY6     2624  -26.00    2618   2649     1525
 MY PALM OIL       JUN6     2639  -28.00    2633   2667    22139
 CHINA PALM OLEIN  SEP6     5450  -32.00    5410   5468  1084424
 CHINA SOYOIL      SEP6     6072   +2.00    6030   6094   667982
 CBOT SOY OIL      MAY6    33.89   -8.40   33.78  33.95     9796
 INDIA PALM OIL    APR6   547.00   -8.40  546.80  553.8     1813
 INDIA SOYOIL      APR6    647.4   -4.70   647.2  650.5     2030
 NYMEX CRUDE       MAY6    40.61   +0.25   40.09  40.91    75560
 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 = 3.8780 ringgit)
($1 = 66.4900 Indian rupees)
($1 = 6.4598 Chinese yuan)
- Reuters
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