KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures charted a third session of loses in four on Thursday evening, tracking weakness in overnight U.S. soyoil prices and on forecasts of slower-than-expected declines in output.
The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.6 percent at 2,157 ringgit ($521.77) a tonne at the close of trade, after earlier rising to a three-day top of 2,179 ringgit.
"Front-month palm prices are under pressure on production outlook," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, adding that this caused palm prices to fall in early trade.
"The market is still sideways, waiting for fresh direction."
Another trader said overnight declines in soyoil prices on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade weighed on palm oil prices, while a weaker ringgit limited the fall.
"Due to soy's prices, Malaysia's export data had no effect," he said.
Malaysian palm oil exports rose between 1.4-8.9 percent during April 1-25 versus the corresponding period last month, according to data from three cargo surveyors on Thursday.
Weakness in the ringgit, palm oil's traded currency, usually makes the edible oil cheaper for foreign buyers. The ringgit was down 0.2 percent at 4.1340 per dollar.
In other related oils, the Chicago May soybean oil contract fell 0.5 percent on Wednesday, and was up 0.3 percent on Thursday.
Soybean prices had declined on ample global supplies and dimming prospects for U.S. exports.
The May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 0.2 percent, and the Dalian May palm oil contract was down 0.3 percent.
Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market. - Reuters