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Palm oil falls

March 09, 2019

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early gains to close lower on Friday, charting a third straight day of losses on weaker demand outlook.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.4 per cent at 2,126 ringgit ($519.93) a tonne at the end of the trading day. Palm was down 2.9pc on-week for a second weekly decline. “Fundamentally the market is still bearish. We can’t see where demand will come from,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. Malaysian palm oil exports fell 14.5-15.3pc for the full month of February, according to cargo surveyors.

A Reuters poll forecasts Malaysian February end-stocks to slide 1.7pc to 2.95 million tonnes from the previous month, while production is expected to drop 8pc to 1.6 million tonnes. Exports are expected to drop 14pc from January to 1.44 million ringgit. Official data from industry regulator — Malaysian Palm Oil Board — is scheduled for release on Monday after 0430 GMT. In other related oils, the Chicago May soybean oil contract was last down 0.3pc.

The May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 0.7pc and the Dalian May palm oil contract dipped 0.4pc. Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2019