Palm oil climbs to over four-month high

August 14, 2019

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest in more than four months on Tuesday, extending a streak of gains, as data on July stockpiles came in lower than forecast.

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.5pc at 2,212 ringgit ($527.17) per tonne at the close of trade, its sixth straight days of gains. It earlier rose as much as 1.7pc to 2,217 ringgit, its strongest level since April 17.

“Traders like me were expecting stocks to increase, but that didn’t happen,” said a Kuala Lumpur based trader, referring to palm oil industry data for July released during the market’s midday break on Tuesday. “It’s possible stocks this month (August) will fall again.”

During the midday break, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board reported July data for stockpiles, production, exports and imports. Inventory levels at the end of July were down for the fifth consecutive month to a one-year low, down 0.8pc to 2.39 million tonnes.

Production rose 15.1pc to 1.74m tonnes in July, the highest on a monthly basis so far this year. Exports in July gained from the previous month, up 7.4pc to 1.49m tonnes, while imports stood at 36,664 tonnes, down from 101,250 tonnes the month before. A Reuters poll had forecast inventory levels to rise 1.8pc to 2.47m tonnes.

In other related oils, US soyoil futures on the CBOT was last down 0.1pc, while the September soyoil contract on the Dalian exchange was up 0.9pc. Meanwhile, the Dalian September palm oil contract gained 1.8pc. Palm oil prices are affected by movements in related oils that compete in the global vegetable oils market.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019