Palm oil drops over 4% on lower July exports, profit-booking


By Mei Mei Chu

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 – Malaysian palm oil futures fell nearly 5% to hit a more than one-week low on Monday, as weaker July exports and losses in competing oils on the Dalian and Chicago exchanges weighed on investor sentiment.

The benchmark palm oil contract FCPOc3 for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange slid 205 ringgit, or 4.69%, to 4,164 ringgit ($986.26) a tonne by the midday break.

Palm hit its lowest since July 23 after rising 2.3% last week.

“Palm oil prices are experiencing a much-awaited profit taking on lower than expected July export data, which shows 1.42–1.44 million tonnes of shipments, down from 1.51–1.54 million tonnes in June despite higher working days,” said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

“The destination demand has been lower from last week, apart from India.”

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for July fell between 5.0% and 7.7% from June, cargo surveyors said on Saturday.

The market is now awaiting Malaysia’s July production numbers to assess the end-month stockpile.

Oil prices fell on worries over China’s economy after a survey showed growth in factory activity slipped sharply in the world’s second-largest oil consumer, with concerns compounded by a rise in oil output from OPEC producers.O/R

Weaker crude oil futures make palm a less attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract DBYcv1 fell 3.4%, while its palm oil contract DCPcv1 slipped 3.6%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade BOcv1 were down 0.9%.

Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm oil may fall to 4,287 ringgit per tonne, as it failed again to rise above the May 12 high of 4,525 ringgit, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said. TECH/C

($1 = 4.2220 ringgit)


(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Rashmi Aich)