VEGOILS-Palm ends lower on profit-taking but optimism on stocks supports

Reuters

(Updates prices, adds graph on exports)

* Traders wait for Oct. 1-25 palm oil exports due Friday

* Profit-taking, stronger ringgit push prices down -trader

* Ringgit rises as much as 0.7 pct against U.S. dollar in

early trade

* Palm oil to seek support at 2,449 ringgit -technicals

By Anuradha Raghu

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures

ended lower on Thursday, snapping four days of gains as

investors booked profits from prices that hit near two-month

highs in the previous session

A stronger ringgit also curbed overseas buying interest, but

optimism that stocks in Malaysia, the world's second-largest

producer, might remain below the 2-million-tonne mark this year

capped losses. Prices are still not far off Wednesday's top of

2,485 ringgit - the highest level since Aug. 28.

Market players are betting that output in October, typically

the highest-producing month of the year, has lost steam while

exports continue to hold steady.

Growers' estimates show production during Oct. 1-20 could

have dropped by 10.5 percent, quelling initial fears that

Malaysian output would surge towards the end of the year and

cause a stock buildup.

"The market was overdone yesterday, so there's some

profit-taking today," said a trader with a foreign commodities

brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.

"Also, the ringgit has strengthened a bit compared to

yesterday. Palm's resistance is at 2,500 ringgit, and the

immediate support is at 2,450 ringgit," the trader added.

The Malaysian ringgit rose as much as 0.7 percent

to 3.1460 per dollar early Thursday, but dropped back to 3.1630

later in the day.

By Thursday's close, the benchmark January contract

on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had dropped 0.9

percent to 2,461 ringgit ($779) per tonne.

Total traded volume stood at 44,093 lots of 25 tonnes each,

higher than the usual 35,000 lots.

Technicals showed Malaysian palm oil is expected to seek a

support at 2,449 ringgit per tonne before retesting a resistance

at 2,491 ringgit, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.

Weak crude oil prices also weighed on palm, as it shifts

demand away from tropical oil as an alternative biodiesel

feedstock. Oil prices have dropped following a steep run up in

U.S. crude oil inventories, showing there was ample supply in

the world's largest oil consumer.

U.S. crude for December delivery gained 42 cents to

$97.28 on Thursday after ending at its lowest settlement since

July 1 on Wednesday.

Demand for Malaysian biodiesel products could pick up in the

next few months after European Union member states agreed to

impose higher duties on biodiesel imported from Indonesia and

Argentina from November onwards.

Market players will also be looking at cargo surveyor export

data for the Oct. 1-25 period, to be issued on Friday, to gauge

demand of the tropical oil.

In competing vegetable oil markets, the U.S. soyoil contract

for December was flat in late Asian trade, while the

most-active January soybean oil contract on the Dalian

Commodities Exchange rose 0.1 percent.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1017 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume

MY PALM OIL NOV3 2473 -15.00 2459 2478 353

MY PALM OIL DEC3 2461 -20.00 2456 2481 4639

MY PALM OIL JAN4 2461 -21.00 2455 2481 23416

CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY4 6124 -34.00 6108 6218 991834

CHINA SOYOIL MAY4 7202 +6.00 7168 7226 753958

CBOT SOY OIL DEC3 41.49 -0.01 41.30 41.61 5382

NYMEX CRUDE DEC3 97.29 +0.43 97.00 97.69 22164

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

Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel

($1=3.161 Malaysian ringgit)

(Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Tom Hogue)

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