VEGOILS-Palm oil ends lower, U.S. dry weather in focus

Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:13pm IST

* Traders book profits from previous day's price rally
    * Palm oil to retrace to 3,067 ringgit -technicals
    * July 1-15 exports down 26.1 percent from June -SGS
    * El Nino indicators ease, still expected late 2012

 (Updates prices, adds details)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil
futures ended lower on Tuesday as traders booked profits from
the previous day's rally, and the market could resume its
advance as persistent hot and dry weather in the United States
reduced global oilseeds supply.
    Heat from the worst drought seen since 1956 has severely
damaged soybeans, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture rating
the crop at 34 percent good-to-excellent, down 6 percentage
points from the previous week. 
    A lower quality soybean crop may lead to less soybean oil,
which would shift demand to refined palm oil especially as it is
trading at a discount of above $200.
    "The market is caught between weak internals and strong
externals," said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in
Malaysia.
    "On the domestic front, we have better production for July
and the export numbers are shrinking. But externally, the
stronger grain prices have made palm attractive in the
international market."      
    The benchmark October palm oil futures on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.9 percent to close at 3,062
ringgit ($968) per tonne, pressured by last-minute selling. 
    Traded volumes stood at 24,317 lots of 25 tonnes each, a tad
lower than the usual 25,000 lots.
    Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported a 21
percent decline in Malaysian exports for the first 15 days of
the month. Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de
Surveillance, reported a 26.1 percent drop in exports for the
same period compared to last month.     
    Exports to China suffered the steepest decline, although
demand is still expected to pick up due to various festivals,
starting with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan this week and
with China and India celebrating key holidays from September to
November.    
    Traders are also watching the possibility of an El Nino
weather pattern returning to Southeast Asia, as it could hurt
palm oil output for top producers Indonesia and Malaysia.  
    But climate indicators for an El Nino event in the western
Pacific have eased slightly in the past fortnight, although
meteorologists still expect the weather pattern to form late in
2012.   
    Brent crude oil rose to $104 a barrel on Tuesday, a bullish
factor for palm oil which can be diverted to make biofuel,
making it more expensive for food use.
    Other vegetable oil markets also traded lower, retreating
from weather-fuelled rallies seen the previous day. By 1006 GMT,
the most active U.S. soyoil for December delivery fell
1.1 percent and the most active January 2013 soyoil contract
 on the Dalian Commodity Exchange inched down 0.3
percent.    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1007 GMT
                                                                                    
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      AUG2    3052   -48.00    3052    3106     640
  MY PALM OIL      SEP2    3056   -58.00    3053    3117    3567
  MY PALM OIL      OCT2    3062   -60.00    3061    3130   15115
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN3    8154   -82.00    8120    8292  305624
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN3    9828   -32.00    9752    9928  743520
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC2   54.88    -0.61   54.74   55.69   12687
  NYMEX CRUDE      AUG2   88.49    +0.06   88.06   88.75   21896
                                                                                    
  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=3.163 Malaysian ringgit)

 (Editing by Miral Fahmy and Simon Cameron-Moore)
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