VEGOILS-Palm falls to 3-wk low on slowing exports, high stocks

Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:56pm IST

* Malaysia's Jan 1-10 palm exports fall 25 pct -ITS
    * Exports drop 34 pct for same period -SGS
    * Malaysia Dec palm oil stocks up 2.4 pct to record 2.63 mln
tonnes -MPOB

 (Updates prices, adds SGS exports data)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
fell to a three-week low on Thursday, weighed down by falling
exports and persistently high stocks in the world's No.2
producer of the edible oil. 
    Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Jan. 1-10 tumbled
25 percent to 373,462 tonnes from a revised 499,732 tonnes
shipped during Dec. 1-10, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing
Services said on Thursday. 
    Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance,
reported a steeper 34 percent drop in exports during the same
period, to 343,081 tonnes. 
    The fall came despite Malaysia's zero percent export tax
that was expected to boost crude palm oil shipments and amid
stricter Chinese regulations on edible oil imports that may have
deterred some exporters.    
    "Exports were bad for the first ten days. A lot of people
think that with the new tax structure, exports should improve,
but it's not necessarily so because for the past few years we
already have a 3-million-tonne per year duty-free export quota,"
said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia.
    "For the longer term, yes, the tax structure is positive but
if you expect an immediate impact for the first ten days, I
don't think it's possible."                  
    The benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange lost 1.2 percent to close at 2,383 ringgit
($789) per tonne, off an earlier low at 2,356 ringgit, a level
not seen since Dec. 21.
    Total traded volume stood at 50,625 lots of 25 tonnes each,
more than twice the usual 25,000 lots.
    Palm oil could face further pressure as data released by the
Malaysian Palm Oil Board after the midday break showed stocks
climbed 2.4 percent from the previous month to a new record at
2.63 million tonnes, fuelling concerns that inventory levels
could remain high well into January. 
    The data went against market expectations that stocks are
likely to have dropped 2.5 percent to 2.5 million tonnes.
    
    Malaysia's weather office maintained its forecast for heavy
rain, saying the downpour may cause floods in low-lying areas in
the key palm producing state of Sarawak and could disrupt
harvesting.    
    Brent crude futures jumped towards $113 on Thursday after
news of a sharp cut in Saudi oil production, an explosion in
Yemen which halted most of the country's oil exports and
following bullish Chinese trade data. 
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for March
delivery was flat in late Asian trade, with investors
awaiting a U.S. Department of Agriculture supply-demand report
due to be released on Friday. 
    The most active May soybean oil contract on the
Dalian Commodity Exchange had edged up 0.2 percent by 0540 GMT. 
     
    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1008 GMT
                                                                                         
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JAN3    2300    +5.00    2285    2321      52
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2334   -32.00    2314    2392    2374
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2383   -29.00    2356    2433   23888
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3    6726  -102.00    6722    6874  642526
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY3    8562   -56.00    8556    8666  366328
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   49.64    +0.00   49.37   49.97    5775
  NYMEX CRUDE      FEB3   94.38    +1.28   93.08   94.39   36272
                                                                                         
  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=3.02 ringgit)

 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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