March 28, 2018 / 5:41 AM / 3 months ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil slips as ringgit gains further

    * Palm heads for second consecutive session of declines
    * Ringgit surges to strongest in nearly two years
    * Market seen trading in range before official data - trader

    By Emily Chow
    KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil
futures edged down in early trade on Wednesday, as the ringgit
 strengthened further and hit its highest in nearly two
    The Malaysian currency rose as much as 0.53 percent against
the dollar to 3.8550, its highest since April 2016, bolstered by
high oil prices and portfolio inflows. It was last up 0.48
percent at 3.8570 per dollar around noon and was headed for a
third consecutive sessions of gains.
    Gains in the ringgit, palm's currency of trade, usually
weigh on the tropical oil by making it more expensive for
holders of foreign currencies. 
   The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.3 percent
at 2,423 ringgit ($628.29) a tonne at the midday break, heading
for a second straight session of declines. 
    Palm fell to a one-week low of 2,410 ringgit on Tuesday, and
has been range trading around 2,400 ringgit in the last two
weeks. It has shed over 5 percent so far this month in what
could be its biggest monthly drop since November 2017.
    Trading volumes stood at 8,717 lots of 25 tonnes each at the
midday break on Wednesday.    
    Palm oil is seen trading in a range in the medium term until
data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board is released on April 10,
said a futures trader from Kuala Lumpur.
    "But it's hard to say (if March stocks will rise or fall
on-month), as the surprise lies in exports... and production,"
he said.  
    Malaysian palm oil production is forecast to rise in March
from a month earlier, in line with seasonal trend and on the
higher number of working days. MYPOMP-CPOTT
    Exports are also forecast to rise in March on a monthly
basis. Shipments from Malaysia during March 1-25 rose 9
percent-10 percent from the corresponding period in February,
according to cargo surveyor data released earlier this week.

    Malaysian exports had declined 13.3 percent on a monthly
basis to 1.3 million tonnes in February. MYPOME-PO
    In other related oils, the Chicago Board of Trade's May
soybean oil contract fell 0.2 percent, while the May
soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange
declined 0.7 percent. 
    The Dalian May palm oil contract was down 0.5
    Palm oil prices are impacted by movements in rival edible
oils as they compete in the global vegetable oils market.    

    Palm, soy and crude oil prices as of 0503 GMT
 Contract          Month    Last  Change     Low    High  Volume
 MY PALM OIL       APR8     2403   +3.00    2385    2403      24
 MY PALM OIL       MAY8     2427   -8.00    2424    2429     850
 MY PALM OIL       JUN8     2423   -8.00    2419    2426    4353
 CHINA PALM OLEIN  SEP8     5080  -10.00    5054    5094  169412
 CHINA SOYOIL      SEP8     5792  -48.00    5772    5816  240266
 CBOT SOY OIL      MAY8    31.52   -0.06    31.5   31.59    1212
 INDIA PALM OIL    MAR8   637.90   -0.50  637.90   638.5      52
 INDIA SOYOIL      APR8      774   -2.10   773.6  775.25     850
 NYMEX CRUDE       MAY8    64.65   -0.60   64.64   64.98   27679
  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
  India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
  Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
($1 = 3.8565 ringgit)
($1 = 65.0125 Indian rupees)
($1 = 6.2771 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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