March 2, 2018 / 6:07 AM / 2 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm slumps 2.5 pct after India raises import tax

    * Palm hits one-week low of 2,485 ringgit/tonne
    * Market also down on stronger ringgit - trader
    * Palm may test support at 2,537 rgt/T - technicals

    By Emily Chow
    KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
slumped up to 2.5 percent on Friday, the sharpest intraday drop
in almost three-and-a-half months, after top consumer India
raised import tax to the highest level in more than a decade. 
    India, the world's biggest edible oil importer, raised its
import tax on crude palm oil to 44 percent from 30 percent and
lifted the tax on refined palm oil to 54 percent from 40
percent, in a bid to support local farmers.
    The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 2.4 percent
at 2,489 ringgit ($635.84) a tonne at the midday break. 
    Earlier in the session, it fell by 2.5 percent to a one-week
low of 2,485 ringgit. It has shed 1.3 percent so far this week.
    "I think exports will be hit, the market won't be able to go
up," said a futures trader in Singapore, referring to India's
tax hike.
    The tax hike by India and the ringgit's appreciation
could drag on palm prices, said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.
    A stronger ringgit typically makes the tropical oil more
expensive for holders of foreign currencies. The Malaysian
currency had strengthened by 0.4 percent against the dollar to
3.9130 by Friday noon.
    Trading volumes stood at 37,093 lots of 25 tonnes each at
the midday break.
    Malaysian palm oil exports rose 6 percent on month to 1.5
million tonnes in January, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil
Board showed. MYPOME-PO 
    But exports in February fell 11 percent to 1.16 million
tonnes in February, showed data from cargo surveyor Societe
Generale de Surveillance.
    In other related oils, the Chicago Board of Trade's May
soybean oil contract rose 0.8 percent, while the May
soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange was up
1.1 percent. The Dalian May palm oil contract fell 0.6
    Palm oil prices are impacted by movements in rival edible
oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils
    Palm oil may test a support at 2,537 ringgit per tonne, a
break below which could cause a loss to the next support at
2,512 ringgit, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for
commodities and energy technicals.
    Palm, soy and crude oil prices as of 0526 GMT
 Contract           Month    Last  Change    Low    High  Volume
 MY PALM OIL        MAR8     2510  -54.00   2510    2540      27
 MY PALM OIL        APR8     2494  -64.00   2492    2545    2084
 MY PALM OIL        MAY8     2489  -60.00   2485    2530   19521
 CHINA PALM OLEIN   MAY8     5292  -30.00   5250    5332  498642
 CHINA SOYOIL       MAY8     5852  +64.00   5752    5892  572032
 CBOT SOY OIL       MAY8    32.65   +0.44  32.28   32.89   18550
 INDIA PALM OIL     MAR8     0.00   +0.00   0.00       0       0
 INDIA SOYOIL       MAR8    755.8   -0.05  753.5   756.6   11050
 NYMEX CRUDE        APR8    60.96   -0.03  60.91   61.41   28680
  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 = 3.9145 ringgit)
($1 = 65.2200 Indian rupees)
($1 = 6.3512 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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