June 20, 2013 / 5:13 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm eases from near 3-mth high; weak ringgit caps losses

* Dollar strengthens after Fed comments, ringgit weakens
    * Malaysia June 1-20 palm oil exports up 16.2 pct -ITS
    * Prices mark 2,491 ringgit, highest since March 25

 (Updates throughout)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
ended lower on Thursday, as global economic uncertainty spooked
investors, although losses were limited by robust export data
and a weaker local currency that sent prices to a near
three-month high in the morning session.
    Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for June 1 to 20 rose
16.2 percent to 928,810 tonnes from the same period last month,
cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Thursday.
    The spike in shipments reflected higher purchases by India
and Pakistan ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in July,
when communal feasting typically increases consumption of the
edible oil.    
    Despite supportive fundamentals, investor sentiment was
weak, with markets from crude oil to Asian shares tumbling on
Thursday, as slowing Chinese manufacturing activity hurt
sentiment even further after the Federal Reserve signalled it
would begin to dial down stimulus this year.     
    "The market ended a little lower because of the fragile
sentiment. But fundamentals are still supportive with exports
rising higher and the ringgit still weak," said a trader with a
foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
    The benchmark September contract on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 0.3 percent to close at 2,465
ringgit ($771) per tonne. Prices rose to an intraday high of
2,491 ringgit in the morning, a level last seen on March 25.
    Total traded volume stood at 34,107 lots of 25 tonnes each,
slightly lower than the usual 35,000 lots.
    Despite the lower market close, traders said a weak ringgit
 could still support prices, as it makes the tropical oil
cheaper for overseas buyers and improves refining margins.  
    The ringgit lost nearly 3 percent against the dollar on
Thursday, with the greenback stronger after the Fed's
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July lost
0.8 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active January soybean
oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange lost
0.5 percent.       
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1018 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JUL3    2459    -7.00    2459    2480     149
  MY PALM OIL      AUG3    2476    -5.00    2471    2497    7603
  MY PALM OIL      SEP3    2465    -7.00    2460    2491   19032
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4    6198   -32.00    6184    6274  460298
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN4    7692   +26.00    7652    7742  681034
  CBOT SOY OIL     JUL3   48.97    -0.38   48.95   49.39    3475
  NYMEX CRUDE      JUL3   96.14    -2.10   96.00   98.03    4728
  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=3.1971 ringgit)

 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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