Palm Drops to Two-Month Low as Stockpiles Rise, Exports Decrease

Jan 10, 2014 5:31 am ET

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Palm oil declined to a two-month low after data showed that reserves in Malaysia, the world’s second- largest producer, climbed to the highest level in nine months while exports fell.

Futures for March delivery lost 0.8 percent to 2,519 ringgit ($770) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, the lowest level at close since Nov. 8. The most-active contract lost 4.6 this week, the first weekly decline in four weeks,

Inventories climbed 0.3 percent to 1.99 million tons in December from a month earlier, the highest level since March, while exports lost 1.4 percent to 1.51 million tons, Malaysian Palm Oil Board data showed today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was 1.92 million tons for reserves and 1.48 million for exports. Output fell 10 percent to 1.67 million tons, in line with the survey.

“Stocks are higher, that’s definitely bearish,” said Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, the head of trading and hedging strategies at Kaleesuwari Intercontinental Singapore Pte. “The export data for the first 10 days is also very bad.”

Shipments from Malaysia fell 21 percent to 297,308 tons in the first 10 days of January from the same period last month, Intertek, a surveyor, said today. Exports dropped 22 percent, estimates from SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. show.

India, the world’s largest palm oil consumer, yesterday increased the import duty on refined edible oils to 10 percent from 7.5 percent to protect local refiners, according to Food Minister K.V. Thomas.

Soybean oil for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to 37.75 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans gained 0.2 percent to $12.7575 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery increased 0.7 percent to close at 5,850 yuan ($967) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil climbed 0.2 percent to end at 6,648 yuan.

--Editor: Thomas Kutty Abraham