Bloomberg News

Palm Oil Drops as Rally to One-Month High Seen Reducing Demand

March 25, 2013

March 25 (Bloomberg) --Palm oil fell for the first time in five days on concern that a rally to a one-month high may reduce exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer.

The contract for delivery in June dropped as much as 1.2 percent to 2,463 ringgit ($797) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and ended the morning session at 2,470 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur. Futures gained 3.3 percent last week, closing at 2,493 ringgit, the highest price since Feb. 22.

Exports from Malaysia fell 7.5 percent to 1.07 million tons in the first 25 days of this month from the same period in February, surveyor Intertek said today. Shipments had been 11 percent higher during the first 20 days of the month, according to the surveyor. Inventories in Malaysia were 2.44 million tons in February after reaching a record 2.63 million tons in December, according to the nation’s palm oil board.

“The exports we had seen in the last few weeks may not be sustained as with the current tax exporters don’t have much of an incentive,” Chung Yang Ker, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said by phone from Singapore. “Higher prices will also weaken demand.”

Malaysia retained a tax on crude palm oil shipments at 4.5 percent for a second month in April. Indonesia, the biggest producer, may keep the levy on exports unchanged at 10.5 percent in April, according to the nation’s palm oil association.

Soybean oil for May delivery dropped 0.2 percent to 50.32 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans for May fell 0.3 percent to $14.3575 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for September delivery gained 0.4 percent to 6,412 yuan ($1,032) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for delivery in the same month rose 0.3 percent to 8,102 yuan a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jake Lloyd-Smith at jlloydsmith@bloomberg.net


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