Palm Futures Down 2 Percent as Traders Book Profit

Crude palm oil futures dropped 2 per cent yesterday as traders booked profits after a cargo surveyor reported an improvement in exports and vegetable oil markets weakened.

Benchmark December contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivative Exchange settled down RM44 at RM2,146 a tonne. Overall volume more than doubled to 11,386 lots of 25 tonnes each compared to the usual 5,000 lots.

“It was sell on fact. Exports have improved slightly although weaker external markets have dampened sentiment along the with many traders still off due to the holidays,” said a dealer with a local broker.

US soyoil markets were down slightly on profit-taking after rising strongly the previous session while the most active May 2010 contract on China’s Dalian soyoil futures edged lower.

Cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance reinforced prospects of higher demand when it reported that Sept. 1-20 palm oil exports rose 2.9 per cent to 837,656 tonnes from 814,403 tonnes shipped on Aug. 1-20.

Traders say exports towards the end of the month could rise by 3-4 per cent as big buyers like China and India resume purchasing while Middle Eastern countries are likely to restock after the Muslim religious festival on Sunday.

“We could see another drawdown in stocks, especially since the plantation workers have also taken off during this month for the festivals,” said another trader.

Very few trades were struck in the physical market. Bids for crude palm oil for Sept. and Oct. delivery were seen at RM2,330 while offers stood at RM2,350 for both the southern and central regions. Source : Business Times

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