Palm Oil Prices Up After 3 Straight Days Of Losses

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian crude palm oil futures jumped 2.2 percent on Thursday, after three consecutive days of declines, as higher crude oil prices and a weaker U.S. dollar lifted the market.

The benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settled up RM54 to RM2,554 per tonne after going as high as RM2,573.

Traded volumes fell to 8,233 lots of 25 tonnes each from the usual 10,000 lots. Trading is winding down ahead of Christmas.

“Crude oil is bound to touch 80, sooner or later, and the palm oil traders left in the market are speculating on this,” said a dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage. “We are still quite strong on the demand-supply scenario.”

Expectations of a stock drawdown due to the end of the high production season supported the market. Traders expect stocks to fall about 13 percent to 1.68 million tonnes in December compared with the previous month.

Exports appear to be slowing as the year draws to a close.

Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services saw an 11.4 percent drop in Malaysian palm oil exports to about 1 million tonnes in Dec. 1-25 from the same period a month ago.

The Malaysian ringgit firmed against the dollar in light trade, broadly tracking the euro and Singapore dollar and snapping losses made this week.

The strengthening greenback had weighed on palm oil futures for much of the week as most Malaysian palm oil exports are in the form of products that are priced in the currency.

But the U.S. dollar rally has stalled, lifting crude oil above 77 a barrel on Thursday and supporting other vegetable oil markets. U.S. soyoil for January delivery climbed 1.1 percent. Source: Business Times

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