Malaysian palm oil futures eased on Friday, flirting with their near 11-month lows on demand concerns ahead of trade data due next week, to end their sixth straight week of losses, the contract’s longest weekly losing streak since August 2008. The benchmark palm oil contract for October on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ended 0.15 percent lower at 2,042 ringgit ($520.65) a tonne. It slid to 2,024 ringgit a tonne earlier in the session after hitting 2,006 ringgit on Thursday, the lowest since September 2014.
The contract ended the week down 3.7 percent, its biggest weekly drop since March. Traded volume stood at 27,999 lots of 25 tonnes each, below the roughly 35,000 lots usually traded daily. Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and cargo surveyors Intertek Testing Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance are due to release their export, production and stocks data next week.
With production set to rise during the coming peak harvesting weeks at dominant Southeast Asian plantations, the supply-demand outlook remains bleak for the short term, made worse by economic concerns and declining shipments to top buyer China, traders said. Palm oil prices could decline to a low of 1,900 ringgit ($493) a tonne by the end of September because of ample supplies and poor demand, vegetable oil analyst Dorab Mistry said on Thursday, but it may recover to 2,100-2,300 ringgit by the end of November.
Malaysian palm oil producers are seeking fresh opportunities in the Philippines, aiming to build plantations in the country’s southern region, where a historic peace deal has been forged between the government and Muslim rebels. In other vegetable oils, the US September soyoil contract was relatively flat, up 0.13 percent in late Asian trade, while the most active soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 0.77 percent.