Malaysian palm oil futures edged lower on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight session as worries about weak exports and a firm ringgit kept investors on the sidelines. Malaysian palm oil exports fell 16.7 percent in the first 10 days of the month from the same period a month ago, weighed by slowing demand from Europe and China, said cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services.
Another surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance reported a steeper 18.4 percent drop. “There are two main reasons the market is down today: a strong ringgit and the weak exports figure. Support level is at 2,280 ringgit,” said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.
At market close, the benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.4 percent at 2,301 ringgit ($770) per tonne, after trading between 2,291 and 2,327 ringgit. Total traded volumes stood at 26,482 lots of 25 tonnes each, lower than the average 35,000 lots. Technicals showed palm oil looks neutral in a range of 2,295 to 2,335 ringgit per tonne, and an escape will point a future direction, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Malaysian palm oil stocks eased 11.3 percent in April, due to a combination of stagnant production growth and higher-than-expected exports and local consumption. The market is now waiting for Malaysia’s palm exports data for the May 1-15 period due Wednesday to gauge demand. In vegetable oil markets, US soyoil for July delivery fell 0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange closed 0.1 percent lower.