Malaysian palm oil futures were little changed on Thursday, trading in a tight range as investors held off on risky bets ahead of key data due this week. Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will release official stocks and output data for April on Friday, while cargo surveyors will issue export figures for May 1-10. A Reuters survey showed April stocks likely fell 6.1 percent from March to a nine-month low of 2.04 million tonnes.
“Traders are waiting for MPOB and exports data for more clues. Hopefully we will be able to see a clearer direction then. The market is facing a resistance level around 2,300 ringgit and support at 2,250 ringgit,” said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed nearly flat at 2,288 ringgit ($770) per tonne, after trading in a 2,271 to 2,292 range. Prices climbed as high as 2,294 ringgit on Wednesday, a level last seen on April 30.
Total traded volumes stood at 20,076 lots of 25 tonnes each, lower than the average 35,000 lots. Technicals showed palm oil faces a resistance at 2,295 ringgit per tonne, and only a break above that level could lead to a further gain to 2,335 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. Malaysian exports fell 5.6 percent in April from a month ago, according to cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance. Surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported a 4.3 percent decline for the same period. In vegetable oil markets, US soyaoil for July delivery gained 0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange lost 0.4 percent.