Palm oil falls for fourth straight day on demand worries

Reuters KUALA LUMPUR | Updated on February 12, 2020

Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth straight session on Wednesday on falling exports amid rising coronavirus-led deaths in China, although lower January stockpiles limited losses.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 8 ringgit, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,687 ringgit ($650.76) per tonne by 0250 GMT.

Demand worries have weighed on palm oil this week, as February 1-10 exports saw a 20-29.4 per cent fall, according to cargo surveyors. This is because exports to its biggest customers India and China have taken a hit due to the India’s import curbs on refined grades and the coronavirus outbreak disrupting supply chain and consumer spending in China.

Malaysia’s palm oil end-January inventories fell 12.7 per cent to 1.76 million tonnes from the previous month, while production plunged 12.6 per cent to 1.17 million tonnes month-on-month, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Monday. However, the market is expecting production to pick up in February.

Dalian's most-active soyoil contract traded 1.2 per cent lower, while its palm oil contract fell 1.6 per cent. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.07 per cent. Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

The ringgit, palm's currency of trade, was 0.05 per cent stronger against the dollar, making the edible oil more expensive for holders of foreign currency.

Published on February 12, 2020

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