DJ Asian Crude Palm Oil Little Changed; Economic Concerns In Focus 18.08.2011
KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivative exchange were little changed Thursday, with investors more focused on global economic growth and supportive fundamentals relegated to the background, trade participants said.
Benchmark November CPO on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended at MYR3,026 a metric ton, down 0.2% from Wednesday's close.
Investors are closely watching developments in the euro zone and the U.S. for greater clarity on whether developed economies may be slipping into a recession.
"I think investors are still concerned about external factors and some are sitting on the sidelines for new cues," a trading manager at a Jakarta-based vegoil exporter said. "But a lot of buying has been taking place this week, particularly from South Asian countries, as palm oil prices appear to be stabilizing."
Traders also said the long queue of palm oil vessels in several Indonesian and Malaysian ports points to higher overall exports this month, and may lead to a drawdown in palm oil stocks in Malaysia.
"Production at some of our estates is marginally lower, so I think palm oil will be well supported at current price levels," a manager at a major plantation company in Malaysia said.
Output in Malaysia and Indonesia, both major producers of palm oil, is widely expected to be lower in August as workers go on holidays during the fasting month of Ramadan.
In the cash market, refined palm olein for October/November/December was traded at $1,090/ton, free on board Malaysian ports, a physical market broker in Singapore said.
Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered MYR10 lower at MYR3,160/ton.
Traded volume on the BMD reached 19,201 lots, down from 20,179 Wednesday. One lot equals 25 tons.
Open interest was 135,490 contracts compared with 135,600 contracts Wednesday.
Closing BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton at 1030 GMT: Month Close Previous Change High Low Sep'11 3,148 3,153 Down 5 3,160 3,143 Oct'11 3,068 3,073 Down 5 3,082 3,055 Nov'11 3,026 3,033 Down 7 3,043 3,010 Dec'11 3,014 3,021 Down 7 3,030 2,994