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DJ. Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange ended mostly lower Thursday after moving both ways as investors booked profits on weak CBOT soyoil prices

The benchmark November contract at Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended down 0.6% at 3,061 ringgit a metric ton. The contract earlier rose to MYR3,100/ton, a level not seen since July 17.

"The dip in palm oil prices is expected, as we're due for a technical correction after recent gains," said S. Paramalingam, executive director at Kuala Lumpur-based brokerage Pelindung Bestari. "Investors are also worried that the current high prices could eventually lead to demand destruction."

However, palm oil prices are on track for a 4% gain this week, underpinned by firm exports and concern about tight supplies for rival soyoil.

Total exports in the Aug. 1-20 period grew 6% to 809,814 tons, according to cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services, as major cooking oil buyer China restocked and stepped up imports ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival in September. Intertek said outbound sales to China rose 60% on month to 146,200 tons during the period.

Adding to palm oil's supportive factors were growing concerns about a developing El Nino weather event that is usually associated with warmer temperatures and scant rainfall in Southeast Asia. Drought-like weather in major palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia, which together account for 90% of global production, could damage crops and hurt yields, tightening global vegoil supplies.

In the cash market, refined palm olein for September was traded at $990/ton and October/November/December shipment at $1,005/ton, free on board Malaysian ports, said a physical market broker in Singapore.

Cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered at MYR3,020/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 145,230 lots, versus 147,369 lots Wednesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 35,860 lots of CPO were traded versus 41,150 lots Wednesday.

Ending BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton: 
Month   Close  Previous  Change   High    Low 
Sep'12  3,017     3,008      +9  3,059  3,010 
Oct'12  3,041     3,048      -7  3,068  3,029 
Nov'12  3,061     3,078     -17  3,100  3,052 
Dec'12  3,075     3,090     -15  3,115  3,062 
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