Malaysian palm oil price sees biggest daily gain in month

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures made their sharpest daily gains in a month on Thursday, tracking rises in soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade and supported by a weaker ringgit, traders said.

A weaker ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, tends to make the tropical oil cheaper for foreign buyers and spurs demand.

The ringgit, which has been trading at one-year highs, eased on Thursday afternoon against the dollar. It was last down 0.2 percent at 4.0875 per dollar.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.6 percent to 2,603 ringgit ($636.82) a tonne at the close of trade, its strongest daily gain since Oct 23.

But it still recorded a fifth straight week of losses, down 1 percent on the week. It was also down 7.5 percent month-on-month in November, its sharpest monthly fall since February.

Traded volumes stood at 37,689 lots of 25 tonnes each on Thursday evening.

“The market was up on U.S. soyoil and some covering ahead of the long weekend,” said a futures trader from Kuala Lumpur.

Another trader said Thursday’s weaker ringgit offered a boost.

Malaysian markets close on Friday for a national holiday.

Palm oil is affected by moves in other edible oils as they compete for a share of the global vegetable oils market. The December soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1 percent.

In other related edible oils, the January soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.2 percent, while its January palm olein contract rose 0.2 percent.

Palm oil exports from Malaysia fell 5.3 percent for the full month of November, versus the previous month, said cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services on Thursday.

Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a 7.5 percent decline in November’s monthly exports from the previous month. – Reuters