Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange ended mostly lower Thursday, reflecting investor concerns over palm oil stock levels.
Technical-driven selling pressure and improved South American weather over key soybean growing areas also contributed to lower prices, market participants said.
The benchmark February contract at Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended 0.3% lower at 2,386 ringgit a metric ton after falling as much as 1.1% to MYR2,367/ton, the lowest since Nov. 15.
"Palm oil recovered some lost ground on short-covering and talks that November exports are likely to be up 1%-3% on month" after several weeks of decline, which could support prices, a commodities broker in Kuala Lumpur said.
Trading executives peg November exports at 1.62 million-1.65 million tons, compared with October shipments of around 1.60 million tons. Cargo surveyors SGS and Intertek are scheduled to issue November export data Friday.
Leading oilseed analyst Thomas Mielke is optimistic that palm oil prices are close to bottoming out, and will likely resume an uptrend as inventories are likely to be drawn down on tight global oilseed supplies in the second and third quarters next year.
Excluding soybean crop, production of other oilseeds is expected to fall by five million tons in the 2012-13 marketing year that started on Oct. 1., Mr. Mielke said at an event organized by Singapore-based UOBKayHian earlier this week.
In the cash market, refined palm olein was offered at $797.50/ton while cash CPO for prompt shipment was offered at MYR2,140/ton.
Open interest on the BMD was 167,282 lots, versus 171,428 lots Wednesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.
A total of 24,134 lots of CPO were traded versus 31,818 lots Wednesday.
Ending BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton: Month Close Previous Change High Low Dec'12 2,170 2,160 +10 2,182 2,120 Jan'13 2,320 2,326 -6 2,337 2,297 Feb'13 2,386 2,394 -8 2,406 2,367 Mar'13 2,436 2,435 +1 2,452 2,421