KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) -- The crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended lower in line with the downtrend in the global futures markets.

Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics’ owner and co-founder, Dr Sathia Varqa, said the forecast of lower March export data also added to the downward pressure on palm futures today.

“The cargo surveyors will publish the March 1-20 versus Feb 1-20 export data tomorrow, and the expectation is for a 20 per cent drop from the previous month,” he told Bernama.

Sathia predicted the lower shipment was due to India’s previous restriction on refined palm oil export to the country.

However, he said the shipment to China was expected to recover as the number of fresh COVID-19 cases had fallen in the country recently.

Meanwhile, Sathia said the ringgit’s weakening to its lowest level against the US dollar since April 2017 was not sufficient to lure foreign investors to buy the commodity as they would shift to the greenback due to its position as the most liquid currency in the world.

As at 6 pm, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4080/4120 to the greenback compared with yesterday's close of 4.3737/3844. 

At the close, new spot month April 2020 lost RM50 to RM2,271 per tonne, May 2020 slid RM36 to RM2,236 per tonne, June 2020 shed RM23 to RM2,216 per tonne, and July 2020 shrank RM9 to RM2,202 per tonne.

Volume decreased to 78,562 lots from Wednesday's 121,865 lots and open interest eased to 304,001 contracts from 346,527 contracts previously.

On the physical market, April South dropped RM120 to RM2,280 per tonne.



TAGS: Palm oil, CPO futures, Sathia Varqa, Ringgit, Export