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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

19/03/2002

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

NULL

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

MALAYSIAN PALM OIL OFF HIGHS, DIGESTS EXPORT DATA
KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil futuresrelinquished earlier gains on profit-taking and disappointment over slowimports by India, China and Pakistan, traders said on Monday.The new benchmark third-month June contract ended one ringgit lowerat 1,180 ringgit ($310.53) a tonne after trading as high as 1,202 ringgit,which sparked profit-taking. Volume was very heavy at 4,898 lots.Cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Survaillance Malaysia (SGS) Sdn Bhdsaid India, the world's largest edible oil importer, purchased 22,150tonnes of palm oil in March 1-15, down from 53,640 in February 1-15.Imports stood at 16,150 tonnes in March 1-10."SGS data has disappointed a lot of people because it shows littleimprovement in demand by India, China and Pakistan," said one trader inKuala Lumpur.The SGS said Malaysian palm oil exports for March 1-15 stood at429,832 tonnes, up from 302,160 in February 1-15.China was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for March 1-15,taking 100,410 tonnes, followed by the United States which bought 30,845tonnes and Pakistan with 30,500 tonnes, SGS said.European Union countries bought 78,515 tonnes, it added. Traders saidthe market was cautious on talk from thefreight sector that vessel bookings for shipments from Malaysia/Indonesiato India were estimated to have reached up to300,000 tonnes so far this month.Players said India was looking for palm oil to replenish its dwindlingstocks of edible oil, adding that they expected to see a rise in exportsfrom Malaysia to consuming countries in the second half of March.Traders had said Malaysia's palm oil exports could reach one milliontonnes in March, up from 733,101 tonnes in February.In physical palm oil, the March contract for the southern and centralregions saw bids at 1,175 ringgit a tonne versus offers at 1,180. Tradewas reported at 1,175 for both sides.The April contract for south and central saw bids at 1,180 ringgitagainst offers at 1,185. There were deals at 1,180 ringgit for both sides.