Palm Oil prices in international as well as domestic markets traded steady. Prices were almost flat in range bound trade as traders remained cautious ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays. Market participants were also waiting for USDA monthly supply and demand report later in the day which may show tighter Soybean stocks. Lower production of Soybean and oil could shift demand variably to Palm Oil. Sentiments were positive on optimism that export demand could go up for the tropical oil. The wide discount between Palm Oil and rival Soy Oil continues to exist. This is attracting price sensitive buyers to the cheaper available option, Palm Oil.
Malaysian markets will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for Lunar New year holiday. MPOB will publish January crop data after trading resumes on Wednesday. Market participants expect stockpiles to ease slightly from December's record high, as export demand has recovered. Traders are also eying export estimates for first 10 days by cargo surveyors scheduled on Feb. 13.
Palm Oil may witness a range bound choppy trade next week amid key data releases. Major Palm Oil consumer China, will be closed for whole week for Lunar New Year holidays.
News for Use
Malaysia's prominent investment bank lowers the average CPO price for 2013 by 12% to MYR2,500/ton from a previous forecast of MYR2,850/ton, reiterating its underweight rating on the Palm Oil sector. They also forecast a surge in Malaysian Palm Oil inventories to 2.82 million tons by the end of the year, vs 2.38 million tons reached in 2012.