March 31, 2015 / 11:35 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm falls; Indonesia, Malaysia tax policies in focus

* Indonesia sets CPO export tax for April at zero
    * Palm oil to fall to 2,146 ringgit -technicals
    * Malaysian GST seen weakening April exports, prices

 (Updates throughout)
    By Fergus Jensen
    JAKARTA, March 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
edged down on Tuesday as traders took profits after a rally the
day before and after Indonesia kept its palm oil export tax at
zero for April.
    By Tuesday's close the benchmark June contract on
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives was down 1.19 percent at 2,165
ringgit ($585) a tonne. Total traded volume stood at 35,441 lots
of 25 tonnes, just above the daily average of 35,000 lots
    Exports of Malaysian palm oil products in March rose 21.4
percent to 1.16 million tonnes from 953,053 tonnes shipped in
February, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services (ITS) said on
    According to cargo surveyor Societe Generale de
Surveillance, Malaysian palm oil exports over the same period
rose 14.8 percent to 1,140,355 tonnes from 993,376 tonnes
shipped during February.  
    "Normally traders buy on rumours and sell on facts," said a
trader with foreign commodities brokerage, noting that the
increase in Malaysian palm oil exports had earlier been factored
into prices and that traders were concerned about Indonesia's
export tax remaining at zero.
    The market is also focusing on Malaysia's plans to implement
a goods and services tax that is seen affecting shipments and
sales of the edible oil in April. 
    "A lot of the plantations are pushing their products out
this month. When it comes to April our exports are expected to
be weak," the trader said. "The GST will have a huge impact on
our whole economy."
    While palm oil itself is exempt from the GST, exporters and
traders will need to apply for tax refunds from customs,
potentially reducing their operations' liquidity, he said.
    "From crude to the refinery they can claim back, but the
process and duration for claims is unknown."
    Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, the world's second
biggest oil palm planter by acreage, expects its palm and palm
kernel oil production to rise around 5 percent this year, coming
in at the lower end of a projected annual growth rate as dry
weather hurts yields, potentially providing some price support.
    In other vegetable oils, the U.S. soyoil May contract 
slipped 0.56 percent during late Asian trading, while the most
active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange lost 0.74 percent.
    Brent crude oil dropped towards $55 a barrel on Tuesday as
Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a
nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil
exports to world markets. 

 Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1110 GMT

 Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
 MY PALM OIL      APR5    2136   -20.00    2132    2169     256
 MY PALM OIL      MAY5    2168   -28.00    2162    2187    2751
 MY PALM OIL      JUN5    2165   -26.00    2156    2182   20284
 CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP5    4644   -24.00    4632    4686  429164
 CHINA SOYOIL     SEP5    5352   -40.00    5342    5408  424180
 CBOT SOY OIL     MAY5   30.33    -0.70   30.32   30.48    4345
 INDIA PALM OIL   MAR5  434.30    -0.70  434.30  435.10     148
 INDIA SOYOIL     APR5  583.25    +0.55  580.50  585.50   14175
 NYMEX CRUDE      MAY5   47.73    -0.95   47.28   48.73   45127

 Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
 CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound
 Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
 India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
 Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
($1 = 6.2020 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 62.6450 Indian rupees)
($1 = 3.7020 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Joseph Radford and
William Hardy)
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