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Palm Oil Tumbles to Lowest Since 2009 as Global Supplies Climb

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Palm, the most-used cooking oil, sank to the lowest level since 2009 as global supplies expand to a record and demand rises at the slowest pace in more than a decade. Soybean oil dropped to the lowest since 2010.

Futures fell 1.6 percent to 2,222 ringgit ($698) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives in Kuala Lumpur, the lowest close for the most-active contract since November 2009. Prices plunged 24 percent in the past year.

World stockpiles of the oil used in everything from candy to biofuel are set to surge 21 percent to a record 9.5 million tons by the end of the 2013-2014 year, as demand expands 4.4 percent, the least in 12 years, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Rising supplies of the more expensive soybean oil are adding to the glut, with U.S. growers set to reap their biggest-ever crop starting September.

“The overall bearish sentiment which is currently in play will only be accelerated as the production cycle increases for palm oil,” said Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, a director at Commtrendz Risk Management Services Pvt. in Mumbai. “There are no supportive demand factors at all.”

Palm production, accounting for 35 percent of cooking oil supply, will expand 5 percent to 58.1 million tons in 2013-2014, USDA data show. Output doubled over the previous decade, led by Indonesia and Malaysia. The predicted stockpiles are equal to 17 percent of demand, the highest level since 1989, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Fifth Year

Supplies of soybean oil, the second most-consumed edible variety, will rise to a record for a fifth year and reach 44.6 million tons, the USDA predicts. The lack of any significant hot weather for the U.S. Midwest during the next 10 days will favor soybeans, DTN said in a report yesterday.

Soybean oil for delivery in December fell as much as 0.4 percent to 44.51 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest level for the most active contract since October 2010, before trading at 44.60 cents. Soybeans for delivery in November climbed 0.4 percent to $12.65 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for January delivery lost 1.2 percent to close at 5,568 yuan ($908) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the lowest close for the most-active contract since July 2009. Soybean oil fell 1 percent to end at 7,244 yuan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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