VEGOILS-Palm oil drops nearly 2% on profit-booking, lower exports

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell nearly 2% on Friday as some investors booked profits after a recent rally, while lower exports amid the coronavirus outbreak also dented sentiment.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange slid 48 ringgit, or 1.94%, to 2,475 ringgit ($591.40) during early trade.

Palm has gained 7% this week, rebounding after three straight weekly losses on an uptick in demand ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


FUNDAMENTALS

* Malaysia's export for March 1-5 dropped 38% from a month earlier as top buyers India and China reduced purchases, according to cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services.

* While India is not buying due to restrictions on refined palm oil, fast-spreading coronavirus beyond China has raised concerns of lower global demand.

* Malaysian palm oil inventories in February likely dropped 1.4% to 1.73 million tonnes from 1.76 million tonnes in January, their lowest since June 2017, according to a Reuters' poll.

* Dalian's most-active soyoil contract fell 1.2%, while its palm oil contract slid 1.12%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were also down 0.31%.

* Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

* Palm oil may drop to 2,431 ringgit per tonne, as it failed to break a resistance at 2,592 ringgit, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.


MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell following another Wall Street rout as disruptions to global business from the epidemic beyond China worsened, stoking fears of a prolonged world economic slowdown.


DATA/EVENTS

0700 Germany Industrial Orders MM Jan

0745 France Reserve Assets Total Feb

0830 UK Halifax House Prices MM Feb

1330 US Non-Farm Payrolls Feb

1330 US Unemployment Rate Feb

1330 US Average Earnings YY Feb

1330 US International Trade Jan ($1 = 4.1850 ringgit) (Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; editing by Uttaresh.V)