VEGOILS-Palm oil eases on lower export to China and India

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures slid for the third straight session on Wednesday, hampered by lower purchases from top importers India and China, amid uncertainties over January production.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange eased 11 ringgit, or 0.3%, to 2,879 ringgit during early trade.


FUNDAMENTALS

* Malaysia's Jan. 1-20 palm oil exports fell between 7.4% and 9.9% from the month before, according to cargo surveyors.

* Exports to China, the second-largest importer, have been low ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

* Concerns over lower exports to India after the world's biggest buyer of edible oils restricted imports of refined palm oil on Jan. 8 also hit market sentiment.

* India's palm imports could fall as much as 11% in 2019/20 amid a diplomatic row with Malaysia, Indian industry officials said last week.

* Concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus from China kept global markets on the edge and also weighed on the Malaysian bourse.

* Average palm oil prices will surge 17.9% this year, a Reuters poll of industry participants showed, as reduced output in the first half of the year and higher biodiesel consumption in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia tighten the market.

* Dalian's most-active soyoil contract traded 1% lower, while its palm oil contract fell 0.8%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were also trading 0.2% lower.

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


MARKET NEWS

* Asian share markets steadied on Wednesday as investors weighed the possible consequences of a global pandemic from the spread of the virus strain from China.


DATA/EVENTS

0745 France Business Climate Mfg Jan

1500 US Existing Home Sales Dec

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)