Palm jumps to near 3-month top on support from crude oil

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): Malaysian palm oil futures jumped to a near three-month high on Friday, charting a second day of gains, buoyed by strong crude oil prices and technical buying.    

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was 1.3% up at 2,226 ringgit (US$541.61) a tonne at the close. It was earlier as high as 2,228 ringgit, its strongest levels since Oct 23. 

Palm is up 2.4% for the week, a second week of gains in three. 

Trading volumes stood at 37,341 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.

"Palm is up mostly on technical buying, in addition to supportive crude oil prices," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader.

Oil prices rose over 1% on Friday, after a report from OPEC showed its production fell sharply last month, easing some fears about prolonged oversupply.

Palm oil prices are impacted by movements in crude oil, as the vegetable oil is used as feedstock to make biodiesel. 

In related oils, the Chicago March soybean oil contract slipped 0.03%, while the May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 1.1%. The Dalian May palm oil contract rose 2%.

Palm oil prices are impacted by movements in soyoil rates, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market.

Palm oil is biased to break a resistance at 2,198 ringgit per tonne, and rise into a range of 2,227-2,245 ringgit, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
 Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1038 GMT:

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL FEB9 2141 +21.00 2134 2147 3143
MY PALM OIL MAR9 2192 +23.00 2179 2193 5886
MY PALM OIL APR9 2223 +28.00 2208 2228 14116
CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN9 4200 -22.00 3992 4200 556
CHINA SOYOIL JAN9 5170 +12.00 5168 5170 120
CBOT SOY OIL JAN9 28.76 -0.01 28.66 28.77 5825
INDIA PALM OIL JAN9 551.50 +3.70 550.00 553.8 744
INDIA SOYOIL JAN9 762.75 +0.05 762.4 765.5 4220
NYMEX CRUDE FEB9 52.70 +0.63 52.09 52.86 28902

 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
(US$1 = 4.1100 ringgit)
(US$1 = 71.1710 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.7745 Chinese yuan)