Palm climbs to 2-week high on expectations of falling stocks

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 3): Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a two-week high during early trade on Wednesday, in line for a third straight day of gain, on expectations of easing stockpiles, and tracking strength in soyoil on the US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).    

The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.2% at RM2,179 (US$534.07) a tonne at the midday break, its highest since March 21.

"The market is up following external markets' strength, and many are buying on an expectation of a drawdown in stocks," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader, referring to CBOT soyoil.

"We're expecting a drawdown in stocks to around 2.85-2.9 million tonnes based on production... and exports are on the high side."

Malaysian palm oil stockpiles rose to their highest in nearly two decades in December, and had last risen unexpectedly in February by 1.3% to 3.05 million tonnes.

Official March data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board is scheduled for release on April 10.

Exports from cargo surveyors earlier this week showed Malaysian palm oil shipments rose in March, up 22-28% from the previous month.

In other related oils, the Chicago May soybean oil contract gained 1.4% on Tuesday, and was last up 0.1% on Wednesday. Soybean futures had gained on expectations of progress in trade talks between the United States and top soybean buyer China.

Meanwhile, the May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 1.2%, and the Dalian May palm oil contract gained 2.3%.

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

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0452 GMT

Contract          Month    Last   Change     Low   High  Volume
MY PALM OIL       APR9     2064   +27.00    2050   2077      80
MY PALM OIL       MAY9     2149   +30.00    2129   2153    1837
MY PALM OIL       JUN9     2179   +26.00    2164   2182    9207
CHINA PALM OLEIN  MAY9     4460  +100.00    4388   4460  295532
CHINA SOYOIL      MAY9     5460   +62.00    5404   5464  162376
CBOT SOY OIL      MAY9    28.99    +0.03   28.87  29.04    3027
INDIA PALM OIL    APR9   537.50    +3.90  536.00  539.1     354
INDIA SOYOIL      APR9    736.7    +2.05  735.15    738    1840
NYMEX CRUDE       MAY9    62.78    +0.20   62.46  62.90   36850

Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
CBOT soy oil in US 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 US dollars per barrel

(US$1 = RM4.0800)
(US$1 = 6.7106 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 68.5640 Indian rupees)