Palm climbs on sentiment ahead of Lunar holidays

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30): Malaysian palm oil futures rose on early Wednesday, recovering from their largest fall in two weeks in the previous session, on buoyant sentiment ahead of the Lunar celebration.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange climbed 0.35% to RM2,302 (US$560.51) a tonne at the midday break.

Trading volumes stood at 15,404 lots of 25 tonnes each.

The futures contract rose to its highest in nearly seven months supported by related edible oil prices on Monday, and charted a sixth session of gains in seven. It then fell 1.4% on Tuesday, recording the largest decline in two weeks.

"Market will likely continue to range here in anticipation of the long holiday," a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.

There is also better demand in the palm oil contracts for February and March delivery, supported by higher pricing in Indonesia, the trader added.

"Stocks in Indonesia seem to have been decreasing since December," he said.

Malaysian markets will be closed on Feb 5-6 for the Lunar New Year celebrations.    

"Traders are also covering positions as there is a lack of sellers at the lower price levels," said another futures trader from Kuala Lumpur.

Palm oil may slide further into a range of RM2,256-2,274 per tonne, following its failure to break a resistance at RM2,322, Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals said.

In other related oils, the Chicago March soybean oil contract was up 0.13%.

The May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 0.41%, while the Dalian May palm oil contract fell 0.58%.

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

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0552 GMT:

Contract        Month    Last  Change     Low   High   Volume
MY PALM OIL     FEB9     2200   +6.00    2180   2205      227
MY PALM OIL     MAR9     2268   +4.00    2245   2271     1573
MY PALM OIL     APR9     2302   +8.00    2277   2305     6796
CHINA PALM OLEIN     MAY9     4796  -30.00    4760   4816   393956
CHINA SOYOIL    MAY9     5758  -30.00    5740   5796   311900
CBOT SOY OIL    MAR9    30.16   +0.05   30.08  30.17     2154
INDIA PALM OIL  JAN9   561.70   +0.80  556.40  562.7       71
INDIA SOYOIL    FEB9   773.15   +2.00   771.2  774.3     2950
NYMEX CRUDE     MAR9    53.41   +0.10   53.11  53.61    39482

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 = RM4.1070)
(US$1 = 71.24 Indian rupees)
(US$1 = 6.7131 Chinese yuan)