Palm rebounds on stronger demand forecasts

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 17): Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded late on Friday after falling earlier in the session, boosted by expectations of improving demand and stronger soyoil.

Benchmark palm oil futures for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.3% at 2,804 ringgit a tonne at the end of the trading day.

Traded volumes stood at 33,496 lots of 25 tonnes each on Friday evening. Palm is up 0.9% for the week.

Talk of stronger exports supported the market in later trade, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said. "Soybean oil prices were also in positive territory."

Palm oil prices are affected by related edible oils including soy, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm oil shipments from Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer after Indonesia, showed a 5.5% decline in shipments for the first half of March from the same period the month before, according to Intertek Testing Services.

Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, however, showed a 1.1% gain.

Palm oil may retrace moderately to a support at 2,754 ringgit per tonne before retesting a resistance at 2,815 ringgit, according to Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals, Wang Tao.

In other related vegetable oils, soybean oil on the CBOT was up 0.7%, while the May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.5%.

The May contract for palm olein on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 0.2%.