April 5, 2012 / 5:47 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil ends flat, demand hopes support

* Palm oil trading in tight range
    * Market eyes April exports, Malaysian stocks data

 (Updates throughout)	
    By Chew Yee Kiat	
    SINGAPORE, April 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
were barely changed at the close of trading on Thursday, after
gaining more than 3 percent in the last three sessions, as
demand hopes stemming from worries about tighter soybean supply
continued to support prices.    	
    Palm oil touched a near 13-month high in the previous
session on expectations that global oilseed supply will tighten
after a U.S. Department of Agriculture planting report showed
farmers will plant less soybeans in coming months.       	
    "The market is trading in a very tight range after a strong
rally. On the local front, market players are looking out for
April export numbers next week," said a trader with a foreign
commodities brokerage in Malaysia.	
    Benchmark June palm oil futures on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 1 ringgit higher at 3,558
ringgit ($1,161) per tonne. Prices touched a high of 3,574
ringgit on Wednesday, a level not seen since March 9 last year. 	
    Traded volumes were light at 20,806 lots of 25 tonnes each,
compared to the usual 25,000 lots.	
    Exports of palm oil from No.2 producer Malaysia rose in
March from a month ago, after four straight months of declines,
showing encouraging signs that demand is picking up for the
tropical oil.  	
    Market players have also turned their focus to Malaysian
palm oil stocks, which hovered above the psychological level of
2 million tonnes in February. Industry regulator Malaysian Palm
Oil Board will release March data next week.	
    Oil rose above $123 a barrel on Thursday, bouncing from
sharp falls in the previous two sessions, on growing concerns
over Iranian oil supplies being disrupted due to Western
sanctions. 	
    In other vegetable oil markets, the most active U.S. soyoil
contract for May edged up 0.4 percent in Asian trade. 	
    The most-active Dalian soyoil September contract 
rose as much as 3.1 percent and touched 9,892 yuan, the highest
price level since Sept. 22, after resuming trading from a
three-day break.	
    "There's a spike in the Dalian market today, reacting to the
USDA report last Friday. But the strong performance may not last
too long considering other commodities such as gold are weak ...
this may weigh on soyoil eventually," said Huang Zhi Qiang, an
analyst with Guotai Junan Futures in Shanghai.     	
  	
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1008 GMT
                                                                                
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      APR2    3590    +0.00    3568    3600     293
  MY PALM OIL      MAY2    3574   +12.00    3549    3580    1239
  MY PALM OIL      JUN2    3558    +1.00    3532    3567   12127
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP2    8876  +276.00    8766    8888  186252
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP2    9882  +298.00    9776    9892  491324
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAY2   56.24    +0.21   55.82   56.29    9476
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAY2  101.79    +0.32  101.56  102.43   17763
                                                                                
  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
  Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
  ($1=3.065 ringgit)	
	
 (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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