May 14, 2014 / 11:10 AM / 3 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil hits 2-week high on export data, demand hopes

(Adds new milestone, adds Indian imports data, adds Golden Agri results,
updates prices)
    * Export data, restocking push prices to highest since April 30
    * Palm oil is expected to rise to 2,609 ringgit per tonne -technicals
    * India's palm imports ease in April but seen up before Ramadan

    By Michael Taylor
    JAKARTA, May 14 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest
in two weeks on Wednesday, boosted by a combination of data showing a rise in
exports and expectations for an uptick in demand ahead of the Muslim holy month
of Ramadan.
    The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives
Exchange ended 0.7 percent higher at 2,604 ringgit ($809) per tonne after
climbing to 2,614 ringgit, its highest since April 30.
    Total traded volume amounted to 32,399 lots of 25 tonnes, below the usual
35,000 lots.
    "It has a lot to do with good export data for the first 10 days and also
demand and restocking ahead of the fasting month - it (restocking) should have
started in India and Pakistan," said Alan Lim, an analyst with Kenanga
Investment Bank.
    The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in late June and is followed
by the Eid al-Fitr celebration in July, typically drives up consumption of palm
oil, which is used for cooking and as an ingredient in a wide range of
foodstuffs.
    After market hours on Monday, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de
Surveillance said exports of Malaysian palm oil products had risen 25.9 percent
for May 1-10. Malaysian markets were closed on Tuesday for Wesak Day. 
    Intertek Testing Services, another cargo surveyor, had earlier reported that
exports of Malaysian palm oil products for May 1-10 surged about 28 percent to
391,856 tonnes compared with a month earlier on the back of stronger demand from
India, China and Europe. 
    Technicals showed that palm oil was expected to rise to 2,609 ringgit per
tonne, as it has cleared a resistance at 2,587 ringgit, Reuters market analyst
Wang Tao said. 
           
    India's palm oil imports are expected to rise in May to up to 600,000 tonnes
as the world's biggest buyer rushes to meet demand for cooking oil ahead of the
Muslim festival, according to the Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of
Mumbai-based brokerage Sunvin Group. 
    Its palm imports had fallen by more than expected to 536,175 tonnes in
April, data from the Solvent Extractors' Association of India showed on
Wednesday.      
    Traders are now looking ahead to Intertek Testing Services and Societe
Generale de Surveillance to release Malaysia's May 1-15 export data on May 15,
added Lim, who forecasts an average CPO price of 2,800 ringgit per tonne.
    In other news, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd,  Indonesia's largest
palm oil firm, said net profit dropped 8 percent for the quarter ended March 31
on the year as lower contributions from downstream businesses more than offset
the boost from higher palm oil prices. 
    In competing vegetable oil markets, the U.S. soyoil contract for July 
added 0.8 percent in late Asian trade, while the most active September soybean
oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange climbed 0.7 percent.
    In other markets, Brent futures rose above $109.50 a barrel, reaching a
two-week high, on the deteriorating situation in the Ukraine and expectations of
a fall in U.S. crude oil inventories. 
          
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1031 GMT
                                                                  
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      MAY4    2650    +0.00    2650    2655      11
  MY PALM OIL      JUN4    2641   +19.00    2624    2645    1543
  MY PALM OIL      JUL4    2604   +14.00    2592    2614   16393
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP4    6022   +30.00    5994    6052  368846
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP4    6888   +48.00    6868    6916  321820
  CBOT SOY OIL     JUL4   41.54    +0.33   41.26   41.79    8087
  NYMEX CRUDE      JUN4  101.95    +0.25  101.83  102.18   16250
                                                                  
  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 = 3.217 Malaysian Ringgits)
($1 = 6.2289 Chinese Yuan)

 (Additional reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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