April 4, 2019 / 6:42 AM / 2 months ago

Palm extends gains to one-month top on expectations of lower stocks

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures hit a one-month high on Thursday, supported by expectations of better exports demand and lower stocks.

A worker collects palm oil fruits at a plantation in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/Files

The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.5 percent at 2,185 ringgit ($535.80) a tonne at the midday break, heading for a fourth straight session of gains.

It earlier rose as much as 0.7 percent to 2,191 ringgit, the strongest since March 4.

“The market is supported by bullish preliminary estimates that Malaysia stocks may go down,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

Another trader said Malaysia’s exports in March were also expected to be better than the previous month.

Malaysian palm oil stockpiles rose to their highest in nearly two decades in December, and increased unexpectedly in February by 1.3 percent to 3.05 million tonnes.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board is scheduled to release March data on April 10.

In other related oils, the Chicago May soybean oil contract was up 0.1 percent, while the May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was 0.04 percent higher.

The Dalian May palm oil contract was up 0.3 percent.

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

($1 = 4.0780 ringgit)

($1 = 6.7142 Chinese yuan)

($1 = 68.8330 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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