VEGOILS-Palm oil up on soy concerns, slow exports limit gains
* Malaysia's Jan 1-20 palm exports down 17.3 pct on month -ITS * Shipments fall 20 pct for same period -SGS * Palm oil may retest resistance at 2,449 ringgit -technicals * Malaysia's weather office issues heavy rain warning for Pahang, Johor (Updates prices, adds SGS exports data) By Chew Yee Kiat SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures edged up on Monday, supported by dry weather concerns in South America's soy-producing regions although gains were limited by the latest cargo surveyor data pointing to weaker exports of the tropical oil. A turn to dry weather in Argentina and in southern Brazil may lead to a lower supply of soybeans and soybean oil, shifting some demand to competing palm oil that is trading at a hefty discount of above $300. But price upside could be limited as exports continued to fall, easing 17.3 percent for the first 20 days of the month to 830,830 tonnes from 1,004,159 tonnes a month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Monday. Another cargo, surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a 20 percent decline to 813,778 tonnes for the same period. "The market is holding on South American weather worries and some chart-based buying interest," said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in Malaysia. "But at the same time exports are lower and end-stocks are building up." At the close, the benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 0.8 percent to 2,420 ringgit ($798) per tonne. Total traded volume stood at 25,074 lots of 25 tonnes each, a tad higher than the usual 25,000 lots. Technical analysis shows palm oil may retest resistance at 2,449 ringgit per tonne, a break above which will lead to a further gain to 2,522 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. Malaysia's weather office issued a heavy rain advisory on Monday, saying intermittent rain may cause floods over low-lying areas that could disrupt production in key palm producing states of Pahang and Johor. A lower output may help ease Malaysian palm oil stocks, currently at a record-high 2.63 million tonnes, although traders point out that exports are also lower. Market participants will also be looking out for the impact of India's latest crude edible oils import duty of 2.5 percent which is aimed at curbing imports and protecting local refiners. Brent crude oil slipped below $112 on Monday, ending a three-day rally as economic worries and concerns about oversupply offset fears of unrest in North Africa. In competing vegetable oil markets, the most active May soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 0.9 percent higher. The U.S. Chicago Board of Trade is closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1004 GMT Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume MY PALM OIL FEB3 2370 +12.00 2359 2375 218 MY PALM OIL MAR3 2400 +17.00 2387 2408 3218 MY PALM OIL APR3 2420 +20.00 2404 2428 15935 CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3 6752 +52.00 6726 6778 301050 CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 8846 +118.00 8782 8866 491974 CBOT SOY OIL MAR3 51.68 +0.00 0.00 0.00 0 NYMEX CRUDE FEB3 95.20 -0.36 95.05 95.36 2667 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=3.03 ringgit) (Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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