VEGOILS-Palm oil inches lower on investor caution

Wed Feb 6, 2013 5:16am EST

* Rangebound trade ahead of Lunar New Year holiday next week
-trader
    * Palm oil still targets 2,510 ringgit -technicals
    * Prices traded in tight range of 2,529-2,553 ringgit

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
inched lower on Wednesday in rangebound trading, as traders
watched for further clues from upcoming industry data and
avoided taking risky positions ahead of next week's Lunar New
Year holidays.
    Concern that dry weather in South America could hurt soy
crops has also eased after forecasts pointing to rains in parts
of Argentina's grain belt this month. 
    "A lot of people are evening out positions ahead of the long
holiday. There's no lead in the market, it's going to be
rangebound," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage
in Malaysia. 
    Malaysian financial markets will be closed next Monday and
Tuesday for the Lunar New Year holiday, while China's financial
markets will take a week-long break.
    At market close, the benchmark April contract on
the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had edged down 0.2
percent to 2,542 ringgit ($821) per tonne. Prices traded in a
tight range of 2,529 to 2,553 ringgit.    
    Total traded volumes stood at 29,055 lots of 25 tonnes each,
compared to the average 25,000 tonnes. 
    Technical analysis shows a bearish target at 2,510 ringgit
remains unchanged, as indicated by its wave pattern and a
Fibonacci retracement analysis, said Reuters market analyst Wang
Tao. 
    Markets will be eyeing January stocks data from industry
regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board due on Feb. 13.
Malaysia's palm stocks hit a record 2.63 million tonnes in
December.
    "Even if January stocks go down, the drop should not be
significant. Stocks are still going to be high," added the
Malaysian trader.     
    Investors are also awaiting this Friday's U.S. Department of
Agriculture monthly supply and demand reports, which are
expected to show tighter U.S. and global soybean stocks.
    Lower output of soybean and soybean oil may shift more
vegetable oil demand to competing palm oil.
    In other markets, Brent crude futures held above $116 per
barrel on Wednesday after positive economic data from the United
States and Europe bolstered the view that the global economy is
on the mend. 
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for March
delivery eased 0.7 percent in late Asian trade. The most
active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange also closed lower.       
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1012 GMT
                                                                                              
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2469   -12.00    2465    2475     422
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2526    -2.00    2508    2531    2102
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2542    -6.00    2529    2553   11956
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    7136   -32.00    7122    7186  293486
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    8810   -40.00    8782    8858  357202
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   52.63    -0.35   52.53   53.01    8345
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAR3   96.11    -0.53   96.07   96.70   15944
                                                                                              
  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=3.091 ringgit)

 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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