VEGOILS-Palm oil inches higher ahead of holiday, posts weekly gain

Fri Feb 8, 2013 5:21am EST

* USDA, MPOB data eyed -trader
    * Palm oil still targeting 2,510 ringgit -technicals
    * Prices rangebound between 2,546 and 2,558 ringgit

 (Updates prices)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    SINGAPORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
ended just slightly higher in rangebound, thin trade on Friday,
posting a marginal weekly gain as traders remained cautious
ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
    Market participants were waiting for U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) monthly supply and demand reports later in
the day, which may show tighter soybean stocks.
    Lower production of soybean and soybean oil could shift some
demand to palm oil.
    Malaysian inventory and output data for January from
industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will give
more trading clues when it is released next Wednesday as the
country's markets return from the Lunar New Year break.
    Malaysian financial markets will be closed next Monday and
Tuesday for the Lunar New Year holiday, while China's will shut
for the week.
    At market close, the benchmark April contract on
the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange edged up 0.4 percent at
2,560 ringgit ($833) per tonne. Prices were rangebound between
2,532 and 2,562 ringgit.  
    Total traded volumes were thin at 16,581 lots of 25 tonnes
each, compared to the usual 25,000 tonnes. 
    For the week, prices edged up 0.1 percent higher, the fourth
straight week of gains. 
    Technical analysis shows palm oil's bearish target at 2,510
ringgit remains intact despite its rebound to 2,567 ringgit on
Thursday, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. 
    Malaysia's palm inventory levels most likely dropped 2.9
percent to 2.55 million tonnes in January from December's
all-time high, the first decline since last June, a Reuters
survey showed on Thursday. 
    The market is also keeping an eye out for Malaysian export
data for the first 10 days of the month after cargo surveyors
reported a stronger export demand in the last week of January.
         
    In other markets, Brent crude climbed towards $118 per
barrel on Friday, heading for a fourth weekly gain as robust
trade data from China bolstered the outlook for demand, while
escalating tensions in the Middle East stoked concerns over
supply. 
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for March
delivery lost 0.2 percent in late Asian trade. The most
active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange closed 0.5 percent lower.     
    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1009 GMT
                                                                        
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2468    -2.00    2468    2468      47
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2534   +10.00    2508    2537     854
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2560    +9.00    2532    2562    8515
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    7088   -24.00    7082    7156  307504
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    8714   -42.00    8712    8788  218624
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   51.77    -0.08   51.75   52.19    4378
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAR3   95.92    +0.09   95.70   96.19   16455
                                                                        
  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=3.099 ringgit)

 (Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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