VEGOILS-Palm rises to more than 1-week high on hopes of easing stocks

Mon Apr 8, 2013 6:42am EDT

* Palm stocks likely eased in March to 2.35 mln T -Reuters
poll
    * March output expected down 1.2 pct m/m to 1.28 mln T
-Reuters poll

 (Updates prices, adds comments)
    By Anuradha Raghu
    KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
edged up to more than one-week highs in thin trade on Monday as
investors pinned their hopes on stockpiles having eased further
in March, signalling stronger demand for the tropical oil,
although the ringgit's recent rise capped gains.
    Traders are looking ahead to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board
(MPOB) data on March's inventory levels, due on Wednesday, to
help gauge supply and demand fundamentals.
    A Reuters poll forecast Malaysia's palm oil stocks in March
to have edged lower to 2.35 million tonnes as production likely
eased 1.2 percent from a month ago. 
    Stocks stood at 2.44 million tonnes at the end of February,
down from a record 2.63 million tonnes at the end of December. 
    "The market is kind of slow today prior to the MPOB data,
but should be supportive because we're expecting stocks to
reduce," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in
Malaysia.
    But a strong ringgit will make margins turn worse for
refiners, the trader said. "Most likely refiners will opt to
stay on the sidelines, because if they buy CPO the margins will
be very negative," the trader said.
    By Monday's close, the benchmark June contract on
the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had climbed 1.7 percent
to 2,400 ringgit ($784) per tonne. Prices earlier in the day
touched 2,402 ringgit, the highest since March 29. 
    Total traded volumes were thin at 26,880 lots of 25 tonnes
each, compared to the average 35,000 lots seen so far this year.
    The ringgit edged 0.1 percent lower against the dollar on
Monday, giving up some gains after hitting its highest in more
than 2 months on Friday due to short-covering ahead of upcoming
elections.
    Investors are also keeping an eye on cargo surveyor export
data due on Wednesday that will reveal Malaysia's shipments of
palm oil products for the first ten days of April. 
    Higher demand for refined products in March had helped
offset lower crude palm oil shipments caused by a 4.5 percent
export duty implemented for the month. The duty was up from zero
percent in February.  
    In other markets, Brent crude rose towards $105 per barrel
on Monday as plans to stimulate Japan's economy lifted financial
markets, but the oil benchmark remained near an eight-month low
on worries over global economic growth and fuel demand. 
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May delivery
 rose 1.0 percent in late Asian trade. The most active
September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities
Exchange climbed 0.7 percent.
       
    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1004 GMT
                                                                                 
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2364   +28.00    2359    2364      71
  MY PALM OIL      MAY3    2394   +41.00    2368    2395    1231
  MY PALM OIL      JUN3    2400   +41.00    2375    2402   16758
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    6282   +44.00    6168    6294  537224
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    7918   +58.00    7790    7926  554164
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAY3   49.35    +0.52   48.69   49.41   11528
  NYMEX CRUDE      MAY3   93.34    +0.64   92.71   93.54   14267
                                                                                 
  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=3.06 ringgit)   

 (Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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