December 24, 2012 / 6:06 AM / 5 years ago

VEGOILS-Upbeat demand outlook lifts palm to one-month high

* Tight soybean supply could shift demand to Malaysian palm
oil -trader
    * Palm oil to gain more to 2,482 ringgit-technicals
    * Growing European demand to prop up prices in Q1 -analyst

 (Updates prices)
    By Anuradha Raghu
    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
climbed to a near one-month high on Monday as investors pinned
hopes on next year's tight supply of competing soyoil shifting
food demand to the tropical oil. 
    Record palm oil stocks in Malaysia, the world's No.2
producer, and slowing global demand has weighed on the market
that has fallen 23 percent this year. 
    Palm oil has widened its discount to soyoil, potentially
drawing in more demand from big Asian consumers like India next
year as soy-exporting South American faces tighter supply from
adverse weather.
    "For Q1 2013 we anticipate soybean supply to be tight albeit
China cancelling, so that deficit can only be covered by palm
oil," said a trader with a local commodities brokerage.
    "South America must produce and if they fail, then attention
will turn to palm oil," the trader added. 
    The benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange rose 1 percent to close at 2,431 ringgit
($794) per tonne. Prices earlier climbed to 2,437 ringgit per
tonne, the highest level since Nov. 27.
    Total traded volumes stood at 18,637 lots of 25 tonnes each,
much lower than the usual 25,000 lots ahead of Christmas
    Technical analysis showed that palm oil is expected to gain
more to 2,482 ringgit per tonne as it has cleared resistance at
2,419 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
    Seasonally slowing output and a growing biodiesel demand
from Europe could help prop up palm oil prices in the first
quarter of next year.
    "From a fundamental point of view, palm should be supported
by yield getting thinner and also emerging demand not only from
the usual suspects, but Europe as well," said Standard Chartered
analyst Abah Ofon in Singapore.
    "On one hand European refiners are looking to buy crude palm
oil because of the good discount between gasoil. That's making
crude palm oil attractive as a feedstock for biodiesel," Ofon
    Brent crude fell for a third day on Monday, trading below
$109 a barrel, as uncertainty over the ability of the United
States to resolve a budget crisis before a year-end deadline
stoked concerns about demand growth in the world's top oil
    In other competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for
January delivery fell 0.1 percent in late Asian trade
after earlier gains on bargain hunting as prices slid on China's
record cancellation. 
    Last Friday, China cancelled 540,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans
--the biggest cancellation by the world's top importer of the
oilseed in at least 14 years -- as it expects to book cheaper
supplies from Brazil next year.
    The most active May 2013 soybean oil contract on
the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 0.1 percent higher.
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1005 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JAN3    2300   +17.00    2284    2305     274
  MY PALM OIL      FEB3    2377   +26.00    2358    2384    2798
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2431   +23.00    2411    2437    8325
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY3    6842   +42.00    6840    6946  757034
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY3    8618   +12.00    8616    8700  428390
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAR3   49.07    -0.05   48.93   49.49    5380
  NYMEX CRUDE      FEB3   88.54    -0.12   88.44   88.86    4783
  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=3.063 ringgit)

 (Additional reporting by Chew Yee Kiat; Editing by Niluksi

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