* Dry weather in Argentina could lower global vegetable oil
* Palm oil to keep rising to 2,639 ringgit -technicals
* Traders eye Malaysia January palm stocks
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, Feb 4 Malaysian palm oil futures
edged up on Monday and posted a fourth straight session of
gains, tracking higher soybeans and soybean oil on persistent
concerns over dry weather in Argentina.
U.S. soybeans were trading near a six-week high despite
scattered showers in Argentina in recent weeks that have brought
some relief to thirsty 2012/13 soybean crops, as many areas are
still suffering parched conditions, the Argentine agriculture
Lower soybean and soybean oil production could shift some
demand to the cheaper palm oil, which in turn may help ease
record stocks for the tropical oil.
"It's the South American weather that is serving as the pull
factor," said a dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in
"Locally, with a continuous wide discount in cash crude palm
oil to futures, sentiment is still cautious as traders await the
expected high stocks for January."
At the close, the benchmark April contract on the
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had edged up 0.3 percent to
2,564 ringgit ($831) per tonne. Prices hit a 3-month high of
2,593 ringgit on Thursday.
Total traded volumes stood at 32,005 lots of 25 tonnes each,
higher than the average 25,000 tonnes.
Technical analysis shows palm oil is expected to keep rising
to 2,639 ringgit, as it has cleared resistance at 2,567 ringgit
per tonne, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Traders are shifting their focus to Malaysia's palm oil
stocks for January, hoping that slowing production and
better-than-expected exports will bring down record stocks of
2.63 million tonnes recorded for December.
Malaysian palm exports in January fell 7 percent from a
month ago, said cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services, while
another surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a
6.4 percent fall.
That represented an improvement from the double-digit
decline seen in the first 20 days of January, as worries eased
over China's stricter regulation on edible oil imports after the
first cargo from Malaysia was discharged.
Brent crude oil consolidated above $116 per barrel on
Monday, not far off 4-1/2-month highs, on signs of improving
economic growth in the United States and China and concern over
geopolitical tension in the Middle East.
Other vegetable oil markets also advanced on Argentine
weather concerns. U.S. soyoil for March delivery gained
0.7 percent in late Asian trade. The most active September
soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
closed 0.8 percent higher, near a three-month high.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1006 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL FEB3 2495 -17.00 2485 2550 951
MY PALM OIL MAR3 2540 +12.00 2525 2563 3143
MY PALM OIL APR3 2564 +7.00 2552 2592 17397
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 7190 +16.00 7180 7252 479612
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 8896 +66.00 8842 8932 424220
CBOT SOY OIL MAR3 53.37 +0.38 53.10 53.54 7532
NYMEX CRUDE MAR3 97.16 -0.60 97.15 97.76 10880
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
(Editing by Joseph Radford and Muralikumar Anantharaman)