* Disappointing rains in Argentina raise prospect of smaller
* Palm oil to revisit high of 2,593 ringgit -technicals
* Traders eye Malaysia's Feb. 1-20 palm export data due on
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, Feb 19 Malaysian palm oil futures
edged higher on Tuesday, tracking gains in soybeans after
disappointing rains in Argentina raised the prospect of a
U.S. soybeans rose to a one-week high, resuming trading
after the President's Day holiday, as rain that had been
expected to bring relief to wilting Argentine soybean crops over
the weekend proved to be lighter than expected.
A smaller soybean crop for crushing into soybean oil may
shift more demand to competing palm oil that trades at a steep
discount of almost $300 per tonne.
"There was news of much less rain received than expected in
Argentina this week, and Chinese players are also positive after
coming back from the Lunar New Year break," said a
Singapore-based trader with a regional commodities house.
The benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange rose 1.1 percent to close at 2,565 ringgit
($827) per tonne. Prices traded in a range of 2,550 to 2,575
Total traded volumes stood at 33,012 lots of 25 tonnes each,
higher than the typical 25,000 tonnes.
Technicals showed Malaysian palm oil is expected to rise to
2,593 ringgit per tonne, as indicated by a rising wedge, said
Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Traders are awaiting the Malaysian Feb. 1-20 palm export
data due on Wednesday, after rising shipments in the first half
of the month raised hopes for stocks to ease further.
Malaysia's January palm oil stocks inched down 1.9 percent
from a month ago to 2.58 million tonnes, the first drop since
Industry players are also expecting stronger export demand
for crude palm oil this month as exporters take advantage of
February's zero percent tax before it rises to 4.5 percent in
Brent crude edged lower towards $117 per barrel on Tuesday,
adding to losses across the previous three sessions, with
traders waiting for U.S. data to provide clues to growth in the
world's largest oil user, besides weekend elections in Italy.
Other competing vegetable oil markets also gained on
Argentine soy crop worries. The most active U.S. soyoil for May
delivery gained 1 percent in late Asian trade. The most
active September soybean oil contract on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange edged up 0.7 percent.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1003 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL MAR3 2507 +33.00 2488 2510 300
MY PALM OIL APR3 2541 +30.00 2525 2548 8596
MY PALM OIL MAY3 2565 +29.00 2550 2575 16639
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 7118 +66.00 7064 7130 384710
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 8710 +58.00 8650 8724 351732
CBOT SOY OIL MAR3 52.13 +0.51 51.63 52.15 6713
NYMEX CRUDE MAR3 95.55 -0.31 95.25 95.99 23574
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 Clarence Fernandez)