* Market players focus on industry conference -trader
* Military standoff in Borneo could hit production -analyst
* Palm oil to hover around 2,418 ringgit or rebound to 2,450
(Updates prices, adds details)
By Anuradha Raghu
KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 Malaysian palm oil futures
edged down in thin volume on Tuesday after gains in the previous
session lifted prices from near two-month lows, with traders
focusing on a key industry conference to determine strategies.
The benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange fell 0.6 percent to 2,399 ringgit ($772)
per tonne by the day's close. Prices traded in a tight range of
2,389 to 2,428 ringgit.
Total traded volume was thin, at 19,877 lots of 25 tonnes
each, below the usual 25,000 lots.
A technical bounce on Monday had helped prices snap eight
straight sessions of declines and move higher from levels last
seen in mid-January.
"There was an attempt to push the market higher yesterday
and some anticipation about a follow through in buying, but
nothing materialized," said a trader with a local commodities
brokerage in Malaysia.
"Traders are mostly waiting on the analysts and speakers for
more clues. There will probably be slow trading until tomorrow,"
he added. The palm oil conference being held in the Malaysian
capital runs March 4-6.
Technicals showed Malaysian palm oil is expected to either
hover around a resistance level of 2,418 ringgit per tonne or
rebound to 2,450 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Several palm oil refineries have slowed operations and some
plan to halt output if a Malaysian military attack on an armed
Filipino group on Borneo island drags on, potentially disrupting
supply of the tropical oil to China, refinery officials told
Reuters on Tuesday.
Sabah, part of Borneo island, is Malaysia's top oil palm
growing region, accounting for a quarter of national production.
Much of the palm oil from Sabah is shipped to China -- the
world's second-largest consumer of edible oils.
The development was not impacting prices significantly so
far, traders, analysts and government officials said. But
prolonged supply disruptions could buoy prices, although climbs
would probably be limited as high stock levels in the country
continue to weigh.
"If the turmoil drags on for weeks and months, it could have
a more severe impact on production," CIMB Investment Bank said
in a note. "The security fears may also affect the operations of
ports located near where the clashes are taking place."
In other markets, Brent crude futures rose towards $111 per
barrel on Tuesday, bucking a five-day losing streak on bargain
buying after China pledged to keep its economy growing at 7.5
In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May
delivery edged down 0.1 percent in late Asian trade. The
most-active September soybean oil contract on the
Dalian Commodity Exchange inched up 0.1 percent.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1018 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL MAR3 2390 -10.00 2390 2399 64
MY PALM OIL APR3 2389 -16.00 2386 2408 956
MY PALM OIL MAY3 2399 -14.00 2389 2428 12118
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 6602 -36.00 6572 6696 689472
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 8322 +6.00 8304 8390 536938
CBOT SOY OIL MAY3 50.19 -0.07 50.04 50.51 5841
NYMEX CRUDE APR3 90.47 +0.35 90.12 90.70 12419
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 Muralikumar Anantharaman)