March 6, 2013 / 10:21 AM / in 5 years

VEGOILS-Palm ends flat in thin volume as industry meet ends

* Prices may climb to 2,625 ringgit by mid-year -Fry
    * Prices to trade in 2,300-2,500 ringgit range till
end-April -Mistry
    * Palm oil faces resistance at 2,418 ringgit -technicals
    * European palm oil imports may hit record 6.4 mln T this
season -Oil World

 (Updates throughout)
    By Chew Yee Kiat
    KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
ended flat in thin volume on Wednesday, with investors digesting
price forecasts by top analysts at the industry's biggest annual
gathering to determine their strategies.
    The Bursa Malaysia palm oil conference in the Malaysian
capital saw main speakers James Fry, the chairman of commodities
consultancy LMC International, and Dorab Mistry, head of trading
at India's leading speciality chemicals group Godrej Industries
 present price outlooks for palm oil.
    "We should see a short-term bottom at 2,300 ringgit. Most
market players are still digesting the price forecasts," said a
dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia,
referring to Mistry's forecast that prices should range between
2,300 and 2,500 ringgit until the end of April.
    The benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange closed flat at 2,400 ringgit ($774) per
tonne. Prices were caught in a 2,389-2,413 ringgit range. 
    Total traded volume was thin, at 20,945 lots of 25 tonnes
each, below the average 25,000 lots.
    Mistry posted a bearish price outlook on improving global
supplies of oilseeds and palm oil in the later part of the year,
saying prices could fall to 2,200 ringgit or even lower after
    Fry, who spoke earlier just before the market's midday
close, said palm oil's low prices had encouraged its greater use
in biofuel, and that could help ease record stocks. He also said
prices may climb to 2,625 ringgit by mid-year.  
    Technicals showed Malaysian palm oil faces resistance at
2,418 ringgit per tonne, a break above which will open the way
towards 2,450 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
    High stocks in Malaysia, the world's No.2 palm oil producer,
have caused prices to tumble more than 20 percent in 2012. 
    A Reuters poll of traders, analysts and government officials
at the palm oil forum showed that prices could fall an average
of 18.2 percent to 2,420 ringgit per tonne this year as
stockpiles continue to weigh. 
    European imports of palm oil are heading for record highs of
6.4 million tonnes between Oct. 2012 and Sept. 2013,
Hamburg-based analyst Oil World said on Tuesday, taking up the
slack from lower supplies of soyoil and sunflower oil.
    In other markets,  Brent futures rose towards $112 a barrel
on Wednesday, tracking a rally in equity markets and
expectations of a revival in demand growth following positive
economic data from the United States and China. 
    In competing vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for May
delivery was almost flat 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 1008 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      MAR3    2385    +1.00    2385    2390     249
  MY PALM OIL      APR3    2393    +4.00    2382    2400    1577
  MY PALM OIL      MAY3    2400    +0.00    2389    2413   10949
  CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3    6612   -14.00    6560    6664  664798
  CHINA SOYOIL     SEP3    8346    +6.00    8280    8364  539744
  CBOT SOY OIL     MAY3   50.14    +0.02   50.06   50.35    3470
  NYMEX CRUDE      APR3   90.61    -0.21   90.51   91.17   15216
  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=3.104 ringgit)    

 (Additional reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Clarence
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