Palm Oil Advances as Rebound in Exports Seen Paring Inventories

Palm oil gained on speculation that stockpiles in Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, may decline as exports increase, and as concerns receded over Europe’s debt crisis.

The contract for delivery in June, with the largest volume, advanced as much as 1.7 percent to 2,426 ringgit ($778) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and ended the morning session at 2,422 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur.

Exports from Malaysia gained 4.6 percent to 678,829 tons in the first 15 days of this month from the same period in February, surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said March 15. Inventories have dropped to 2.44 million tons in February from an all-time high of 2.63 million tons in December, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Asian stocks and metals rebounded today after Euro-area finance ministers signaled flexibility on the terms of Cyprus’s rescue.

“Inventory will continue to decline from here,” Alvin Tai, an analyst at OSK Investment Bank Bhd., said by phone in Kuala Lumpur. “It will probably drop to 2.1 million tons or 2.2 million tons. Shipment numbers were up by just a few percent but that’s probably going to be good enough to help the inventory water down further.”

Malaysia retaining a tax on crude palm oil shipments at 4.5 percent for a second month in April will “be supportive for exports,” Tai said.

Soybean oil for May delivery climbed 0.4 percent to 49.88 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans gained 0.3 percent to $14.1375 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for September delivery increased 1 percent to 6,338 yuan ($1,019) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil advanced 0.7 percent to 8,102 yuan a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

Source : Bloomberg

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