Palm Set for Best Run Since November

PALM oil advanced yesterday, poised for the longest rally in more
than two months, on speculation that stockpiles in Malaysia may have
declined.

April-delivery futures rose 0.4 per cent to close at
RM2,561 ringgit a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. The
most-active contract rose for a sixth day, the longest gain since the
period to November 18, 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

Reserves
in Malaysia, the second-largest producer, may fall in January from
December’s 2.24 million tons, according to Ben Santoso, an analyst at
DBS Vickers Securities (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Ryan Long, a futures
trader at OSK Investment Bank Bhd.


The Malaysian Palm Oil Board releases January data today.

Palm
oil prices are expected to rise to RM2,800 to RM3,000
a ton this year
because of stronger demand, Lee Shin Cheng, executive chairman at IOI
Corp, Malaysia’s second- biggest listed producer, said yesterday.

“The
prospect is good, demand is there,” Lee said. “Some of the countries,
the economy has already stabilised and they will consume more. Countries
like China, India, and Korea are increasing their crude palm oil”
usage, he told reporters.

Exports from Malaysia surged 24 per
cent to 1.48 million tons last month, led by orders from China, Pakistan
and India, Societe Generale de Surveillance, a surveyor, said February
1. The gain was 28 per cent to 1.5 million tons, surveyor Intertek said.

Production
peaked in October, according to data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
Oil palms typically produce less in the first half of the year.

Palm
competes with the oil crushed from soybeans for use in food and biofuel
and often tracks price movements.

Palm oil prices “will likely
hold near current levels” due to food demand from China and India, and
on demand for bio- diesel, ratings agency Fitch said in an e-mailed
report yesterday.

Crude oil in New York reversed earlier losses,
rising 1.1 per cent to US$72.45 a barrel at 6.11 pm.

Volatility
in crude oil prices will limit gains for palm oil, which may trade
between RM2,400 and RM2,800 a ton this quarter, DBS Vickers’s Santoso
said on Monday.

In China, the largest edible oils user, palm oil
for September delivery in Dalian ended 0.1 per cent lower at 6,776 yuan
(US$991) a ton and Dalian soybeans also finished little changed at 3,809
yuan a ton.

Source : Business Times

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