Palm Oil Climbs

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest level since mid-September 2012 on Monday after an industry report showed that stocks in the world’s No 2 producer fell to an eight-month low as dry weather hindered output.

Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on Monday reported that Malaysia’s February palm oil stocks dropped to 1.66 million tonnes, their lowest level since June, from 1.94m tonnes the month before.

Market participants had estimated stocks would fall to 1.79m tonnes.

By Monday’s close, the benchmark May contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had risen 0.7 per cent to 2,905 ringgit ($885) per tonne. Prices earlier hit 2,910 ringgit, their highest since Sept. 14, 2012.

Total traded volume amounted to 31,185 lots of 25 tonnes, slightly below the average 35,000 lots. Technicals were a little bearish. Malaysian palm oil could have peaked at the March 7 high of 2,896 ringgit per tonne and may test a support at 2,829ringgit, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.

In other markets, crude oil slipped below $108 a barrel on Monday as an unexpected fall in China’s exports stoked fears of a slowdown in the world’s No.2 economy, though political tensions in Ukraine and Libya limited the decline.—Reuters

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