June 18, 2013 / 10:53 AM / 4 years ago

VEGOILS-Palm oil rises to near 3-month high on Ramadan demand

* Market rises on Ramadan demand, June stockpiles could
shrink further -trader
    * Palm oil June 1-15 exports surge 16-19 pct -cargo
surveyors

 (Updates prices)
    By Anuradha Raghu
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
rose to near three-month highs on Tuesday as demand for the
tropical oil spiked ahead of a Muslim holy festival, raising
investors' expectations that stocks in the No.2 producer will
ease.
    Exports of Malaysian palm oil in the first half of June
surged as much as 19 percent as buyers stocked up for Ramadan
that falls in July. During Ramadan, communal feasting typically
drives up consumption of the vegetable oil.  
    "We are moving into the festive season and demand is
expected to pick up from Pakistan, India and the Middle East,"
said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.
    "Production is not coping with the exports, so traders
expect end-stocks to go down further in June," he added.
    The benchmark September contract on the Bursa
Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 0.2 percent higher at 2,466
ringgit ($781) per tonne on Tuesday. Prices had earlier climbed
to 2,480 ringgit, the highest level since March 25.
    Total traded volumes stood at 29,955 lots of 25 tonnes each,
slightly lower than the average 35,000 lots.
    Technicals showed palm oil is expected to rise to a range of
2,509-2,534 ringgit per tonne, as an uptrend has extended, said
Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.  
    Malaysia's palm oil stocks currently stand at 1.82 million
tonnes, more than 5 percent lower compared to April, as exports
outstripped near-stagnant output. 
    The government said on Monday it will keep its export duty
for crude palm oil in July at 4.5 percent. 
    Investor sentiment was cautious ahead of this week's U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting, which could see the world's
biggest economy curbing its stimulus programme and potentially
crimping global commodity demand. 
    In other markets, Brent crude futures eased towards $105 a
barrel, falling from a 11-week high, as investors cautiously
awaited guidance from the U.S. on its economic stimulus plan.
 
    In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July rose
0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active January soybean
oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange gained
0.9 percent.     
    
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1012 GMT
                                                                                
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      JUL3    2463    +4.00    2455    2475    1043
  MY PALM OIL      AUG3    2472    +5.00    2460    2484    8946
  MY PALM OIL      SEP3    2466    +4.00    2454    2480   13991
  CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4    6272   +20.00    6270    6342  450990
  CHINA SOYOIL     JAN4    7690   +66.00    7668    7748  461538
  CBOT SOY OIL     JUL3   48.96    +0.12   48.83   49.00    3691
  NYMEX CRUDE      JUL3   97.62    -0.15   97.41   98.03   14856
                                                                                
  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=3.157 ringgit)

 (Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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