Crude palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are expected to be firmer on expectation of upbeat forecasts at an industry conference next week, dealers said.
Bursa Malaysia will host the annual Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition: Price Outlook 2010/2011 on March 9 and 10 in Kuala Lumpur.
"All prominent market experts will assemble next week to share views on the development and challenges of the palm oil industry, including the price outlook for this year," said one of the dealers.
Industry regulator, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, is also due to release the figures on palm oil exports, output and stocks for February on Wednesday.
Concerns over lower output could also pull up the prices, said another dealer.
"Palm oil stocks are expected to decline as the low production cycle, which started in December, will continue until April and the market is going to be supportive," he said.
According to market talks, February's palm oil stocks could be between 1.85 million and 1.9 million tonnes, lower than January's stock figures of two million tonnes.
For next week, most traders are predicting an upward bias in rangebound trade, with the support level at RM2,600 per tonne and resistance at RM2,720 per tonne.
The local CPO market will also track closely the performance of soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, according to the dealers.
Palm oil and soybean are widely used for edible oil worldwide.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the CPO futures contract for March 2010 delivery climbed by RM81 to RM2,676 per tonne while April 2010 went up RM87 to RM2,677 per tonne.
CPO futures for May 2010 contract rose by RM75 to RM2,670 per tonne and June 2010 was RM85 higher at RM2,664 per tonne.
The week's turnover stood at 81,079 lots, up from last week's 56,619 lots, while open position declined to 81,079 contracts on Friday from 82,981 contracts at the end of last week.
On the physical market, March South was traded higher at RM2,680 per tonne on Friday compared with RM2,605 per tonne previously. -- Bernama