Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DJ Asian Crude Palm Oil Ends Higher; Market Rangebound

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange ended higher Wednesday, buoyed by gains in soyoil futures and fresh buying support, but failed to break out of their recent range.

The market is likely to stay rangebound until Monday, when the main Malaysian palm-oil industry body is due to release key palm oil export, supply and inventory data, trade participants said.

The benchmark June contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settled up MYR19 at MYR2,539/ton after moving in a narrow MYR2,530-MYR2,545/ton range.

The major earthquake that struck off in Indonesia's Sumatra island had little impact on palm oil prices after traders and industry officials said there wasn't major damage to Belawan and Dumai ports, both major shipment points for commodities such as palm oil and rubber. Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil.

"There's no major disruption to shipments of palm oil so far," a senior trading executive at Jakarta-based major plantation company said.

Crude oil's brief rise to $87 a barrel, and gains in soyoil futures during Asian trading hours, kept palm oil prices in positive territory, but "bearish supply-fundamentals and the strengthening ringgit suppressed gains on BMD today," a trading executive in Kuala Lumpur said.

Malaysia's CPO output in March likely rose 16.6% on month to 1.35 million metric tons, the executive said. February CPO output totaled 1.16 million tons, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

The government-backed MPOB is scheduled to release March export, production and inventory data Monday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude oil for May delivery rose to $87 a barrel in Asian trade, while May soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade was trading up 12 points at 39.89 cents a pound by the end of trade on the BMD.

In the cash market, palm olein for July/August/September shipment traded at $802.50/ton and $805/ton, free-on-board Malaysian ports, a Singapore-based trading executive said.

Cash CPO for prompt delivery was offered MYR5 higher at MYR2,570/ton.

Open interest on the BMD was 78,794 lots, up from 78,562 lots Tuesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

Some 12,606 lots were traded versus 17,008 lots Tuesday.

Closing BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT:

Month      Close    Previous   Change    High    Low 
Apr 2010   2,572    2,565      Up  7     2,580   2,569 
May 2010   2,550    2,530      Up 20     2,553   2,540 
Jun 2010   2,539    2,520      Up 19     2,545   2,530 
Jul 2010   2,530    2,512      Up 18     2,536   2,521 

-By Shie-Lynn Lim, Dow Jones Newswires; +603 2026 1233;

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