Palm Oil Posts Third Weekly Gain on Rising Exports From Malaysia

Feb 21, 2014 5:58 am ET

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Palm oil capped a third weekly advance on speculation that exports from Malaysia, the world’s biggest producer after Indonesia, will climb this month because of rising demand from India and China.

The contract for May delivery ended unchanged at 2,755 ringgit ($836) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives after climbing to 2,758 ringgit, the highest level for futures since September 2012. Prices gained 3.4 percent this week.

Palm oil rallied 8 percent this month on speculation rising exports from Malaysia, the world’s biggest producer after Indonesia, will reduce stockpiles. Shipments jumped 17 percent to 875,091 tons in the first 20 days of this month from the same period in January, Intertek said yesterday.

“There are talks of some restocking of palm oil in China and India is also increasing imports in anticipation of an increase in prices,” said Arhnue Tan, an analyst at Alliance Investment Bank Bhd. “Malaysian export numbers are positive for the market.”

Palm oil production growth in Indonesia will be limited in the first half by dry weather, Martua Sitorus, executive deputy chairman of Wilmar International Ltd., said in an interview in Singapore today.

Futures may average 2,700 ringgit a ton in 2014, the Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. said in a report yesterday. Palm oil averaged 2,416.6 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Soybean oil for delivery in May was little changed at 40.8 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans fell 0.2 percent to $13.4575 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery lost 0.4 percent to 6,074 yuan ($997) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the first drop in three days. Soybean oil fell 0.6 percent to 6,772 yuan.

--Editor: Thomas Kutty Abraham