Palm Oil Futures Gain as Decline to Three Month Low Spurs Buying

Palm oil advanced for the first time in four days as the lowest price at close this year stoked demand among importers.

The contract for delivery in June advanced as much as 1.5 percent to 2,372 ringgit ($770) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 2,358 ringgit at 11:41 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures yesterday ended at the lowest level since Dec. 20. Prices fell 2.5 percent in the first quarter, the fourth quarterly loss in the worst streak since 1999.

“We’re actually near the technical support level of 2,340 ringgit, and around this level we may see some bargain hunting,” Ryan Long, vice president of futures and options at OSK Investment Bank Bhd., said from Kuala Lumpur. Gains may be capped as production is expected to improve this month, he said.

Exports from Malaysia rose 2.8 percent to 1.36 million tons in March from a month ago, surveyor Intertek said yesterday. Shipments rose 5.5 percent to 1.37 million tons, Societe Generale de Surveillance said.

Soybean oil for May delivery dropped 0.2 percent to 49.95 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans for May gained 0.4 percent to $13.965 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for September delivery gained 0.8 percent to 6,170 yuan ($995) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for delivery in the same month rose 0.4 percent to 7,842 yuan a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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