Palm Oil Climbs in Malaysia as Crude Gains on U.S. Supply Drop

Palm oil advanced on speculation that a rally in crude oil prices to the highest level in more than two months will boost demand for the vegetable oil as feedstock for biofuels.

The contract for March delivery rose as much as 0.7 percent to 2,649 ringgit ($804) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives and ended the morning session at 2,641 ringgit. Futures increased 8.3 percent this year, set for the first annual gain since 2010.

Palm entered a bull market in November as output fell at plantations in Indonesia, the biggest supplier, and biodiesel demand increased. Prices may climb to 3,000 ringgit by March as demand increases for the commodity used in food and fuel, according to Dorab Mistry, director at Godrej International Ltd.

“When crude oil prices increase it makes it more profitable to produce biodiesel from palm,” said Alan Lim Seong Chun, an analyst at Kenanga Investment Bank.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded above $100 a barrel for a second day after government data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected to the lowest level since September. Futures were at $100.28, near the highest settlement since Oct. 18.

Soybean oil for March delivery was little changed at 39.33 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans fell 0.3 percent to $13.1075 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery gained 0.4 percent to 6,074 yuan ($1,001) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil was little changed at 6,924 yuan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pratik Parija in New Delhi at pparija@bloomberg.net

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

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.