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Palm Oil Posts First Monthly Gain in Four as Reserves Decline

May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Palm oil advanced, posting the first monthly gain in four, on speculation that stockpiles in Malaysia may decline for a fifth month as output drops in the second-largest producer.

The contract for August delivery climbed 1.1 percent to 2,397 ringgit ($775) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives in Kuala Lumpur. Futures rose 4.9 percent in May, and touched 2,420 ringgit on May 29, the highest price since March 28. Palm oil for physical delivery in June was at 2,365 ringgit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Malaysia’s reserves have dropped 27 percent to 1.93 million tons in April from a record in December, according to data from the nation’s palm oil board. Output rose 3.1 percent to 1.37 million tons in April from the previous month, board data shows. Exports from Malaysia dropped 3.3 percent to 1.26 million tons in May, Intertek said today. Shipments fell 3.4 percent to 1.25 million tons, Societe Generale de Surveillance said.

“Production this month will be down, as well as exports, so stocks are likely to be drawn down further,” said Donny Khor, deputy director of futures and commodities at RHB Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “The further drawing down of stocks is likely to support this market for the time being.”

Soybean oil for July delivery climbed 0.2 percent to 48.69 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans advanced 0.9 percent to $15.09 a bushel. Refined palm oil for September delivery closed little changed at 6,140 yuan ($1,001) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, while soybean oil also ended little changed at 7,480 yuan.

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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