Palm prices rise on solid demand ahead of Ramadan


Palm benchmark contract up 1.4 pct by midday * Heads of third straight session of gains * Good demand ahead of Ramadan - trader By Fransiska Nangoy and Fergus Jensen JAKARTA, May 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Monday, heading for a third consecutive session of gains, on expectation of solid demand ahead of Ramadan festivities. The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had risen by 1.4 percent to 2,614 ringgit ($603.42) per tonne by the midday break.

Traded volumes stood at 19783 lots of 25 tonnes each at noon. The benchmark contract gained 2.8 percent last week, snapping three straight weekly declines. "We see good demand -- at least for April and then May also," said a trader from Kuala Lumpur, adding that buyers from the Middle East were stocking up ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan will start later this month.

"It is actually soaking up a lot of the supply which is there in the spot market," the trader said, referring to the demand from the Middle East. Meanwhile, some traders have been betting since last week that April palm production could be lower than expected and that would push prices higher, said another Kuala Lumpur-based trader. Malaysian palm oil production in April likely climbed nearly 9 percent to its highest in six months, according to a Reuters poll of planters, traders and analysts. In other related vegetable oils, soybean oil on the Chicago Board of Trade was 0.67 percent higher, while the September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 1.51 percent.

Meanwhile, the September contract for palm olein was up 2.65 percent. Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0611 GMT Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume MY PALM OIL May-07 2790 15 2775 2791 184 MY PALM OIL Jun-07 2707 33 2685 2712 1488 MY PALM OIL Jul-07 2614 36 2583 2616 9728 CHINA PALM OLEIN Sep-07 5346 136 5240 5356 797640 CHINA SOYOIL Sep-07 5908 84 5848 5954 722596 CBOT SOY OIL Jul-07 33.12 4.5 32.85 33.22 5074 INDIA PALM OIL May-07 499.8 4.5 496.5 500.8 607 INDIA SOYOIL May-07 627.45 3.5 617 627.9 3800 NYMEX CRUDE Jun-07 46.62 0.4 46.32 46.98 41792 Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel ($1 = 4.3320 ringgit) ($1 = 64.2150 Indian rupees) ($1 = 6.9021 Chinese yuan)


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