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Next Month Palm Oil Contract May Pushed Higher Over Strong Demand Concern

KUALA LUMPUR(Reuters/B-Trams ): Malaysian palm oil futures closed at a one-month high on Friday, and posted their biggest weekly jump in more than six months, as uncertainties over global edible oil supplies lingered in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange (BMD) rose 169 ringgit, or 2.69%, to 6,457 ringgit ($1,525.40) a tonne, its highest close since March 11.

For the week, palm climbed 9%, its biggest jump since Oct. 8, 2021. The contract logged its second consecutive weekly jump.

The market also tracked strength in Dalian oils, and buying was strong as the April spot contract is expiring, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.

“May and June contracts pushed higher as they were trading at a huge discount,” he said.

Limiting gains, however, exports of Malaysian palm oil products for April 1-15 fell between 19% and 23% from the same period in March, cargo surveyors said.

Meanwhile, Italian confectionary giant Ferrero and global commodities trader Cargill have stopped sourcing palm oil from Sime Darby Plantation after the US customs service found the Malaysian planter used forced labour.

Among other related oils, soy prices were lifted by concerns that a strike by Argentinian truckers this week may paralyse exports from the world’s top shipper of processed soy, although the transport ministry said the truckers agreed on Thursday night to end the protest.

Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 1.1%. Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract rose 1.3%, while its palm oil contract gained 2.9%.

Oil prices settled higher on Thursday as investors covered short positions ahead of the long weekend and on news that the European Union might phase in a ban on Russian oil imports, making palm a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

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