KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures clocked up their biggest daily gains in over five months in late trade on Wednesday, tracking rival edible oils and on a bullish export outlook for April due to Ramadan demand.
The month-long Ramadan sees Muslims in regions such as India and the Middle East consume more palm oil, as they break day-long fasts with meals.
The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 3.2 percent at 2,714 ringgit ($612.71) a tonne at the end of the trading day, its biggest daily rise since Oct. 24.
It earlier hit 2,717 ringgit, an intraday high and its strongest since March 29.
Traded volumes stood at 63,117 lots of 25 tonnes each in the evening.
"The market's rise is tied to stronger overseas performances, as well as continued buying on good April exports," said a futures trader in Kuala Lumpur, referring to rival oils on the Chicago Board of Trade and China's Dalian Commodity Exchange.
"There is some technical buying as well, as the market was oversold."
Upcoming data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is expected to show strong export figures for the month of March.
A Reuters poll of seven planters, traders and analysts forecast exports to rise 7 percent to 1.18 million tonnes, while output is seen gaining 10.4 percent to 1.39 million tonnes.
End-stocks are likely to rise slightly by 0.1 percent to 1.46 million tonnes, according to the survey.
Data from official industry regulator MPOB is scheduled for release on April 10.
Palm oil is also impacted by the price movements of related edible oils, including soyoil, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
Soybean oil on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1.3 percent, while the September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 0.7 percent.
In other related vegetable oils, the September contract for palm olein on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.7 percent. - Reuters