KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures jumped to their highest level since March in Monday's session driven by a fall in production and higher exports that kept inventory numbers lower than expected.
The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 1.5 percent to 2,802 ringgit ($667.94), the highest since March 23.
The futures contract scored an intra-day high of 2,815 ringgit.
Trading volumes stood at 54,664 lots of 25 tonnes each.
A Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader said the market was buoyed by positive industry data released on Monday.
Industry regulator, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said Malaysian palm oil stocks at end-August rose 8.8 percent to 1.94 million tonnes from the previous month.
Output fell by 0.9 percent to 1.81 million tonnes.
Separately, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Sept. 1-10 rose 6.9 percent to 379,652 tonnes from 355,009 tonnes shipped during Aug. 1-10.
"The market is reacting well to the MPOB and ITS figures.
There was a surprise in the production drop, and it looks like that and stockpiles could decline going forward," the trader said.
"Partly, data from millers suggesting negative growth in production was also supportive of palm prices," another trader said, referring to Southern Palm Oil Millers Association (SPPOMA) figures for Sept. 1-10 showing a 17.4 percent drop inproduction.
The ringgit was marginally up 0.1 percent on Monday, easing from its rally last week. A stronger ringgit makes palm oil less attractive to buyers holding foreign currencies.
In related oils, the Chicago Board of Trade soybean oil contract rose 0.35 percent.
January soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was 0.5 percent higher, while January palm olein climbed 2.1 percent. - Reuters
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