KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday evening, tracking related edible oils and supported by improving export demand.
The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 1.2 percent to 2,532 ringgit ($630.16) a tonne at the end of the trading day.
It earlier hit 2,548 ringgit, its highest since Dec. 18.
Trading volumes stood at 29,942 lots of 25 tonnes each at the close of trade.
"Hefty gains in Dalian and soybean oil may lend support and uplift palm futures market sentiment," one Kuala Lumpur-based trader said, referring to overnight soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade and related edible oils on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange.
The market is also reacting to strong exports, said another trader in Kuala Lumpur.
Palm oil shipments from Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer behind Indonesia, gained 6.7 percent month on month in December on stronger demand from Europe and India, according to data from cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services (ITS).
Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance, reported a 9.8 percent gain in exports for the same period.
The market is also forecasting gains in demand from key consumer China as it stocks up ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations when palm oil consumption is higher for cooking purposes
In related oils, the March soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade saw strong overnight gains of 1.7 percent on Friday before closing for public holidays.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the New Year's Day holiday. Trade in CBOT grains resumes on Tuesday at 0830 CST (1430 GMT).
The May soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 2 percent, while the Dalian January palm oil contract was up 1.8 percent.
Palm oil prices track the performances of other edible oils that compete in the global vegetable oils market. - Reuters