* Malaysia May 1-20 palm oil exports down 9.4 percent -ITS
* Prices touch 2,352 ringgit, level last seen on April 12
* Palm oil expected to rise to 2,362 ringgit -technicals
(Updates prices, adds SGS export data)
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, May 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures on
Monday edged off their highest in more than a month, as data
showing a drop in exports erased earlier gains on a higher soy
U.S. soybeans climbed to their highest since March 12 on a
firm cash market, lending early support to palm oil, a close
substitute to soybean oil.
But gains in palm oil were trimmed after cargo surveyor
Intertek Testing Services reported a decline of 9.4 percent in
Malaysian palm shipments to 799,405 tonnes for the first 20 days
of the month, down from the same period in April.
Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance,
reported a smaller decline of 6.6 percent for the same period.
Investors were hoping for palm oil exports to further cut
into stocks, which fell below the key psychological mark of 2
million tonnes in April to 1.83 million.
"The latest exports data is not so supportive, but we will
have to see the full month's data to determine stocks levels,"
said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in Kuala
The benchmark August contract on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange rose as much as 2,352 ($779) per tonne in
the morning session, a level last seen on April 12, but
eventually closed at 2,334 ringgit, down 0.1 percent on the day.
Total traded volumes stood at 27,659 lots of 25 tonnes each,
lower than the usual 35,000 lots.
Technicals showed palm oil was expected to rise further to a
resistance at 2,362 ringgit per tonne, a break above which will
lead to a further gain to 2,388 ringgit, Reuters market analyst
Wang Tao said.
Traders will be counting on a recovery in export demand
later in the month as buyers stock up ahead of Ramadan, the
Muslim holy month that starts early in July, when communal
feasting typically drives up consumption.
In other markets, Brent crude oil held above $104 per barrel
on Monday, supported by strong equity markets and a slightly
lower dollar, despite a weaker outlook for fuel demand and ample
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery
fell 0.1 percent in early Asian trade. The most-active
September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities
Exchange gained 0.2 percent.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1007 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL JUN3 2326 -8.00 2326 2344 237
MY PALM OIL JUL3 2346 +1.00 2342 2358 7931
MY PALM OIL AUG3 2334 -2.00 2332 2352 13603
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 6046 -28.00 6016 6094 569074
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 7480 +14.00 7444 7524 794380
CBOT SOY OIL JUL3 49.51 +0.00 49.38 49.76 4500
NYMEX CRUDE JUN3 95.52 -0.50 95.33 96.26 7669
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
Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)