* Prices hit 2,363 ringgit, level last seen on April 12
* Palm oil to rise to 2,388 ringgit -technicals
* Indonesia keeps palm oil export tax unchanged at 9 pct
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, May 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
rose to the highest in more than one month on Wednesday, as
investors pinned their hopes on demand recovery ahead of the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Market participants are counting on restocking ahead of the
holy month, which falls in July this year, to drive up
consumption in key producers Malaysia and Indonesia. Ramadan is
marked by evening communal meals to break observers' fasts.
But gains were muted ahead of the testimony of the U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to Congress coming up
later Wednesday, as traders awaited updates on the Fed's
stimulus programme aimed at encouraging growth.
"We are still seeing rangebound trading here ... traders are
counting on Ramadan demand to support prices," said a trader
with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. "On the
macroeconomic front, we are looking out for the Fed's comments
that may move the market."
At the market close, the benchmark August contract
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had gained 1.1
percent to 2,360 ($781) ringgit per tonne, a tad off its high at
2,363 ringgit, a level last seen on April 12.
Total traded volumes were high at 39,618 lots of 25 tonnes
each, compared to the average 35,000 lots.
Technical analysis showed palm oil is expected to rise to
2,388 ringgit per tonne, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.
Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer, has set its
export tax for crude palm oil at 9 percent for June, unchanged
from May, an industry ministry official said on Wednesday.
Rival producer Malaysia had earlier announced it will leave
its export tax unchanged at 4.5 percent for the same month.
In vegetable oil markets, the most-active September soybean
oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange closed
1.2 percent higher, on news that Chinese buyers have cancelled
as much as 150,000 tonnes of soyoil cargoes from South America
on ample supplies and low domestic prices.
U.S. soyoil for July delivery inched up 0.1 percent
in late Asian trade.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1002 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL JUN3 2328 +12.00 2320 2338 120
MY PALM OIL JUL3 2362 +21.00 2350 2368 8264
MY PALM OIL AUG3 2360 +25.00 2346 2363 18886
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 6104 +74.00 6056 6136 557486
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 7536 +92.00 7458 7568 993418
CBOT SOY OIL JUL3 49.54 +0.06 49.39 49.74 4908
NYMEX CRUDE JUL3 95.45 -0.73 95.34 95.97 19533
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 Tom Hogue and Himani Sarkar)