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Palm erases gains to trade little changed

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures rose in early trade on Monday on cargo surveyor data showing stronger March exports, before paring gains to close the morning session little changed amid concerns about higher production.
The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.05 percent at 2,107 ringgit ($516.99) a tonne at the midday break, after gaining as much as 0.7 percent earlier in the session. It lost 1.4 percent in the previous two sessions of losses.
“The export numbers are encouraging, but the market has already priced (that) in,” said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Sunvin Group, a Mumbai-based vegetable oil broker, referring to export data from cargo surveyors.
Malaysian palm oil production was forecast to have risen in March, in line with a seasonal trend, after declining for the previous four months.
Intertek Testing Services said Malaysia’s palm oil shipments in March rose 22.4 percent from a month earlier, while AmSpec Agri Malaysia said exports increased 22.9 percent last month.
Malaysia saw higher demand from the Middle East, Africa and China, according to ITS data.
In other related oils, the Chicago May soybean oil contract rose by 0.6 percent, while the May soyoil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange edged up 0.04 percent.
Meanwhile, the Dalian May palm oil contract rose 0.2 percent.
Palm oil prices are affected by movements in soyoil, as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oil market.