Bloomberg News

Palm Oil Increases on Speculation India Buying Before Festivals

October 17, 2012

Palm oil gained on speculation that India, the largest consumer, is buying before the festival season this month and November.

The contract for January delivery, which has the largest open interest and volume, rose 0.2 percent to close at 2,471 ringgit ($815) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. The most-active contract has lost 22 percent this year, touching a three-year low this month, as demand slowed and reserves rose.

The world’s second-most populous country celebrates several religious festivals in October and Diwali in November. Dorab Mistry, a director of Godrej International Ltd., told a conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that futures may drop to 2,200 ringgit, the lowest level since November 2009, in the next six weeks as crude oil drops amid a global slowdown.

“There should be some restocking from India ahead of the festival season,” said James Ratnam, an analyst at TA Securities Holdings Bhd. “However, taking into account yesterday’s bearish views at the conference, I don’t think there will be any sustained interest on the upside for today.”

Reserves increased to a record 2.48 million tons last month, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board show. Mistry forecast a further increase to 3 million tons or more on Jan. 1.

India’s crude palm oil imports climbed 32 percent to 722,754 tons in September, while refined purchases fell 22 percent to 111,163 tons, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said Oct. 15.

Soybean oil for December delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 50.69 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for November delivery were little changed at $14.955 a bushel.

Palm oil for January delivery lost 0.6 percent to close at 6,884 yuan ($1,101) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for delivery in May dropped 0.3 percent to end at 9,188 yuan a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at

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