VEGOILS-Palm oil lifted by healthy exports, demand hopes

Reuters

* Malaysia August palm exports up 6.5 pct m/m -ITS

* August exports up 7.6 pct m/m -SGS

* Export demand to continue into Sept -trader

* Palm oil signals mixed -technicals

(Updates prices, adds SGS export data)

By Anuradha Raghu

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures

inched up on Monday on expectations that healthy exports will

persist into September, fuelling hopes that end-stocks in the

world's No.2 producer will not spike for now.

Palm oil exports rose 6.5 percent in August compared to a

month ago, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services showed on

Monday, as China and Europe increased purchases of the tropical

oil.

Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance,

reported a slightly higher 7.6 percent increase.

"Exports were higher in August and I think that will also

continue in September," said a trader with a local commodities

brokerage.

The Kuala Lumpur-based trader added that strong demand has

also helped boost activity at local refineries.

"Margins are better, so the refiners are running at nearly

full capacity. Although yields will be higher in September,

demand is expected to be excellent."

Forecasts of lower soy yields due to a dry spell in the U.S.

grain belt, along with a weak ringgit, lifted palm oil prices

7.5 percent in August - their best monthly performance since

December 2010.

The benchmark November contract on the Bursa

Malaysia Derivatives Exchange climbed 0.9 percent to close at

2,426 ringgit ($742) per tonne on Monday. Prices traded in a

tight range between 2,411 ringgit and 2,440 ringgit.

Total traded volume stood at 33,536 lots of 25 tonnes each,

a tad lower than the average 35,000 lots.

Technicals showed that signals are mixed for Malaysian palm

oil as it is not clear how strong the current rebound will be,

said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

Market players will also be looking out for official data on

August's stocks, production and exports that will be released on

Sept. 10 by industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

Estimates by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, a group of

planters, showed that production in Aug. 1-20 had dropped 7.4

percent despite a higher yield cycle for oil palm trees that

typically begins in the second half of the year.

But traders say the dip could be due to slower harvesting

during the Muslim festival of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr as

plantation workers went on holiday.

"The production drop is not because trees are not producing,

but because of the delay in harvest. The fruit is still there,"

the trader added.

In other markets, Brent crude oil steadied around $114 on

Monday, consolidating after a week of gains, as a military

strike against Syria looked less imminent and worries over

possible Middle East supply disruptions receded.

In vegetable oil markets, the most-active January soybean

oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose

1.5 percent. Trading in the U.S. soyoil contract for December

is closed for the U.S. Labor Day holiday.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1005 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume

MY PALM OIL SEP3 2420 +13.00 2420 2420 34

MY PALM OIL OCT3 2428 +24.00 2411 2437 2112

MY PALM OIL NOV3 2426 +22.00 2411 2440 16121

CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4 5650 +88.00 5574 5650 408810

CHINA SOYOIL JAN4 7288 +110.00 7188 7290 736246

CBOT SOY OIL DEC3 44.17 +0.00 0.00 0.00 0

NYMEX CRUDE OCT3 106.90 -0.75 104.21 107.15 29320

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

($1=3.27 Malaysian ringgit)

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