Palm Oil Gains as Dry Weather in Soy Areas Boosts Supply Concern

Palm oil climbed, paring a weekly decline, on concern that dry weather in South America may lower soybean output and tighten edible oil supplies.

The March-delivery contract, the most active by volume, gained as much as 1.2 percent to 3,007 ringgit ($946) a metric on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 3,005 ringgit at 11:59 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. The commodity, set for a 2.6 percent decline this week, has lost 21 percent this year.

Areas of eastern and central Argentina got as little as 40 percent of normal rainfall in the 30 days through Dec. 14, according to QT Weather. The country will remain dry until Dec. 20, when storms may bring about 0.75 inch (1.9 centimeters) of precipitation, QT meteorologist Allen Motew said. The soybean crop may fall short of government estimates unless more rain falls, according to Grupo Los Grobo LLC, a producer.

“Weather in Argentina has been a concern for the soybean crop,” Chung Yang Ker, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said by phone from Singapore. “Forecast of some flooding in the main plantation areas in Malaysia during the weekend are also supporting the prices.”

Production declined 14.8 percent to 1.6 million tons in November from a month earlier after the peak-harvest season ended, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Dec. 13. Stockpiles declined 1.5 percent to 2.1 million tons, while exports shrank 9.9 percent to 1.7 million tons, the board said.

Soybeans gained the most in more than two weeks yesterday to $11.2125 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The March- delivery contract was 0.5 percent higher at $11.2675 at 11:46 a.m. in Singapore today. Soybean oil, a direct substitute for palm oil, gained 0.5 percent to 49.60 cents a pound, extending a 1.2 percent rally yesterday.

Palm oil for delivery in May rose as much as 0.8 percent to 7,848 yuan ($1,236) per ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and soybean oil for September delivery climbed as much as 0.8 percent to 8,786 yuan.

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