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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures eased on Wednesday, after closing at an 18-day high in the previous session, but the contract was set for a second straight monthly gain on robust exports.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange eased 7 ringgit, or 0.17%, to 4,212 ringgit ($942.07) a tonne by the midday break.

For the month, palm has risen 3.9%.

Exports from Malaysia in November rose 6% from the month before to 1.58 million tonnes, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said.

While production and export trends in Malaysia are supportive, the market eased on Wednesday due to a stronger ringgit and profit-taking, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.

The ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, rose 0.75% against the dollar, making the commodity more expensive for buyers holding other currency. Oil prices posted gains of more than 1% on falling US crude inventories and a lower greenback, making palm a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

Dalian’s most active soyoil contract rose 1.6%, while its palm oil contract gained 1.3%.

Palm oil may rise towards 4,607 ringgit

Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.01%.

Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Palm oil may test a resistance at 4,329 ringgit a tonne, a break above which could lead to a gain into the 4,400-4,497 ringgit range, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

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