JAKARTA: Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Wednesday, as the commodity’s price was seen as competitive compared to rival oils, while the market awaited export and production performance data for the first half of the month.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 46 ringgit, or 1.21%, at 3,861 ringgit ($821.49) a metric ton during the midday break.

“The market is considering the current palm oil prices competitive. Market focus is now on May 1-15 palm oil export and production performance,” Anilkumar Bagani, commodity research head at Mumbai-based Sunvin Group said.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract rose 0.15%, while its palm oil contract was traded flat. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade increased 0.67%.

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

Malaysian palm oil futures lower

Ahead of monthly US soy crushing data due on Wednesday from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the trade group to report that its members crushed 183.072 million bushels of soybeans in April, down 6.8% from the record-high March total but up 5.7% from a year earlier.

India’s palm oil imports rose to their highest level in three months in April as lower prices lured buyers, a leading trade body said on Tuesday.

Imports rose 40.9% in April from the previous month to 684,094 metric tons.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday on expectations for higher demand as the US dollar weakened and a report showed US crude and gasoline inventories fell while the release of inflation data may point to a more supportive economic outlook.

Stronger crude oil futures make palm a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

Palm oil may stabilize in the support zone of 3,760-3,787 ringgit per metric ton, and bounce again, according to Reuters’ technical analyst Wang Tao.

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