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VEGOILS-Palm oil climbs to new 2-year high on lower output, stronger exports

* Palm oil reaches 2,698 ringgit per tonne, highest
intra-day since April 17, 2014
* Market propped up by improving demand from India -trader

By Emily Chow
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil
futures hit a 23-month high in early trade on Monday, driven by
lower expected production and improving export demand.
The palm oil contract for May delivery on the
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.5 percent to settle
at 2,693 ringgit ($662) per tonne at the midday break on Monday
after touching a high of 2,698 ringgit, its strongest level in
nearly two years.
Trade volumes were 17,973 lots of 25 tonnes each in the
morning session.
"Production is still down and exports are getting higher.
The bulls are not going to leave it," said a trader from Kuala
Lumpur.
"Demand has started to come in from India as there's the
colour festival and Good Friday coming up."
Global palm oil production is expected to drop by 2 million
to 3 million tonnes this year due to the dry weather effects of
an El Nino, according to leading industry analysts. The weather
event brings scorching heat across Southeast Asia, reducing
fruit yields and output.
Malaysian palm oil exports rose nearly 20 percent in March
1-20 compared with the corresponding period a month ago, driven
by Indian demand.
Palm oil faces a resistance at 2,695 ringgit per tonne, a
break above which could lead to a gain to 2,729 ringgit, said
Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals
Wang Tao.
In competing vegetable oils, the September soybean oil
contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange edged up 0.1
percent, while the May Chicago Board of Trade soyoil contract
lost 0.7 percent.
Crude palm kernel oil's offer price stood at 5,291.07
ringgit per tonne <PKO-MYSTH-M1> at the midday break on Monday,
according to assessment prices by Thomson Reuters.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 0500 GMT:

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL APR6 2644 +11.00 2639 2644 177
MY PALM OIL MAY6 2679 +11.00 2653 2684 3187
MY PALM OIL JUN6 2693 +14.00 2666 2698 9010
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP6 5372 +20.00 5306 5392 688588
CHINA SOYOIL SEP6 6034 +6.00 5972 6056 590794
CBOT SOY OIL MAY6 33.19 -3.60 33.09 33.3 4680
INDIA PALM OIL MAR6 509.20 -3.60 505.10 514.8 508
INDIA SOYOIL APR6 624.45 -0.75 623.3 625.6 4300
NYMEX CRUDE APR6 38.88 -0.56 38.86 39.28 640

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
India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg
Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel

($1 = 4.0650 ringgit)
($1 = 66.4400 Indian rupees)
($1 = 6.4845 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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