* Futures post 0.7 percent weekly gain
* Palm oil to rise to 2,346 ringgit -technicals
* Traders look ahead to May 1-20 exports data due Monday
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, May 17 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures
rose on Friday, gaining for a second straight week, as investors
pinned their hopes on a recovery in exports in the second half
of May to help ease stocks.
Malaysian palm oil shipments for the first half of the month
fell as much as 8 percent, cargo surveyor data showed, but the
decline was smaller than the drop of nearly a fifth in the first
ten days, suggesting that export demand could be recovering.
Stronger exports could eat into stocks that dipped below the
psychological mark of 2 million tonnes in April, to 1.93 million
tonnes, providing support for prices that have gained 0.7
percent this week.
"It looks neutral to supportive at the moment, and I would
still think it is just range-bound. The complete bull trend has
not been established yet. We are still looking forward to
Ramadan demand," said a Singapore-based trader with a global
commodities house, referring to the Muslim holy month that
starts early in July when communal feasting typically drives up
At market close, the benchmark August contract on
the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1 percent at
2,336 ringgit ($774) per tonne. Prices traded in a tight range
between 2,327 and 2,342 ringgit.
Total traded volumes stood at 31,976 lots of 25 tonnes each,
slightly lower than the usual 35,000 lots.
Technicals showed palm oil is expected to rise to 2,346
ringgit per tonne as the rebound from the May 6 low of 2,230
ringgit has been extended, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Traders are looking ahead to the first 20 days' exports
data, due on Monday, for a better indication of the demand
trend. Malaysia, the world's second largest producer, announced
this week it would set its crude palm oil export tax for June at
4.5 percent, unchanged since March.
In other markets, oil slipped on Friday, staying below $104
a barrel on concern about the strength of demand growth and as
policymaker talk of the future removal of U.S. monetary stimulus
boosted the dollar.
In vegetable oil markets, U.S. soyoil for July delivery
rose 0.6 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active
September soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities
Exchange gained 1.4 percent.
Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1004 GMT
Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume
MY PALM OIL JUN3 2333 +13.00 2327 2339 427
MY PALM OIL JUL3 2342 +18.00 2336 2350 7819
MY PALM OIL AUG3 2336 +22.00 2327 2342 14219
CHINA PALM OLEIN SEP3 6078 +58.00 6048 6098 457586
CHINA SOYOIL SEP3 7488 +104.00 7422 7508 862098
CBOT SOY OIL JUL3 49.79 +0.27 49.51 49.90 4491
NYMEX CRUDE JUN3 95.46 +0.30 94.79 95.59 18105
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
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)