24/02/05 MANILA (Dow Jones)--World coconut oil prices were higher thisweek, influenced by the strength of the trendsetting soy oil market,traders said.
Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose to a five-monthhigh early this week, as speculative fund buying coincided with drynessconcerns in southern Brazil.
However, a high level of palm oil stocks in Malaysia will prevent anysubstantial increase in coconut oil prices in the coming week,Manila-based traders said.
"Generally, global stocks of oilseeds remain at high levels, so wedon't see any further upswing in prices," one trader said.
Despite the high level of vegetable oil stocks in the global market,local supply of copra remains tight, a second exporter said. This, inturn, will prevent prices from falling dramatically, he added.
In fact, exports this month are expected to reach only around 53,000tons, lower than the 60,000 tons exported last month, the second exportersaid.
The limited copra supply is attributed to cyclical biological stresson coconut trees.
Traders quoted coconut oil for February/March shipment at $655 ametric ton, CIF, Rotterdam, while March/April shipment was quoted at$645/ton. These prices were $5 higher from prices quoted last week.
The Philippines is the world's largest exporter of coconut oil andcoconut-based products.