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DJ. Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange ended higher Thursday as investors squared off positions ahead of the long weekend.

Firm export demand and forecasts for diminishing U.S. soy supplies supported prices, trade participants said.

The benchmark November contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended 0.6% at 3,019 ringgits a metric ton after moving in a narrow range due to cautiousness ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at Jackson Hole symposium Friday.

The market will be closed Friday for the National Day holiday.

The tropical oil has risen 2.5% since the beginning of August and hit a six-week high of MYR3,122/ton Monday as a declining outlook for rival soybean crops in the U.S. and South America points to tighter global vegoil supplies.

However, further gains in the Malaysian market will hinge on export trends for August by cargo surveyors Intertek Agri Services and SGS (Malaysia) Bhd., a vegoil importer in Mumbai said.

Both surveyors are scheduled to issue August shipment data Monday.

Firm export demand may help to slow a build-up in end-August palm oil inventories. Stockpiles at end-July reached 2 million tons.

In the cash market, refined palm olein was offered at $980/ton, free on board Malaysian ports, a physical market broker in Singapore said.

Open interest on the BMD was 129,327 lots, versus 125,672 lots Wednesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 42,592 lots of CPO were traded versus 40,158 lots Wednesday.

Ending BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton: Month Close Previous Change High Low Sep'12 2,925 2,915 +10 2,935 2,900 Oct'12 2,969 2,968 +1 3,028 2,952 Nov'12 3,019 3,000 +19 3,033 3,000 Dec'12 3,042 3,016 +26 3,054 3,018
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