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KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange rose Wednesday on fears that a recurring La Nina weather event could curtail production in Southeast Asia, although gains were limited by macroeconomic concerns, trade participants said.

The benchmark January contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange ended 1.2% higher at MYR2,958 a metric ton after moving in a MYR2,922-MYR2,965 range.

CBOT December soyoil was higher during Asian hours and was last trading 0.5% higher at 51.07 cents a pound when trade on the BMD ended.

La Nina events usually result in above-average rainfall in Southeast Asia and could slow harvesting progress in Malaysia and Indonesia, which together produce 90% of the world's palm oil.

Unusually wet weather also has a delayed impact on yields as it results in poor pollination, affecting crop development.

"The market is still driven by macroeconomic developments but I think growing concerns about the weather will keep it buoyant this week," a Singapore-based broker said.

Fears about the weather could shrug off a weaker outlook for palm oil demand toward the end of the year as buyers switch to alternatives as palm oil tends to turn cloudy and jelly-like in winter.

"CPO could rise to MYR3,000/ton again and then toward MYR3,200/ton in the short term if this year's monsoon turns out to be very severe," a commodities broker in Jakarta said.

Separately, an industry executive said imports by Pakistan, the third-largest buyer, may fall 25% to 150,000 tons a month in November and December amid higher cottonseed oil output.

October shipments to Pakistan reached 201,750 tons, data from cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed.

Open interest on the BMD was 129,941 lots, versus 128,685 lots Tuesday. One lot is equivalent to 25 tons.

A total of 22,970 lots of CPO were traded versus 21,395 lots Tuesday.

Closing BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton at 1000 GMT: 
Month   Close  Previous  Change   High    Low 
Nov'11  2,965     2,925     +40  2,970  2,960 
Dec'11  2,962     2,925     +37  2,963  2,923 
Jan'12  2,958     2,923     +35  2,965  2,922 
Feb'12  2,960     2,920     +40  2,968  2,925
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