Bigger crowd, more Americans at palm oil meet

THE Palm and Lauric Oils Outlook Conference (POC 2010) was a lot more crowded than last year and -- there were more Americans.

The higher turnout was in anticipation of CME Group announcing the launch of its new US dollar-denominated cash-settled CPO futures contract, called CUPO, on CME Globex electronic trading platform. Traders in Chicago get to trade CUPO from May 23 this year but those in Kuala Lumpur, on May 24, due to the time difference.

CME Group vice-chairman Tim Andriesen said the opportunity to work with partner Bursa Malaysia enables it to offer a contract that meets the growing demand for trading palm oil, one of the world's most widely used commodities, on CME Globex, the same electronic trading platform as CME Group's existing suite of agricultural products.

"Food processers, commercial firms and other multinational companies that use crude palm oil and trade in US currency now have an alternative for hedging that risk," he told an audience of 1,800 traders and oil palm planters from some 50 countries who flew in to Kuala Lumpur this week.

Andriesen also said that the creation of its US dollar futures contract for palm oil would create opportunities for cross-trading with soyabean oil, based on the historically strong correlation between these products. Together, palm oil and soyabean oil account for about 61 per cent of all edible oils in the world.

True to the theme "Global Connectivity - Raise the Game", it was a historic moment as Bursa Malaysia Derivatives moved closer to integrate its trading platform with CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange for grains, livestock, oilseeds, dairy and timber.

At the gala dinner, Kenanga Deutsche Futures Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd, emerged the best overall performer for the seventh consecutive year in attracting the biggest trades into Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

"We strive to challenge ourselves to maintain our position as the leading futures brokerage in Malaysia," Ng Chin Leng, executive director of Kenanga Deutsche Futures Sdn Bhd, said at the award ceremony.

All in, brokers and traders agreed that the POC series has become more vibrant.

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