KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia's commodity exchange will launch a soy oil futures contract on March 18 to help arbitrage between soybean and palm oil contracts, its chairperson said at an industry conference on Tuesday.

This would be the first non-palm based edible oil futures to be listed on Malaysia Bursa Derivatives, said Abdul Wahid Omar, after an agreement with Dalian Commodity Exchange.

"Soy oil contract will enable market participants to seamlessly arbitrage between soybean oil and palm oil prices on the same platform," he said.

Palm and soy oils are common market substitutes.

Meanwhile, he also said Malaysian palm oil prices are expected to improve in 2024, helped by heightened demand from key markets, but warned that market participants should remain vigilant of possible challenges. (Reporting by Danial Azhar, Bernadette Christina Munthe Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Martin Petty)