Business Recorder (13/01/2021) - KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures ended 2.5% lower on Tuesday, hitting a one-week low on concerns of weak demand as partial data showed a sharp decline in January exports.
The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down 95 ringgit to 3,702 ringgit a tonne.
Palm marked its second straight day of losses and biggest intraday percentage decline since Nov. 16.
Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Jan. 1-10 fell 29.7% to 278,450 tonnes from the same period last month, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said.
There are worries of a lack of demand for Malaysian palm oil as buyers are opting for cheaper Indonesian cargo, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.
New export tax structures have given Indonesian refiners a sizeable advantage over rival Malaysian refiners in the export market, analyst James Fry said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s palm oil imports in December soared 150% to a record 282,058 tonnes to cope with rising outflow of crude palm oil after a six-month tax exemption and low output, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board data on Monday.
Due to high imports, December stockpile in the world’s second largest producer fell less than expected at 1.26 million tonnes.
“We project palm oil stocks to rise by 0.8% month-on-month to 1.28 million tonnes by end-January, with output down by 8% month-on-month and exports down by 30% month-on-month,” CGS-CIMB Research said in a note.
“We expect output to be lower due to seasonal factors, as well as heavier-than-usual rainfall in some key palm oil regions.”
Dalian’s most-active soyaoil contract and its palm oil contract slumped 1.7%. Soyaoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.5%.
Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
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