Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Decline Over First 20 Days of Month

Palm oil shipments from Malaysia fell 17 percent in the first 20 days of this month, according to Intertek, with the pace of decline slowing as buyers adjust to new rules in China and taxes in India, the biggest consumers.

Exports fell to 830,830 metric tons from 1 million tons in the same period in December, Intertek said today. That compares with a 25 percent drop in the first 10-day period of this month and a 21 percent fall over 15 days. An estimate of the 20-day exports from Societe Generale de Surveillance is due later today.

India will impose a tax of 2.5 percent on crude palm and soybean oil imports, the Agriculture Ministry said on Jan. 17. China’s quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, toughened inspections on imports from Jan. 1 to improve food safety. Malaysia, the largest producer after Indonesia, dropped its export tax to zero for this month to combat record stockpiles that have hurt prices.

“We’re still looking to see how the impact will be from the China side, on their new rules on imports, as well as India’s new import tax,” Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte Ltd. in Singapore, said by phone. “A lot depends on what’s going on in India and China.”

Palm oil for April delivery rose as much as 1.2 percent to 2,428 ringgit ($804) a ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 2,426 ringgit at 11:38 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. While futures gained 1.4 percent last week, the first such advance in three weeks, they’ve declined 23 percent over the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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