Palm Oil Climbs as Indonesian Tax Increase to Benefit Malaysia

Palm oil gained on speculation that exports from Malaysia may increase after Indonesia, the world’s largest-producer, raised taxes on February shipments.

The contract for delivery in April advanced as much as 1.1 percent to 2,471 ringgit ($803) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and ended the morning session at 2,464 ringgit. Futures are heading for a 1.1 percent gain this month. Financial markets in Malaysia were closed yesterday.

Indonesia will raise taxes on crude palm oil exports to 9 percent from 7.5 percent in January, the Trade Ministry said yesterday, potentially curbing shipments as rival Malaysia maintains a zero-tariff policy for a second month. The base price to calculate the levy will be increased to $744 a ton from $709, it said. This is the first increase in taxes since May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Indonesian tax increase is “in favor of the Malaysian producers,” said Ryan Long, vice president of futures and options at OSK Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “We can expect higher exports in the month of February. They have lost their competitiveness.”

Record inventories of 2.63 million tons at the end of December in Malaysia may drop with a recovery in exports and decline in output, Long said.

Refined palm oil for delivery in September declined 0.4 percent to 7,002 yuan ($1,124) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for delivery in the same month retreated 0.7 percent to 8,688 yuan a ton.

Soybeans for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $14.4475 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean oil for March delivery was little changed at 51.91 cents a pound.

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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