Palm oil advanced for a second day on speculation that shipments from Malaysia, the second-largest producer, may increase this month as exporters boost sales before a tax increase in March.
The contract for delivery in May climbed as much as 1.3 percent to 2,568 ringgit ($825) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, before trading at 2,556 ringgit at 11:24 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia will tax crude palm oil exports at 4.5 percent in March after shipments were allowed at zero duty in January and February, according to the Customs Department. Exports climbed 18 percent to 673,555 tons in the first 15 days of February from the same period a month ago, surveyor Intertek said Feb. 15.
“Exports have improved in the first half and there has been some encouragement to push for more exports before March,” Josephine Goh, a trader at OSK Investment Bank Bhd., said by phone from Kuala Lumpur. “Some element of sentiment play will keep prices supported ahead of the general elections.”
Prime Minister Najib Razak must dissolve parliament by April 28 for an election to be held within 60 days. Palm oil inventories in Malaysia slid 1.9 percent to 2.58 million tons last month from an all-time high of 2.63 million tons in December, the nation’s palm oil board said Feb. 13.
Refined palm oil for delivery in September gained 0.7 percent to 7,108 yuan ($1,138) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for delivery in the same month climbed 0.5 percent to 8,686 yuan a ton.
Soybean for May delivery advanced 1.4 percent to $14.345 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean oil rose 0.6 percent to 52.31 cents a pound.
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