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Palm Oil Declines to Two-Week Low as Malaysian Exports Weaken

Palm oil dropped to the lowest level in almost two weeks on concern that exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, may fall on slowing demand for the tropical oil used in everything from food to fuel.

The contract for April delivery retreated as much as 1.3 percent to 2,524 ringgit ($756) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, the lowest level for most-active futures since Jan. 15, and was at 2,529 ringgit at 12:14 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are down 4.9 percent in January, set for the first monthly loss in four.

Shipments from Malaysia fell 9.4 percent to 1.03 million tons in the first 25 days of January from the same period a month earlier, Intertek, a surveyor, said Jan. 25. Exports fell 10.5 percent to 1.02 million tons, SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. said.

“Sentiment is rather sluggish as the export numbers have not improved,” Donny Khor, deputy director of futures and commodities at RHB Investment Bank Bhd., said by phone from Kuala Lumpur. “Chinese demand is long over and physical demand is unlikely to see much improvement.”

Soybean oil for March delivery was little changed at 37.04 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, while soybeans traded at $12.86 a bushel from $12.8775 yesterday.

Refined palm oil for May delivery dropped as much as 1.6 percent to 5,684 yuan ($939) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the lowest level for most-active futures since Oct. 15. Soybean oil for the same month tumbled as much as 1.4 percent to 6,448 yuan, the lowest price since April 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.net

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

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