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Palm Oil Declines as Data Show Shipments Dropped From Malaysia

Palm oil fell after data showed exports from Malaysia, the second-biggest producer, declined this month on slow demand from importers.

The contract for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to 2,321 ringgit ($759) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. Futures are heading for a 27 percent drop this year, the worst annual loss since the 2008 financial crisis, as stockpiles in Malaysia climbed to a record.

Shipments fell 1.9 percent to 1 million tons in the first 20 days of December from a month earlier, surveyor Intertek said today. Exports rose 0.5 percent to 1 million tons in the same period, Societe Generale de Surveillance said. Stockpiles in Malaysia rose to 2.56 million tons last month, the nation’s palm oil board said Dec. 10. Inventories have swelled as output in Indonesia and Malaysia outpaced demand from China and India.

“India is not buying aggressively because of lower demand in the domestic market and higher stockpiles,” Ambika T.B., an analyst at Karvy Comtrade Ltd., said by phone from the Indian city of Hyderabad. “Cancellation of U.S. soybean cargoes by China has also led to weak sentiment in the oilseed complex.”

China canceled about 300,000 tons of soybeans for shipment before Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Dec. 18. Export sales of soybeans from the U.S., the largest grower and shipper last year, probably fell to 400,000 to 1 million tons in the week to Dec. 13, from 1.3 million tons a week earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of five analysts.

Soybeans for March delivery declined 0.8 percent to $14.1975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean oil for delivery in March slid 0.2 percent to 48.64 cents a pound.

Palm oil for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to end at 6,738 yuan ($1,081) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for May dropped 1.6 percent to close at 8,584 yuan a ton.

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