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Palm Oil Posts Weekly Advance as Malaysia Increases Export Tax

Palm oil climbed, extending a weekly gain, after Malaysia, the second-largest producer, increased its export tax for crude palm oil in December, boosting demand for the commodity this month.

The contract for January delivery rose 0.8 percent to close at 2,610 ringgit ($815) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives to show a 4.1 percent gain for the week. Palm rose to 2,628 ringgit on Nov. 1, the highest close since September 2012 and 21 percent more than the 2,167 ringgit settlement on July 29, meeting the common definition of a bull market.

Malaysia raised the tax on exports of crude palm oil to 5 percent after keeping it unchanged at 4.5 percent since March, according to a Customs Department statement on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website. The reference price was set at 2,452.43 ringgit. The tariff was zero in January and February before rising to 4.5 percent in March. Indonesia last month set its export tax at 9 percent for November.

“The higher export tax will mean that people will try and export more this month,” Ivy Ng, an analyst at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd., said by phone. “Buyers would come in to buy more with the view that the higher export tax may raise prices.”

Crude and refined palm oil imports advanced 24 percent to 767,695 tons in October from a month earlier, data from the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India showed today. Total edible and non-edible vegetable oil imports for the 2012-2013 year ending Oct. 31 climbed 4.8 percent to a record 10.7 million tons from 10.2 million last year, said the group.

Lower Shipments

India may continue to buy palm oil to replenish stockpiles after the Diwali festival in early November, Ng said.

Soybean oil for January delivery increased 0.6 percent to 41.47 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for delivery in January fell 0.2 percent to $13.1125 a bushel.

Palm oil exports from Malaysia fell 4.6 percent to 744,975 tons in the first half of this month from the same period in October, Intertek said today. Shipments dropped 8.2 percent to 734,476 tons, estimates from SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. show.

Refined palm oil for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to close at 6,280 yuan ($1,031) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and soybean oil lost 0.4 percent to end at 7,256 yuan.

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