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Palm Oil Tumbles Most in Three Weeks as Malaysian Exports Drop

Palm oil fell the most in almost three weeks after data showed that exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, were poised for a third monthly decline as global supplies of cooking oils expand.

The contract for April delivery retreated 1.4 percent to 2,556 ringgit ($764) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, the biggest drop at close for the most-active futures since Jan. 7. Futures are down 3.9 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 dropped for a second month in December, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board data.

“Markets are down because of the lower export numbers,” said Arhnue Tan, an analyst at Alliance Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “Weakness in exports might continue in February as there are quite a lot of stockpiles of soybean and rapeseed oils in the market now and the prices are getting very competitive as opposed to palm oil.”

Palm oil’s discount to soybean oil was $60.06 a ton today, compared with an average of $224.70 in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Soybean oil for March delivery declined 0.5 percent to 37.36 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans were little changed at $12.855 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery dropped 1.2 percent to close at 5,774 yuan ($955) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for same month declined 1.1 percent to end at 6,536 yuan.

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