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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 may decrease from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, on slowing demand for the tropical oil used in everything from food to fuel.

The contract for April delivery retreated 0.9 percent to 2,532 ringgit ($759) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, the lowest level at close for most-active futures since Jan. 15. Futures are down 4.8 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 declined 10.5 percent to 1.02 million tons, SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. said yesterday.

“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 gained 0.2 percent to 37.15 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $12.8975 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery dropped 2 percent to close at 5,660 yuan ($936) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the lowest level for a most-active contract since Oct. 11. Soybean oil for delivery in the same month tumbled 1.5 percent to end at 6,436 yuan, the lowest price since April 2009.

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