Palm Oil Gains a Second Day as Malaysian Exports Seen Recovering

Palm oil climbed for a second day on speculation that shipments from Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer, may rebound after announcing a zero export tax for a second month to trim record inventories.

The contract for delivery in April climbed 0.8 percent to close at 2,420 ringgit ($797) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. Futures rose 1.4 percent last week, the first such advance in three weeks.

Exports fell 17 percent in the first 20 days of this month from a month earlier, surveyor Intertek said today. That compares with a 25 percent fall in the first 10 days and a 21 percent drop over 15 days, Intertek data show. Shipments retreated 20 percent in the first 20 days of January, down from the 34 percent slump in the first 10 days and 22 percent drop over 15 days, data from Societe Generale de Surveillance show.

“Buyers may be returning to the market after the year-end holiday,” said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte Ltd. in Singapore. “They’re slowly getting accommodated to the new rules in China and the new tax in India.”

China’s quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, toughened inspections on imports from Jan. 1. India will impose a tax of 2.5 percent on crude palm and soybean oil imports, the Agriculture Ministry said Jan. 17.

Malaysia will maintain the zero tariff on crude palm oil shipments, implemented from the start of this month, into February to draw down the stockpiles, which stood at 2.63 million tons in December.

Refined palm oil for delivery in May closed little changed at 6,752 yuan ($1,085) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for September rose 0.7 percent to end at 8,846 yuan a ton.

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