Palm Oil Posts Second Weekly Decline as Ringgit Strengthens

Palm oil declined for a second week as the Malaysian currency gained against the dollar, reducing the appeal of ringgit-denominated futures.

The contract for delivery in June fell 1.4 percent to close at 2,359 ringgit ($772) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. Futures lost 0.8 percent this week after a 4.6 percent fall in the previous five sessions.

Malaysia’s ringgit had its biggest weekly gain since September after Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament on April 3, paving the way for polls in the coming weeks. The currency, which reached a seven-month low of 3.1395 on March 18, has rallied 1.2 percent this month to 3.0570 a dollar.

“The ringgit is getting stronger and pressuring prices lower,” Chandran Sinnasamy, head of trading at LT International Futures Sdn., said by phone from Kuala Lumpur. The losses in soybeans are also weakened prices, he said.

The oilseed, which can be crushed to make soybean oil, traded near its lowest close in three months as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu in China rose, increasing concerns that poultry meat consumption and feed use in the world’s largest buyer of soybeans may slow. Beans for delivery in May declined 0.8 percent to $13.6175 a bushel. Futures closed at $13.72 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 4.

Soybean oil for May delivery was little changed at 48.51 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for a weekly loss.

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