Palm Drops Most in Three Weeks as Malaysian Exports Seen Falling

Palm oil fell the most in more than three weeks on concern that exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, may decline as global supplies of alternative cooking oils increase.

The contract for March delivery lost 1.3 percent to 2,606 ringgit ($793) a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, the biggest fall for the most-active futures at close since Dec. 13. Futures gained 0.3 percent last week, extending a 2.7 percent rally in the previous two weeks.

Global palm exports may decline for the first time in 16 years in the season that began on Oct. 1 as makers of biofuel and cooking oils substitute the tropical oil with sunflower and soybean oils, Oil World said last month. Shipments from Malaysia fell 1.1 percent in December to 1.43 million tons from a month earlier, Intertek said on Dec. 31.

“Exports look quite weak going forward because there is a lot of supply of other oilseeds, which are competing with palm oil, for example, rapeseed and sunflower oil,” said Arhnue Tan, an analyst at Alliance Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “The decline today could be because of the weaker exports.”

Soybean oil for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to 38.37 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans were little changed at $12.7275 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for May delivery declined 1.5 percent to end at 5,976 yuan ($987) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil tumbled 1.9 percent to close at 6,696 yuan, the lowest price for futures since April 2009.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.