Palm oil futures fall

January 25, 2020

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight session on Friday, hit by weak demand from India and China, with a strengthening ringgit also weighing on prices.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 2.2 per cent to 2,862 ringgit per tonne. The contract was up 0.9pc this week, after slumping 9.5pc in the previous week.

Prices were also affected by “last-minute selling” ahead of a long weekend, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said.

The Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange will be closed on Monday for Lunar New Year festivities.

Waning demand from China due to a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, coupled with fewer buyers from India, dragged down prices, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head at Sunvin Group, a Mumbai-based vegetable oil broker.

Demand for Malaysian palm oil by its biggest importer India has taken a hit over the last few months, following a diplomatic spat between the two countries. Also dragging prices lower was a stronger ringgit, which gained 0.3pc against the dollar, making palm oil more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2020