Palm oil futures gain

22 Feb 2020

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Friday on gains in rival edible oils and improving February exports, although worries over Chinese demand due to the coronavirus outbreak led the commodity to its second straight weekly loss.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 32 ringgit, or 1.23 per cent, at a settlement price of 2,622 ringgit ($626.25).

But palm oil lost 1.4pc this week as the epidemic in No. 2 buyer China disrupted economic activity.

Demand concerns were, however, eased by an improvement in exports, with surveyors reporting that Malaysia’s Feb. 1-20 exports increased by 8.7pc-10.9pc from the month before.

Sentiment was also supported by India’s resumption of purchases of refined palmolein from Indonesia, a move that surprised the industry as just last month New Delhi had restricted imports of the commodity and informally told traders not to purchase from Malaysia following a diplomatic row.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020