• Palm oil futures down 3% in as many weeks on weak demand
  • Last session's gains in soybean oil limit losses in palm oil

SINGAPORE: Malaysian palm oil futures closed marginally higher on Friday but the market suffered its third straight weekly decline due to weak demand.

The benchmark palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange finished 0.2% higher at 2,193 ringgit ($526.78) per tonne.

“The demand is really slow in India and Pakistan," said one Singapore-based trader who sells the edible oil to buyers in South Asia. “In India's physical market palm oil is selling below the import cost."

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Sept. 1-10 fell 29% to 337,570 tonnes from 475,555 tonnes shipped during Aug. 1-10, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said on Wednesday.

On the technical front, palm oil may extend fall into a range of 2,148-2,166 ringgit per tonne, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities technicals.

The Chicago Board Of Trade soybean futures were poised for their biggest weekly rise in nearly three months, underpinned by China making its most significant purchases of US beans since at least June.

Indonesia, the world's biggest producer of palm oil, has decided to increase its biodiesel allocation for the country's mandatory programme in 2019.

Palm oil inventories in Malaysia extended falls to a 13-month low at the end of August as strong export gains outpaced production increases, official data showed on Tuesday.

In other related oils, US soyoil futures on the CBOT were up 0.2%.