KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil futures in Malaysia dropped for a fourth session on Thursday, tracking sharp losses in Dalian oils, amid concerns of tepid demand as the world's second-largest palm exporter maintained its high export tax rate of 8% for next month.
The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange declined 54 ringgit, or 1.46%, to 3,638 ringgit ($900.27) a tonne, its lowest since Dec. 31, 2020.
Industry players are now anticipating Jan. 1-15 export data from cargo surveyors due on Friday.
Exports during Jan. 1-10 fell between 30% and 35% from the same period in December, cargo surveyors Surveillance said early this week.
Malaysia kept its export duty for crude palm oil at 8% for February, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Tuesday.
China would import more Indonesian products, such as palm oil, and increase investment in Southeast Asia's largest economy, a top Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday, as Jakarta urged Beijing to remove barriers to make trade between the two countries more balanced.
Dalian's most-active soyoil contract and its palm oil contract fell 2.4%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.3%.
Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
Palm oil may fall into a range of 3,592 ringgit to 3,631 ringgit per tonne, as the correction from the Jan. 6 high of 3,888 ringgit looks sharp and strong, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.