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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures ticked up on Tuesday, snapping two consecutive sessions of sharp losses, as lingering concerns over tight production provided support and data showing export shipments fell in July capped gains.

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 24 ringgit, or 0.58%, to 4,144 ringgit ($982.46) a tonne, after plunging 5.7% in the previous session.

“Until and unless production improves, prices are expected to remain defensive,” Paramalingam Supramaniam, director at Selangor-based brokerage Pelindung Bestari, said.

The Southern Peninsula Palm Oil Millers’ Association on Monday estimated July production would climb 2% on the month, traders said.

But concerns over smaller-than-usual yields linger as plantations grapple with a labour shortage during the seasonal higher production months.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for July fell 6.3% to 1.45 million tonnes from June, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said on Monday.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract fell 1.3%, while its palm oil contract slipped 1.9%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.5%.

Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

Refinitiv Agriculture Research on Monday said the contract is expected to decline towards support levels at 4,030-4,050 ringgit per tonne this week because of weak fundamentals, with resistance at 4,230-4,250 ringgit per tonne.

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