KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures declined more than 2% on Tuesday, their sharpest intraday fall in nearly a month, as a slump in early October exports outweighed support from tightening inventories.
The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange slid 103 ringgit to 4,852 ringgit ($1,165.23) a tonne.
Palm fell for a second straight day as traders also booked profits after prices hit a record high last week.
Exports of Malaysian palm oil products from Oct. 1 to 10 fell 9.4% to 496,696 tonnes compared with the same period in September, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said.
Exports in October and November are unlikely to sustain the surge seen last month as key buyer India enters the winter season, UOB Kay Hian said in a note.
Importers usually switch to other edible oils during winter as palm oil solidifies at lower temperature.
But a recent rally in crude oil prices has narrowed the price spread between palm and gas oil, helping boost biodiesel demand, UOB Kay Hian said.
Malaysia's end-September palm oil stocks fell more than expected, down nearly 7% from the month before, as export demand surged while production stayed flat, Malaysian Palm Oil Board data showed on Monday.
"We project palm oil stocks to fall 0.8% month-on-month to 1.73 million tonnes by end-Oct 2021, with output up 1.5% and exports down 4% month-on-month," Ivy Ng, regional head of plantations research at CGS-CIMB Research, said in a note.
Tight near-term global edible oil inventories and expectations that Malaysia's production would stay below potential for the rest of the year will keep prices firm at 3,500-4,500 ringgit this month, Ng said.
Dalian's most-active soyaoil contract fell 1.2%, while its palm oil contract slipped 1.2%. Soyaoil 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.