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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures ended at a two-week peak on Thursday as an upbeat outlook for exports and output helped investors shrug off concerns over higher export duties.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 100 ringgit, or 2.04%, to 4,999 ringgit ($1,195.93) a tonne, its highest close since Nov. 3, also aided by gains in rival oils.

“Palm was in bullish mood in the second session aided by higher palm olein and bean oil on Dalian and rapeseed oil on Zhenghou Exchange,” said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

The spot-month contract was trading near record highs at 5,449 ringgit.

“The spread between the first and third month remain at over 400 ringgit, implying supply tightness for the nearby months,” Varqa said. Sime Darby Plantation pegged supplies to improve in the second quarter of 2022, and said palm oil prices were expected to remain elevated at least until the end of the year.

Malaysia has kept its December export tax for crude palm oil at 8% and raised its reference price to 5,119.75 ringgit per tonne, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract gained 1.3%, while its palm oil contract rose 1.8%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.9%.

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

The European Commission proposed a law on Wednesday aimed at preventing the import of commodities linked to deforestation, including palm oil and soy, by requiring companies to prove their global supply chains are not contributing to the destruction of forests.

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