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JAKARTA: Malaysian palm oil futures hit a new all time high and a sixth weekly gain on Friday as top producer Indonesia limited exports amid lingering concerns of weak production.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed at 5,633 ringgit ($1,345.03) per tonne, surging 3.47% for the day.

It hit a new record intraday high of 5,639 ringgit per tonne.

For the week, it rose 5.84% amid rising energy prices, supply concerns and anticipation of changes in Indonesia’s export policy.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer and exporter, on Thursday announced a 20% mandatory domestic sales for palm oil in a bid to cool down local cooking oil prices.

The portion set for mandatory local sales fell short of the previously anticipated 25%, traders said, but was a driving factor for Friday’s gains.

“The market still uses this opportunity to create a new high,” a trader in Kuala Lumpur said.

Elsewhere, soybean oil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 0.92%, while Dalian’s soyoil contract for May delivery climbed 3.34%, and its palm oil contract rose 2.45%.

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

The Indonesia Palm Oil Association said it expected 2022 exports to come 3% below 2021 levels, but it was unclear if the group had taken into account the new mandatory domestic sales policy.

Although GAPKI expected 2022 production to increase, the prospect needs to be reassessed after the first-half of the year as scarcity of fertiliser and wetter weather at the start of the year might impact 2022 second-half production. ($1 = 4.1880 ringgit).

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