KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia palm futures notched a closing record high on Friday, after marking their biggest monthly jump in nearly 13 years as an export ban by top producer Indonesia fanned concerns about tightening supplies and pushed global edible oil prices higher.
The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange climbed 191 ringgit, or 2.76%, to 7,105 ringgit ($1,632.58) a tonne.
The contract logged a monthly rise of 24.5%, its best month since April, 2009. For the week, the contract gained 11.5%, its biggest percentage gain in a year, spurred by supply worries.
Indonesia should be able to tackle its cooking oil shortage in the next few weeks and lift an export ban on palm oil and its refined products in May, an industry body said on Thursday, a day after a last-minute policy U-turn sparked more alarm for markets.
Crude palm oil prices in Indonesia are likely to fall sharply as the domestic market will be unable to absorb the increased supply, straining the country’s storage infrastructure while prices in other markets such as Malaysia rise, Fitch said.
“Indonesia’s crude palm oil export ban is likely to widen the spread between Malaysian and Indonesian prices,” Fitch Ratings said in a note.
The ban has trapped at least 290,000 tonnes of the edible oil meant to be headed to India at ports and oil mills in the world’s top producer, four industry officials told Reuters on Thursday.
In related oils, Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract rose 1.3%, while its palm oil contract gained 3.8%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.7% after scaling record highs overnight.
As a shortage of sunflower oil ripples through the global food industry, Unilever said on Thursday that it has altered some of its recipes so it can substitute rapeseed oil instead. The Malaysian bourse will be closed until May 5 for Eid al-Fitr.