KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures closed higher on Friday, but logged a weekly drop of 13.7% as exports slowed and rival Indonesia planned more incentives to increase shipments.
The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 17 ringgit, or 0.48%, to 3,585 ringgit ($806.16) a tonne.
Palm attempted a rebound after a hefty sell-off in the previous session as traders priced in a potential export levy cut in top producer Indonesia, said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.
But there is little positive fundamental data to retain buying momentum, he added, as the contract booked its second straight weekly loss.
Exports from Malaysia during July 1-15 fell between 5.6% and 14% from the same period in June 1-15, cargo surveyors said.
Indonesia’s palm oil stocks rose to 7.23 million tonnes by the end of May, from 6.1 million tonnes in the month before, after an export ban slashed shipments by 77%.
The world’s biggest producer plans to bring in new rules on its palm oil export levy and incentives soon to boost exports and empty storage tanks, an official said, the latest attempt to accelerate shipments after lifting the export ban in May.
The industry is urging Indonesian authorities to ease export restrictions and taxes so it can sell produce that risks going to waste, as an upcoming harvest season is likely to keep inventories at full capacity.
Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract rose 1%, while its palm oil contract fell 3.4%. 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.
Oil prices rose amid prospects of a less aggressive U.S. rate hike, making palm an attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.