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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell more than 3% on Thursday to close at a near two-week low as rival edible oils fell, though a weaker currency and lower export tax helped limit losses.

The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 146 ringgit, or 3.48%, to 4,047 ringgit ($904.96) a tonne, after rising for two days.

The contract gave up gains from earlier this week following troublesome macro factors, led by lower crude oil prices, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

Limiting losses, Malaysia has maintained its September export tax for crude palm oil at 8% and lowered its reference price, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Wednesday.

The reduction in export tax has put Malaysian palm oil prices at about the same level as Indonesia’s palm oil offerings, Bagani said.

Palm recoups losses as ringgit hits 5-1/2-year low

The ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, fell for a fourth day against the dollar to its lowest since January 2017, making the commodity cheaper for holders of foreign currency.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract fell 1.8%, while its palm oil contract dropped 3%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 1.2%.

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

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