JAKARTA: Malaysian palm oil futures posted their biggest loss in over six weeks on Wednesday, in the first trading day after Lunar New Year holidays, tracking weakness in US soyoil and as lower export volumes weighed.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 3.57% to 3,753 ringgit ($881.19) per tonne by afternoon closing, its worst day since Dec. 12.

The Malaysian exchange was closed on Monday and Tuesday for the Lunar New Year holidays.

“Crude palm oil futures fell more than 3% as CBOT soybean oil declined sharply overnight on renewed selling pressure,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader, adding that weak exports in the first 25 days of the month also contributed to the weakness.

Malaysian palm oil exports for Jan. 1-25 dropped 32.9% from the same period in December, inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia said on Wednesday, while cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services reported a 34.7% decline.

Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 0.56% on Wednesday, extending a 1.55% on Tuesday. The Dalian exchange is closed this week for the Lunar New Year celebration.

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

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest palm oil producer Indonesia saw its 2022 exports of the vegetable oil decline by 8.5%, industry group GAPKI said on Wednesday, amid sluggish production and higher domestic consumption.

Indonesia’s production is expected to stagnate this year, the group added.

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