SINGAPORE: Malaysian palm oil futures closed higher on Thursday after hitting a seven-week peak, supported by stronger US soyoil and crude prices.
The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 89 ringgit, or 2.15%, to 4,235 ringgit ($955.77) by the end of trading on Thursday.
The contract hit its highest since Jan. 4 at 4,238 ringgit earlier in the session.
Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.63%. Dalian’s most active soyoil contract lost 0.65%, while its palm oil contract gave up 0.36%.
Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
Oil prices edged up on Thursday, after Brent crude posted its biggest single-day loss in seven weeks the day before, as market players reassessed prospects for supply and demand.
Stronger crude oil futures make palm a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.
Palm futures traded higher, showing resilience after being struck by profit-taking in the previous session, said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.
Lingering concerns about tight supply from top producer Indonesia and a weaker Malaysian production outlook have supported the market over the past two weeks.
However, there are no fresh fundamentals to drive the market higher except for feel-good sentiment, raising doubts about the sustainability of high prices, Varqa said.
Malaysia maintained its March export tax for crude palm oil at 8% and lowered the reference price, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Wednesday.