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SINGAPORE: Malaysian palm oil futures edged lower on Wednesday to extend losses for a third straight session, as weaker rival vegetable oils weighed on prices.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange slid 24 ringgit, or 0.57%, to 4,181 ringgit ($924.39) by the end of trading.

Dalian’s most active soyoil contract fell 1.44%, while its palm oil contract slid 1.85%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.44%.

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

Palm oil falls on profit-taking, weaker rival oils

The world’s largest palm oil conference, which is widely watched and attended by global buyers, sellers, analysts and government officials, was held in Kuala Lumpur on March 7 and 8.

Malaysia benchmark crude palm oil futures will average 3,760 ringgit a tonne in 2023, down from 4,920 ringgit in 2022, pressured by lower gasoil prices, James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMC International, said on Wednesday.

Malaysian palm oil is expected to trade between 4,000 and 5,000 ringgit ($1,106) per tonne from now until August as Indonesia’s ambitious biodiesel mandate will keep stocks tight in the first half of 2023, industry analyst Dorab Mistry said on Wednesday.

The market for vegetable oils is set to tighten for a year from mid-2023 as demand rises to produce biodiesel in Indonesia, while growth in palm oil output has slowed, Thomas Mielke, head of analyst firm Oil World, told a conference on Wednesday.

Indonesia’s palm oil exports are set to fall in 2023 as it increases the use of the tropical oil in biodiesel, reducing the surplus available for overseas sales, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Wednesday.

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