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NEW DELHI: Malaysian palm oil futures opened lower on Wednesday, hurt by a drop in overseas demand for the tropical oil.

The benchmark palm oil contract for December delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 1.2% at 3,667 ringgit ($779.80) a metric ton in early trade.

Palm oil futures dropped 6.06% on a monthly basis in September after posting two consecutive monthly gains.

Fundamentals

The Dalian Commodity Exchange is closed from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6 for Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.

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

Edible oil imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer of cooking oils, fell 19% in September from August as refiners curtailed purchases by 26% after inventories jumped to a record.

Indonesia’s Palm Oil Association expects a 5% increase in the country’s output of the commodity this year and sees stocks at around 3.2 million metric tons by the year’s end.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for September were seen rising between 5.4% and 8.1%, independent inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia and cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services data showed.

Indonesia raised its crude palm oil reference price to $827.37 a ton for the Oct. 1-15 period, but kept export tax and levy for crude palm oil unchanged at $33 and $85 per ton.

Malaysian palm oil is expected to trade between 3,700 and 4,500 ringgit per metric ton from now until mid-2024, as an El Niño weather pattern threatens supplies amid rising demand, analysts said.

Palm oil may break a support of 3,686 ringgit per metric ton and fall to the Sept. 21 low of 3,637 ringgit, as its consolidation above the support of 3,686 ringgit is ending.

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