NEW DELHI: Malaysian palm oil futures closed lower on Friday, extending losses for a third straight session and posting a 4.4% weekly fall, as demand from top buyers India and China dropped.

The benchmark palm oil contract for December delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.17% at 3,601 ringgit ($764.54) a metric ton at closing. Palm oil rose 2.3% in the previous week.

“Palm was weighed down by falling demand in India and China but we may see some improvement in demand from China next week,” said a New Delhi-based trader.

Trading remained subdued as China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange is closed from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6 for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.

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. Despite lower palm oil prices in Kuala Lumpur, soyoil futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.4%.

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-end.

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.


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