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SINGAPORE: Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Tuesday after two sessions of losses, buoyed by a weaker ringgit and signs of stronger Chinese demand.

The benchmark palm oil contract for January delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 21 ringgit, or 0.5%, to 3,774 ringgit ($810.22) a metric ton at the midday break.

“Palm has tracked rival soyoil higher, buoyed by lower soyoil availability, robust biodiesel consumption, and the high number of soyoil plants under maintenance,” said Mitesh Saiya, trading manager at Mumbai-based trading firm Kantilal Laxmichand and Co.

China imported 5.16 million metric tons of soybeans in October, customs data showed on Tuesday, rising 25% from a year ago as Brazilian soybeans from this year’s huge harvest continued to arrive at ports.

Imports in the first 10 months of the year by the world’s top soybean buyer totalled 82.42 million tons, up 14.6% from the year-ago period, the data showed. Rising imports suggest a rise in demand for soyoil, which competes with palm oil for market share.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract rose 0.6%, while its palm oil contract was up 1.2%. A rapidly progressing US soybean harvest weighed on prices. Harvests were 91% done, behind the average estimate of 92% but ahead of the five-year average of 86%.

Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 0.4%. Global palm oil output is likely to drop next year due to El Nino, while demand from the edible oil and energy sectors is set to grow, supporting prices, leading industry analysts said on Friday. Malaysia’s palm oil stocks at the end of October were at their highest since May 2019 as higher production overshadowed growing exports, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.

Malaysian palm oil associations on Monday called for the government to review a windfall profit levy.

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