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JAKARTA: Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth session on Wednesday to their lowest closing in more than four weeks, weighed down by weakness in rival vegetable oils despite expectations of declining inventories by end of November.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 62 ringgit, or 1.64%, to 3,719 ringgit per metric ton at closing.

The contract hit its lowest in more than five weeks at 3,675 ringgit earlier in the day before recovering.

“The relentless decline in South American soyoil forces palm oil to maintain its discount to attract fresh buying in time of winter when traditional destinations India, China and other Asian countries avoid palm oil due to the cold weather,” said Anilkumar Bagani, commodity research head at Mumbai-based Sunvin group.

Palm oil closes lower for third straight day on weak rival oils

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract fell 1.60%, while its palm oil contract plunged 3.29%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.24%.

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

The world’s palm oil imports in 2023/24 are estimated at 48.6 million tons, down 0.4% from the last update and up 2.5% from the 2022/23 season, Refinitiv Commodities Research showed.

European Union palm oil imports so far in the 2023/24 season that started in July had reached 1.48 million tons by Dec. 3 versus 1.64 million a year earlier.

Malaysian palm oil inventories at the end of November were seen falling for the first month since April as a seasonal output decline was expected to start while exports continued to rise, a Reuters survey showed.

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