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MUMBAI: Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth consecutive week, hurt by a slowdown in exports, although prices were largely supported on Friday by lower inventories in top producing countries.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 11 ringgit or 0.3% at 3,699 ringgit ($792.42).

For the week, the contract declined 1%, while for this four-week period, it is down around 6%.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products in the first half of the month fell 13.6% month-on-month to 591,490 metric tons, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said on Friday.

The slowing exports capped gains during the session, a Mumbai-based trader said.

However, “the market is receiving support from higher-than-expected production losses in both Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

Bargain buying following a recovery in Chinese palm olein futures was also supporting Malaysian futures, he said.

Palm posts biggest daily drop in 7 weeks on slowing exports

Malaysia’s palm oil stocks at the end of November fell for the first time in seven months as production slumped more than exports, data from industry regulator showed on Tuesday.

Indonesia plans to set its crude palm oil (CPO) reference price at $767.51 per metric ton for the Dec. 16-31 period, a trade ministry official said on Thursday, down from $795.14 in the first half of the month.

India’s palm oil imports in November jumped to a near three-month high, up nearly 23% from October as refiners preferred the tropical oil over rival soyoil and sunflower oil due to steep discounts, a leading trade body said.

Soyoil futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.56%. Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share of the global market.

Palm oil may bounce into a range of 3,775-3,781 ringgit per ton, driven by a wave c, Reuters’ technical analyst Wang Tao said.

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