SINGAPORE: Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains on Wednesday, tracking higher soyoil and crude oil prices.

The benchmark palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 30 ringgit, or 0.76%, to 3,961 ringgit ($840.08) a metric ton to log a three-day high. Dalian’s most active soyoil contract ticked up 0.03%, while its palm oil contract increased 0.63%.

Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 0.87%. China is “importing record high soybeans from South America” after the bumper harvests in Brazil and Argentina, LSEG said in a report. Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market. Palm prices are supportive currently vis-a-vis other competing edible oils, said Paramalingam Supramaniam, director at Selangor-based brokerage Pelindung Bestari. “We are of the opine that prices will remain resilient, and any dips will provide a good opportunity for buyers to bargain hunt,” Supramaniam said. Oil prices ticked higher amid upbeat global demand views from the US Energy Information Administration and OPEC, reinforced by industry data showing US crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week.

Stronger crude oil futures make palm a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock. The Malaysian ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, strengthened 0.04% against the dollar.

Malaysia has maintained its July export tax for crude palm oil at 8% and lowered its reference price, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Wednesday. Monsoon rains in India, a key palm importer, have lost momentum after covering western regions ahead of schedule, and their arrival in northern and central states could be delayed, extending a heatwave in the grain-growing plains, two senior weather officials told Reuters.

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