KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures closed 1% lower, a fifth consecutive day of losses, after Malaysia said it would resume an export tax and on expectations of slowing demand growth, traders said on Friday.
The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 1% at 2,399 ringgit (US$618.54) a tonne at the close of trade. It earlier fell to 2,398 ringgit, its weakest levels since April 4.
Palm fell on the tax announcement and on expectations of reducing export growth,” a Kuala Lumpur based trader said.
Malaysia, the world’s second largest palm producer and exporter, said it would resume export duties on crude palm oil after four months of tax exemptions.
Malaysia said on Friday that it would set its crude palm oil export tax at 5% for May, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, citing the national customs department.
A forecast slowdown in export growth is also weighing on the market, said another trader, referring to shipment data from cargo surveyors scheduled for release on Monday.
Palm oil shipments last rose 25%-32% during the April 1-10 period.
In other related oils, the Chicago Board of Trade’s May soybean oil contract gained 0.3%, after dropping as much as 1% earlier this week.
The May soybean oil on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange slipped as much as 0.4%, while the Dalian May palm oil contract edged down 0.04%.