SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Malaysian palm oil futures reversed earlier gains to fall 1% on Thursday, as top buyer India put its import tax cut plans on hold, although a weaker ringgit limited further losses.
The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down RM34, or 1%, to RM3,370 a tonne after Reuters reported India’s plan to put import tax cuts on hold.
The contract had earlier hit RM3,452 on India’s move to lower base import prices of crude palm oil to US$1,136 a tonne from US$1,222 a tonne. India uses the base import price to calculate the amount of tax an importer needs to pay.
Palm prices were further dragged down by cheaper rival oils and weaker export data.
The Chicago Board of Trade soyoil contract fell over 3%. US soybean futures fell for a seventh consecutive session as a stronger dollar pushed prices to a two-month low.
Soybean oil prices on the Dalian Commodity Exchange meanwhile dropped 1.7%, while the palm oil contract fell 1.4%.
Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
However, ringgit falling 0.5% against the dollar limited losses. A weaker ringgit makes palm cheaper for people who hold other foreign currencies.
Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Additional reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)