Palm oil climbed for a second day after exports from Malaysia, the second-largest producer, grew on increased demand ahead of Ramadan.
The October-delivery contract gained as much as 1.2 per cent to 3,144 ringgit (Dh3,846.16) per metric tonne on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 3,138 ringgit at 5:18pm in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian exports rose 5.4 per cent to 1.02 million tonnes in the first 20 days of July from the same period in June, surveyor Intertek said yesterday. Shipments rose 5.7 per cent to 1.03 million tonnes in the same period, Societe Generale de Surveillance said.
The increases show "pre-festive stocking, which is largely within expectations," Arhnue Tan, senior investment analyst at ECM Libra Capital Sdn, said by phone in Kuala Lumpur.
Article continues below
Exports usually gain before Ramadan, which starts in August this year, lifting overall consumption of food staples and cooking oils.
"I would expect exports to slow down next month as most of the Ramadan demand will be met shortly," said Ryan Long, vice-president of futures and options at OSK Investment Bank Bhd.
Imports of the cooking oil by Pakistan in the financial year ended June 30 rose 53.6 per cent to $2 billion, the Federal Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.
Palm oil's discount to soybean oil may have helped improve demand from so-called price-sensitive countries such as Pakistan, India and Egypt, Tan of ECM Libra said.
The discount was at $233.21 a tonne today compared with an average of $137.76 this year, according to Bloomberg data. Palm oil and soybean oil are substitutes in food and fuel uses.