PALM oil gained yesterday on speculation that demand for the edible oil may remain strong in India and China, the world’s biggest users.
May-delivery palm oil futures advanced 0.2 per cent to RM2635 a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.
“Demand growth should remain strong given the projected gross domestic product growth of around 8-10 per cent for China and India,” CIMB Group Sdn Bhd said in a report yesterday.
Palm oil also gained as soybeans, crushed to make soybean oil, advanced for a second day.
May-delivery soybeans traded in Chicago advanced 0.2 per cent to US$9.71 a bushel at 6.49 pm in Singapore. May-delivery soybean oil was unchanged at 39.3 cents a pound at 6.46 pm.
In China, September-delivery palm oil rose 1.2 per cent to settle at 7,016 yuan (US$1,028) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, extending Monday’s 2.3 per cent jump. Soybeans rose 1.4 per cent to 3,874 yuan, after climbing 1.1 per cent on Monday.
Indonesia, the second-largest palm oil producer, may keep the export tax for March unchanged at 3 per cent, Sahat Sinaga, second deputy chairman of the nation’s palm oil board, said.
Palm oil, the cheapest cooking oil, is also used as an alternative fuel additive and tends to track crude oil prices. It surged 52 per cent last year as crude oil jumped 78 per cent.
Crude oil in New York for March delivery climbed to more than US$80 a barrel for a third day in Asian trading and was last at US$79.62 a barrel at 6.52 pm Singapore time.