Bloomberg News

Palm Oil Gains as India’s Import Tax to Boost Malaysia Exports

January 17, 2013

Palm oil gained on speculation that Malaysia may increase exports of refined oils to India after the world’s biggest buyer said it will tax unprocessed cooking oils for the first time since 2008.

The contract for delivery in April advanced as much as 1.4 percent to 2,412 ringgit ($801) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and ended the morning session at 2,405 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are set to gain 1.4 percent this week, the first such advance in three weeks.

Crude palm and soybean oil imports will be taxed at 2.5 percent, while the tariff on purchases of refined cooking oils will be maintained at 7.5 percent, India’s Agriculture Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The benchmark price for calculating the tariff will be changed for the first time since 2006 on all cooking oils on a fortnightly basis, the government said in another statement on its website.

“India’s import tax on crude palm oil may favor Malaysia as we have an edge over Indonesia in exports of refined oils,” said Paramalingam Supramaniam, director at Pelindung Bestari Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia, the biggest supplier of palm oil to India, may lose its market share because of the taxes, keeping its stockpiles high, Susanto, head of marketing at Indonesian Palm Oil Association, said in an e-mail today. Crude palm oil imports totaled 5.99 million tons out of a total crude cooking oil purchases of 8.4 million tons in the year ended Oct. 31, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

Refined palm oil for delivery in May rose 0.3 percent to 6,730 yuan ($1,082) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil for September rose 0.7 percent to 8,740 yuan a ton.

Soybeans for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $14.365 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean oil for delivery in March lost 0.2 percent to 51.39 cents a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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