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Palm oil exports drop in first 20 days of month [22-01-2013]  
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Palm oil shipments from Malaysia fell 17% in the first 20 days of this month, according to Intertek, with the pace of decline slowing as buyers adjust to new rules in China and taxes in India, the biggest consumers.

Exports fell to 830,830 tonnes from 1 million tonnes in the same period in December, Intertek said.

That compares with a 25% drop in the first 10-day period of this month and a 21% fall over 15 days. Shipments in the first 20 days dropped 20% to 813,778 tonnes, an estimate from Societe Generale de Surveillance showed.

India will impose a tax of 2.5% on crude palm and soybean oil imports, the Agriculture Ministry said on Jan. 17. China’s quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, toughened inspections on imports from Jan 1 to improve food safety. Malaysia, the largest producer after Indonesia, dropped its export tax to zero for this month to combat record stockpiles that have hurt prices.

“We’re still looking to see how the impact will be from the China side, on their new rules on imports, as well as India’s new import tax,” Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte Ltd in Singapore, said by phone. “A lot depends on what’s going on in India and China.”

Palm oil for April delivery climbed 0.8% to close at RM2,420 (US$797) a tonne on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

While futures gained 1.4% last week, the first such advance in three weeks, they’ve declined 24% over the past year.

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