(Updates with closing prices)
By Mei Mei Chu
KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures gained more than 3% on Friday on the back of tight supplies and stronger exports in April, but the contract logged its first weekly decline in three.
The benchmark palm oil contract FCPOc3 for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ended up 120 ringgit, or 3.34%, at 3,710 ringgit ($899.39) a tonne.
For the week, palm lost more than 1.7%.
"The new benchmark month July is catching up to price-in the supply tightness for nearby delivery months amid improving April exports," said Sathia Varqa, co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.
"Front-month May is still persistent at 450-500 ringgit premium over the benchmark month," he added.
Palm oil exports during April 1-15 rose between 6% and 15% from the same period in March, cargo surveyors said on Thursday. world's top palm oil producer Indonesia exported 1.99 million tonnes of palm oil and its refined products in February, data from the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) showed. produced 3.38 million tonnes of palm oil and kernel oils in February, down from a month earlier, taking the end-of-month stocks lower to 4.04 million tonnes.
Malaysia on Thursday kept its May export tax for crude palm oil at 8%, but raised its reference price to 4,533.40 ringgit ($1,098.74) per tonne. most-active soyoil contract DBYcv1 gained 1.7%, while its palm oil contract DCPcv1 rose 3.2%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade BOcv1 were up 1%.
Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.
($1 = 4.1250 ringgit)
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