KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third session on Tuesday, hitting their lowest closing in nearly a month, due to weakness in rival edible oils amid global economic concerns.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange slid 61 ringgit, or 1.51%, to 3,982 ringgit ($888.44) a tonne, its lowest closing since Feb. 15.

“The weak macroeconomics, with a couple of banks in the U.S defaulting, have added further bearish sentiments,” said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

A deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will be extended automatically after it expires on March 18 if there are no objections from the involved parties, Russia’s TASS state news agency reported on Tuesday.

Oil prices dropped more than $2 a barrel as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank rattled equities markets and sparked fear about a fresh financial crisis, making palm a less attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

Dalian’s most-active soyoil contract fell 2.2%, while its palm oil contract eased 2.05%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade ticked up 0.1%.

Capping losses, exports of Malaysian palm oil products for March 1-10 rose 50.8% to 487,530 tonnes from Feb. 1-10, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said on Monday.

India is likely to import 1.5 million tonnes of duty-free sunflower oil during the current fiscal year to March 31, trade and government sources said, half a million tonnes less than the quota allocated by the government.—Reuters