KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- The crude palm oil (CPO) futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed mixed today as the anticipation of weaker demand would weigh on prices in the near term.

Palm oil trader David Ng said the market was relatively quiet on concerns over weaker demand, going forward.

"The market sentiment was dented by today’s news that India, the world’s biggest buyer of palm oil, may curb its purchase of Malaysian palm oil,” he told Bernama.

However, Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Datuk Dr Kalyana Sundram said the council had not yet seen any official statement from the Indian government urging its refiners to resist purchasing Malaysian palm oil.

“It was only some importing associations which indicated they would do something, but buyers in India still continue to buy (our palm oil),” he told reporters on the sidelines of the palm oil forum today.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics owner and co-founder Dr Sathia Varqa said today's prices were supported by weaker output and lower inventory data.

He said the Malaysian Palm Oil Association reported that Malaysia's CPO production for December fell by 13.88 per cent, down for the third successive month.

"The drop in production would push CPO prices upward," he said.

According to Malaysian Palm Oil Board, palm oil stocks decreased by 3.94 per cent in October and declined 4.08 per cent in November 2019.

At the close, the CPO futures contract for January 2020 increased RM2 to RM3,038 per tonne, while Feb 2020 and March 2020 remained unchanged at RM3,052 and RM3,042 per tonne respectively, and April slid RM2 to RM3,034 per tonne.

Volume decreased to 69,847 lots from 75,072 lots on Monday, while open interest increased to 298,035 contracts from 297,797 contracts previously.

On the physical market, January South ended at RM3,090 per tonne today.