Indonesia to lift palm oil ban on Monday amid soaring global prices
Indonesia will lift its ban on palm oil exports next week, President Joko Widodo said on Thursday, easing pressure on the global vegetable oil market after prices spiked due to the suspension and war. in Ukraine.
The archipelago nation issued the ban last month to secure supplies of the merchandise, used in a range of products from chocolate spreads to cosmetics, in the face of a domestic shortage.
“Based on the supply…of cooking oil and considering that there are 17 million people in the palm oil industry – farmers and other support workers – I decided that cooking oil exports will reopen on Monday, May 23,” Widodo told an online briefing.
“The government will continue to strictly monitor everything to ensure that demand will be met with affordable prices,” he said.
Authorities have rigorously enforced the export ban, with the Indonesian navy seizing a tanker carrying palm oil out of the country in violation of the order earlier this month.
After the ban came into effect, Widodo said supplying the country’s 270 million people was his government’s “highest priority”.
But Jakarta has come under pressure to further raise prices that were already skyrocketing after Russia’s invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine.
Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in Indonesia and, despite being the world’s largest producer, the country has faced a shortage of cooking oil for months due to poor regulation. and producers reluctant to sell at home.
Shortages have in some cases forced consumers to spend hours in queues at distribution centers.
Indonesia produces around 60% of the world’s palm oil, a third of which is consumed by its domestic market. India, China, the European Union and Pakistan are among its main export customers.