Indonesia is ready to resume palm oil exports but policy uncertainty remains

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JAKARTA – Indonesia will resume palm oil exports on Monday after a three-week embargo, but industrialists and companies have been waiting for details of relevant regulations to protect domestic supplies of edible oil to control cooking oil prices.

As the Southeast Asian nation, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, halted exports of palm oil from April 28 in a bid to bring down local cooking oil prices, global edible oil markets are already struggling with a shortage of sunflower oil due to the war. Ukraine.

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President Joko Widodo last week announced the lifting of the ban on exports of crude palm oil and some derivatives products, expressing confidence that the price of bulk cooking oil is moving towards the target of Rs 14,000 per liter ($ 0.9546), even if they are currently higher in some areas.

Palm oil, used in everything from margarine to shampoo, makes up about one-third of the world’s vegetable oil market, with Indonesia supplying about 60%.

To ensure supply security, Indonesia has said it will impose a so-called domestic market obligation (DMO) policy, requiring producers to sell a portion of their products locally at a certain price level.

Indonesia plans to keep a supply of 10 million tonnes of cooking oil at home under the DMO rules, Chief Economy Minister Erlanga Hartarto said, adding that their implementation would be regulated by the Ministry of Commerce.

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Traders were waiting for the details of the DMO and other rules to be released on Monday.

‚ÄúVendors are first trying to clear the pending amount which was stuck due to the ban. They are also accepting new orders, but the demand is not too high, “said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house.

“They are not interested in selling too much before they understand the DMO rules,” the trader added.

Palm oil futures from rival supplier Malaysia rose 1.67% on Monday, partly reflecting Indonesia’s policy uncertainty.

Asked if palm oil producer Musim Mas had resumed exports, spokeswoman Caroline Lim said the company was still “focusing on flooding the domestic market with cooking oil to reach the target retail price,” noting that the Indonesian government was still concerned about higher retail prices. .

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As of Friday, the average price of bulk cooking oil was Rs 17,000 per liter, according to Commerce Ministry data.

Some farmers, however, have expressed joy at the lifting of the export ban.

Last week, farmers rallied across Indonesia to protest a 70% reduction in palm oil prices as refineries stopped receiving supplies due to overfilling of palm oil reserves.

“There are no longer long lines at palm oil mills,” said Irfan, a palm oil farmer who said prices for palm fruit in his western Sulawesi area had begun to stabilize. ($ 1 = Rs. 14,666.0000) (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe, Zahra Matarani in Jakarta, Rajendra Yadav in Mumbai; Writing by Francisca Nango; Editing by Ed Davis and Muralikumar Anantraman)

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