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Indonesia MPs seek palm oil export ban review; industry warns on storage

19 May 2022 3:23 pm
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Mumbai, 19 May (Commoditiescontrol): Indonesian lawmakers on Thursday requested government to review an export ban on palm oil, after the industry groups warned of the country's leading economic contributors could grind to a halt in coming weeks as storage nears full capacity.

Indonesia, the world top palm oil exporter, has since April 28 halted exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and some derivative products in a bid to tame soaring prices of domestic cooking oil.

In a hearing with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, members of parliament's budget committee said in the summary of the meeting they "urge the government to evaluate the CPO export ban", though they did not discuss the policy in detail.

Sri Mulyani told reporters she would raise their request to review the export ban with President Joko Widodo.

Meanwhile, the palm oil industry risked having to halt operations if the export ban was not lifted by the end of the month.

Indonesia has around 6 million tonnes of storage capacity, including at ports, and domestic stocks had reached around 5.8 million tonnes by the start of May, Sahat estimated.

Data from the Indonesia Palm Oil Association showed on Thursday that domestic stock rose to 5.68 million tonnes by the end of March, up from 5.05 million tonnes a month earlier.

Indonesia also implemented partial export restrictions between late-January to mid-March.

Indonesia typically only uses 35 percent of its annual palm oil production at home, mostly for food and fuel.

Hundreds of palm oil farmers this week staged a rally in the capital Jakarta and other parts of the country to protest against a slump in their income.

The export ban was estimated to reduce government revenue by 6 trillion rupiah ($407.33 million) per month, Sri Mulyani told reporters after the committee approved her request for additional energy subsidies. ($1 = 14,730.0000 rupiah)

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: +91-22-40015505)

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