Indonesia will lift its ban on palm oil exports next week, President Joko Widodo said Thursday, relieving pressure on the global vegetable oil market that hit peak prices because of the suspension, the war in Ukraine and global warming, AFP reported.
"Based on the supply and the condition of cooking oil and considering there are 17 million people in the palm oil industry; farmers and other supporting workers, I decided that cooking oil export will reopen on Monday, May 23," he told an online briefing.
President Joko Widodo announced the ban from April 28 to help lower soaring domestic prices. Indonesia halted shipments of crude palm oil and some of its derivative products in a bid to control soaring prices of domestic cooking oil, Reuters said. Palm oil is used in edibles, cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products.
Indonesia imposed a ban on palm oil exports
Some reports indicated that the ban did not apply to crude palm oil (CPO) but on refined bleached deodorized palmolein, but the government widened the scope a couple of days later to also include CPO.
Palm oil is preferred in India by the food industry as it is relatively cheaper, lasts longer, and is more stable at high temperatures than other oils.
CPO is used by most food companies, while soap makers in India use a derivative Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD), a key input for making soaps, soap noodles, etc.
Farmers protest in Jakarta
Hundreds of Indonesian smallholder farmers on Tuesday staged a protest in the capital Jakarta and in other parts of the world's fourth most populous country, demanding the government end a palm oil export ban that has slashed their income, the report said.
Transitory impact on short-term basis: FMCG players
Indian FMCG players, particularly food and snacks manufacturers, were concerned about Indonesia's move to ban exports of crude palm oil, though some of them expect the decision is likely to have only transitory impacts on a short-term basis.
Several industry leaders had then said that they would reduce their reliance on palm oil in phases and shift to alternatives such as rice bran oil and cottonseed oil for food products.
(With inputs from Reuters, Agencies)