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    Indonesia to resume palm oil exports from May 23

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    Indonesia to resume palm oil exports from May 23


    Indonesia's President Joko Widodo said the country's palm oil exports would resume from May 23. He said the decision was taken based on the present supply and price of cooking oil and considering there were 17 million workers in the palm oil industry.

    Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Thursday announced that the country would be lifting the month-long ban on palm oil exports from May 23, citing improvement in its supply as well as domestic price of bulk cooking oil.
    "Based on the current supply and price of cooking oil and considering that there are 17 million workers in the palm oil industry, both working farmers and other supporting staff, I have decided that the export of cooking oil will reopen on Monday, May 23," Widodo said.
    On April 28, Indonesia had halted shipments of crude palm oil and a few of its derivative products to control the rising prices of domestic oil, rattling vegetable oil markets across the globe.
    Widodo said that his government would lift the ban if the rate of bulk cooking oil reached 14,000 rupiah per litre. He added that it hadn't reached the target yet, but he expected it to drop further in the coming weeks as more palm oil became available.
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    The President said that the national demand for bulk cooking oil was around 194,000 tonnes per month. Prior to the export ban, the supply had reached 64,500 tonnes, and it had tripled to more than 211,000 tonnes per month since then.
    He said that the law enforcement agencies were probing allegations of violations and fraud in the distribution and production of cooking oil.
    On May 17, hundreds of Indonesian smallholder farmers had staged a protest demanding an end to the palm oil export ban, which had slashed their incomes.
    India is the world's largest importer of palm oil and relies mainly on Indonesia for its supply. Palm oil accounts for nearly 60 percent of global vegetable oil shipments, and Indonesia, which is the top producer, accounts for around a third of all vegetable oil exports.
    On May 10, it was reported that Malaysia, which is the second largest exporter of palm oil in the world, was considering cutting palm oil export tax to 4-6 percent from 8 percent.
    With inputs from AP 
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