Indonesia should be able to tackle its cooking oil shortage in the next few weeks and lift an export ban on palm oil and its refined products in May 2022, an industry body said, a day after a last-minute policy U-turn sparked more alarm for markets, as reported by Reuters.
The world’s top palm oil producer expanded an export ban on raw materials for cooking oil to include shipments of crude palm oil and most of its refined products just hours before it took effect at midnight Wednesday, in an attempt to secure domestic supply and bring down soaring prices.
Sahat Sinaga, senior official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, said that decision had shocked the industry, but that he was confident the supply issue could be resolved not long after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr in early May 2022.
He added that a palm oil export target of 34 million tonnes in 2022 would be met. Asked about the timeline suggested by the palm oil board, Trade Ministry senior official Veri Anggrijono said “we are all hoping this can be solved quickly”. A trade ministry regulation said the export policy would be reviewed monthly, or as often as needed, while Chief Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto said it could be lifted when bulk cooking oil recedes to 14,000 rupiah ($0.97) a litre nationwide.