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Indonesia to allocate about one million tonnes of palm oil for export

THE STAR – Indonesia will allocate about one million tonnes of palm oil for export, prioritising companies that have been registered for the government’s bulk cooking oil programme, a senior Trade Ministry official said on Friday.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, allowed shipments to restart from May 23 after a three-week export ban designed to control cooking oil prices at home, but companies have been awaiting technical rules before resuming.

The government is requiring exporters to participate in its bulk cooking oil programme and has stated companies’ compliance with a so-called Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) will be the basis to determine the volumes they are permitted to ship.

“At the moment, the government aims to allocate exports of around one million tonnes, hopefully producers who have their storage tanks full and have registered to the programme can immediately submit permit requests,” Trade Ministry official Veri Anggriono said in a discussion with industry participants on Friday.

Shipments could hopefully start before the end of month if companies immediately request permits, he said. It was unclear for what period of time the allocation is for.

Separately, an Industry Ministry official said companies who had distributed bulk cooking oil between March 16 and May 31 could choose to get subsidy funds from the palm oil fund agency, or get export permits. Leading edible oil analyst Dorab Ministry on Thursday urged Indonesia to immediately resume palm oil exports, warning that a halt pending details of a domestic sales rule could spell economic “doom” for farmers.

Bunches of harvested palm oil fruit in the Penajam area of East Kalimantan. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG