Indonesia Widens Palm Oil Ban to Include Crude Palm Oil

Indonesia will widen an export ban on its edible oils to include crude palm oil, adding to worries of a global shortage in cooking oil that could worsen food inflation.

The ban will now include crude palm oil, RBD palm oil and used cooking oil, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in a statement on Wednesday.

The change was “in line with the president’s decision and after taking into account the feedback and views from the people,” said Hartarto.

The ban will begin on April 28 and will last until domestic shortages of cooking oil have been addressed.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced last Friday that the country, the world’s largest shipper of edible oils, will ban exports of such oils including crude and refined palm oil in a bid to fulfill domestic shortages of the products.

Hartarto later on said the ban will cover only palm olein, a day before announcing on Wednesday it would again include crude and refined versions.

The policy changes have left palm oil markets jittery and wary of soaring prices. Palm oil futures on the Malaysia exchange surged by 9.8% on Wednesday over worries that some shipments will get delayed before the ban starts.

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