Indonesia, the world’s biggest shipper of edible oils, lifted a ban on palm oil exports a move that will bring relief to the global market after the war in Ukraine choked off critical supplies.
Palm oil exports can resume from May 23, President Joko Widodo said in an online briefing on Thursday. This is after considering improvements in local supply and prices, as well as the 17 million workers in the industry, he added.
Indonesia’s ban, which was imposed on April 28, was one of the biggest acts of crop protectionism since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which stymied exports of sunflower oil and worsened a global shortage. Palm oil is used in everything from food to soap to fuel, and the move by Indonesia threatened to push up costs even more across multiple supply chains at a time of rampant inflation.
“Consumers can breathe a sigh of relief now,” said Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, head of trading and hedging strategies at Kaleesuwari Intercontinental.
In Kenya, Prices of cooking oil jumped by 33 per cent despite the cry by Kenyans to lower food prices. The rise was attributed to the Russia- Ukrainian crisis coupled with the Indonesia ban as sector players initiate efforts to urge the government to contain a further rise in cooking oils.