India to favor Malaysian palm oil as Indonesian taxes rise

The EU ruled in March it would exclude most palm oil from green transportation fuel by 2030. (Antara Photo/Syifa Yulinnnas). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PETALING JAYA, Dec 2, 2021, FMT. India is likely to buy more Malaysian palm oil after export taxes imposed by top producer Indonesia hit record highs this year, said India’s Solvent Extractors’ Association, Free Malaysia Today reported.

According to Reuters, Indonesia had imposed higher export taxes in the past year, making the price of palm oil more costly for Indian importers. Prices of palm oil had already reached record highs this year.

“Indonesia’s share of India’s palm oil imports earlier was nearly 70-75%,” BV Mehta, executive director of the association was quoted as saying at the annual Indonesian Palm Oil Conference in Jakarta today.

Heavy export duty and levies being imposed by Indonesia were discouraging Indian refiners from buying from Indonesia, he said.

He added that from January to September this year, Indonesia’s share of Indian palm oil imports had dropped to 55%, while Malaysia’s had jumped to 45%.

Indonesia started taxing crude palm oil exports again after a three-year absence from February last year, while export charges for the edible oil reached a record high of US$255 per tonne in February this year.

Reuters said India had cut base import taxes on palm oil, soy oil and sunflower oil in September to address the record price rises.

Indonesia set its crude palm oil export reference price higher for December, meaning that palm oil taxes and levies remain at the top bracket of US$200 per tonne and $175 per tonne, respectively.

However, Indonesia was likely to remain a top supplier of palm oil to another major buyer Pakistan, according to Abdul Rasheed Janmohammed, chairman of the Pakistan Edible Oil Refiners Association.

“I think Indonesia will have far better prices compared to Malaysia and the quantity will be also high,” he said.

He also noted that Indian buyers were more dependent on crude palm oil imports, while Pakistan imported more refined products, which had lower export duties.

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