Indonesian palm oil export ban ‘necessary’ to halt domestic inflation, says finance minister

THE WHAT? Indonesia’s finance minister told Reuters that, although she was aware it would hit other countries hard, the country’s palm oil export ban was ‘necessary’ in order to bring down the cost of cooking oil domestically.

THE DETAILS Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cooking oil prices have soared, Sri Mulyani Indrawati said, making it too expensive for the ordinary household, despite measures obliging producers to reserve supplies for domestic use.

The ban, which came into force on April 28, will see the country responsible for more than half the world’s palm oil, halt all exports of the commodity.

THE WHY? Indrawati told Reuters, “Just like we were facing during the pandemic, we know this is not good in the medium and long term, but in the short term, you cannot stand in front of your people when you have the commodity which is needed by your people and you let [supplies] just go out.”

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