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Indonesia seeks to balance international, local palm oil demand -official

Reference: Reuters

JAKARTA, May 11 (Reuters) - Indonesia is seeking a balance between capitalising on high global palm oil prices while ensuring food at home is affordable, a senior government official said on Wednesday, amid the country's ongoing ban on exports of the vegetable oil.

The Southeast Asian nation, the world's top palm oil producer, has since April 28 halted exports of crude palm oil and refined products in order to control soaring prices of cooking oil at home. read more

The surprise move rattled global vegetable oil markets that were already struggling after the war in Ukraine removed a big chunk of sunflower oil supply. Palm oil makes up more than a third of the world's vegetable oil market, while Indonesia accounts for around 60% of palm oil supply.

Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy coordinating economics minister, said the government wanted palm oil to not only be available, but also affordable.

"As government, we have to keep a balance between high international prices and (controlling) domestic prices to fulfil cooking oil demand for our people," she said.

The official said she could not make any promises regarding future palm oil policy since oversight involved various ministries and she was "waiting for the best decision on palm oil from our highest leader".

Fadhil Hasan, an official at the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), said he hoped the ban could be lifted within two weeks to a month... Read More