From Thursday the 28 of April, Indonesia is banning the export of palm oil to address the nationwide shortage of cooking oil. The ban covers bleached, refined, and deodorized palm oil products, but does not include crude palm oil.
As the world's largest palm oil producer, President Joko Widodo's announcement on Friday came as a surprise to many. With global edible oil supplies already under strain due to a lack of migrant workers on labour plantations across South East Asia and the pressures of the war in Ukraine, crude palm oil prices have reached historic a high.
The president noted in his announcement that he will be monitoring the policy implementation, in the hopes that cooking oil in the domestic market becomes both affordable and abundant. Top palm oil exporters will be forced to sell their products domestically, at a price lower than the export value.