India-Pakistan ask RI to review palm oil export regulations

  • 06 Nov 2023

This article has been translated by PwC Indonesia as part of our Plantation News Highlights service. PwC Indonesia has not checked the accuracy of, and accepts no responsibility for the content.

Investor Daily - India-Pakistan minta RI tinjau aturan ekspor sawit

Nusa Dua, ID – India and Pakistan are the two largest destination countries for palm oil exports from Indonesia as the need for vegetable oil in both countries continues to increase. Therefore, India and Pakistan asked Indonesia to review palm oil export regulations to increase shipments of this commodity abroad.

According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) Executive Director BV Mehta, the soaring consumption of vegetable oils in India is due to high population growth and slowing domestic production. India's vegetable oil consumption from 2008-2009 was only 14.1 million tonnes but reached 22.5 million tonnes from 2021-2022. Meanwhile, India's vegetable oil productivity is slowing. "Demand is rising rapidly so India must increase imports. Palm oil is well known in the restaurant and catering sector," explained BV Mehta at the 2023 Indonesian Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) in Nusa Dua, Bali on Friday (03/11/2023).

The main vegetable oil that India imports is palm oil and 60% of it comes from Indonesia and Malaysia and a smaller amount from Thailand. India's national palm oil consumption reached 25 million tonnes or 33% of total consumption, followed by soybean oil (24%) and sunflower oil (8%). With the high demand for crude palm oil (CPO), India hopes that the Indonesian government can make it easier to export this commodity. "We hope that Indonesia can review the current policy," said Mehta.

Besides India, Pakistan is also a main export destination for Indonesian palm oil and hopes that the Indonesian government will evaluate its palm oil export policy. Pakistan's need for vegetable oil is quite significant. "Our dependence on imports leads us to hope that the Indonesian government can reconsider the policies currently in force," said Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) and Westbury Group Chief Executive Abdul Rasheed Janmohamed. Pakistan will buy palm oil from Indonesia to meet its increasing need for vegetable oil from the end of 2023 to early 2024. Pakistan's total vegetable oil consumption reached 4.5 million tonnes with local production at 0.75 million tonnes, so it needs to import 3 million tonnes per year.

This need is further compounded by the fact that Pakistan recently implemented a ban on genetically modified (GMO) food products, so that the supply of incoming vegetable oils becomes more limited. "We hope that Indonesia will continue to open exports to Pakistan, because our vegetable oil production is not enough to meet domestic needs," said Abdul.

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