Malaysia urges countries to prioritise food over fuel as Indonesia bans palm exports

By Mei Mei Chu

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Countries should pause or slow use of edible oil as biofuel to be certain satisfactory supply for use in foodstuff, a state-backed Malaysian palm oil group claimed on Monday, warning of a provide disaster adhering to an Indonesian ban on palm oil exports.

Indonesia, the world’s major producer and exporter of the edible oil, despatched shockwaves as a result of the industry on Friday when it announced it would impose a ban from April 28.

Global edible oil supplies were being currently choked by adverse temperature and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and now world people have no alternative but to spend prime greenback for materials.

Disruption from conflict has exacerbated price rises in food items commodities, which were being currently jogging at 10-year highs in the Foods and Agriculture Organization’s index, threatening a jump in world malnourishment.

“Exporting international locations and importing countries require to have their priorities ideal, this is the time to temporarily reconsider food items compared to gasoline priorities,” explained director standard of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir.

“It truly is pretty critical for nations around the world to make sure out there oils and fat are employed for food stuff and … temporarily end or minimize their biodiesel mandates,” he stated, adding nations could resume biodiesel mandates as soon as supply normalises.

Palm oil, the most greatly made use of edible oil, is also used as biodiesel feedstock.

Indonesia and Malaysia make it required for biodiesel to be combined with a selected total of palm oil – 30% and 20% respectively – and just very last thirty day period claimed they keep on being fully commited to all those mandates, even with greater palm price ranges.

Other international locations also make biofuels from animal fats and plant oils like corn and soy, and imposed mandates. Demand for these kinds of biofuels has boomed from climate modify mitigation efforts.

Malaysia accounts for 31% of international palm oil supply, next soon after Indonesia’s 56%.

Whilst Malaysia is expected to gain from Indonesia’s drastic guidelines, producers deal with a pandemic-induced labour lack and reported they cannot fill the world wide source gap.

Malaysia also requirements to glimpse at its stock and creation forecast to make certain neighborhood demand is not neglected whilst satisfying global need, Ahmad Parveez reported.


Investors have been anticipating Malaysia would carry in tens of countless numbers of migrant employees to team plantations and strengthen production. Nevertheless, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) explained the inflow of personnel would raise production by only 1 million tonnes at most.

“The fact is, we can raise our production but this however would not be adequate to fulfill planet demand from customers,” MPOA Main Government Officer Nageeb Wahab claimed.

The association, which represents plantation giants like FGV Holdings and Sime Darby Plantation, claimed Indonesia’s ban has additional urgency to addressing the labour crunch and it would urge the authorities to speed up recruitment.

Indonesia’s ban is set to change desire to Malaysia, producing it a unusual sellers’ sector, Nageeb explained.

“We are in a incredibly exceptional problem, I assume this scenario is heading to be extended… The sellers get to make a decision who to promote to, and what merchandise to offer whether crude palm oil or refined.”

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu Modifying by Kanupriya Kapoor, Martin Petty)