Jakarta: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday announced the lifting of the country's three-week-long ban on Palm oil exports from coming Monday following protests by farmers in the capital Jakarta on Tuesday.
The decision was announced by President Joko Widodo, who cited an improvement in the domestic cooking oil supply situation as the reason for lifting the restrictions, Bangkok Post reported.
The decision to lift the ban was taken despite the price of bulk cooking oil not reaching the targeted IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) 14,000 per liter price, as the government considers the welfare of 17 million workers in the palm oil industry, the report said citing a video statement by President Widodo.
Palm Oil farmers in Indonesia staged a significant protest in the country's capital on Tuesday due to a fall in the domestic edible oil prices following the export ban.
Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers Association (Apkasindo) chairman Gulat Manurung said on Wednesday that, if the ban was not reviewed within the near future, the organization had plans to bring 1 million palm kernels to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, where the kernels would be processed into red palm cooking oil then sold, as a form of protest, Jakarta Post reported.
On April 28 last month, the Indonesian President suspended exports of cooking oil, and the raw materials used to make it, "until further notice," in a bid to secure local supplies, CNN reported.
The Southeast Asian country is the world's biggest palm oil producer, and the announcement sent prices of the commodity soaring. This also came at a time when food prices across the world were already on the rise due to the war between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting hiccups in the supply of wheat.