Ukraine crisis: Indonesia bans palm oil exports as supplies from Russia and Ukraine

palm oil

To slow the soaring price of domestic cooking oil, Indonesia has banned the exports of all palm oil.

Indonesia is the largest exporter of palm oil in the world.

Palm oil is the most produced, consumed and traded edible oil in the world.

Ukraine and Russia are also major exporters of sunflower oil, whose market has been largely disrupted due to the war in Ukraine.

“I will continue to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy, so that the availability of cooking oil in the country is abundant and at an affordable price,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in a statement.

Indonesia’s actions follows a rally in Jakarta this week by hundreds who protested soaring oil and food prices.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Reuters, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government was aware that the ban on oil exports would hurt other countries, but Indonesia had no choice, as it had to reduce the domestic price of cooking oil.

Indrawati described the ban as one of the “harshest moves” possible, saying earlier measures failed to stabilize prices, as many Indonesians could no longer afford to purchase cooking oil.

“It’s still too expensive for the ordinary household to buy these cooking oils,” Indonesia’s finance minister said.

“We know that this is not going to be the best result,” Indrawati said. “If we are not going to export, that’s definitely going to hit the other countries.”

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of cooking oil, selling more than half of the world’s supply. Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer.

China and India are major importers of Indonesian palm oil.

Palm oil is used in cooking oils, processed foods, cleaning products, cosmetics, biofuels and other products.