Indonesia to speed up supply of edible oil to Pakistan

As Indonesia’s temporary palm oil export ban has created a crisis in Pakistan, the third largest importer of edible oil, the foreign country has agreed to speed up Pakistan’s supply of highly consumed cuisine.

When meeting with the Pakistani delegation headed by Federal Minister of Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud, the Indonesian government promised to ensure palm oil delivery to Pakistan resumes at the earliest. According to the officials, relevant Indonesian authorities have been requested to ensure smooth shipment of the cargo in the future.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the ministry to immediately address the issue of disrupting oil imports from Indonesia to meet the growing demand for the product.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, the Prime Minister has held talks with Indonesian President Joko Widod in this regard. Meanwhile, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz, a Pakistani delegation visited Jakarta to discuss issues of common concern with the island nation’s government.

The notification further mentions that 10 vessels loaded with edible oil will reach Pakistan within two weeks from Indonesia and Malaysia. Oil worth 250,000 metric tons is being imported from Indonesia after Minister of Industry and Production Murtaza Mehmood settled all issues related to oil import.

The first vessel carrying 30 metric tons of edible oil will leave for Pakistan on Tuesday.

The shortage of edible oil was noted due to the global crisis due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Over the next fiscal year, an impact worth $3 billion to $4 billion will be felt on the import bill.

It may be added here that on April 28, Indonesia halted shipments of crude palm oil and some derived products in an attempt to rein in soaring domestic cooking oil prices, surprising markets already shaken by the past government response actions. President Widodo said the supply of bulk cooking oil had reached a level above requirements.

The export ban sent soybean oil prices to a record high amid heightened concerns about the already depleted global supply of alternative vegetable oils. Indonesia’s export ban was designed to lower prices in the country and limit shortages, authorities say.

On May 19, Indonesia lifted its three-week-old palm oil export ban due to improvements in its domestic supply of cooking oil, its president said, a move applauded by farmers in the country. amid growing calls for its removal.

According to Ministry of Industry officials, Pakistan is the third largest importer of Indonesian palm oil. In 2021, Pakistan had imported 2.78 million tons of palm oil from Indonesia.

During the visit of the Pakistani delegation from June 12 to 14, 2022, Minister Syed Murtaza Mahmud met with Indonesian Minister of Commerce Muhammad Lutfi, Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, and Minister of Industries, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita. Representatives of the largest palm oil exporters to Pakistan and the president of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association also visited the minister.

In his interaction with the Indonesian Trade Minister, while emphasizing the strong historical and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Indonesia, Minister Mahmud stressed that Pakistan, being the third largest market for Indonesian palm oil, was strongly dependent on Indonesian palm oil. He sensitized the Indonesian minister on the edible oil situation in Pakistan and mentioned that Indonesia’s decision to ban the export of palm oil for a month had hurt stocks of edible oil in Pakistan. . Even after the ban was lifted on May 23, 2022, exporters still face regulatory and logistical bottlenecks. He urged his Indonesian interlocutor to facilitate the fastest possible resumption of palm oil shipments to Pakistan by removing bottlenecks.

In response, the Indonesian minister assured that Indonesia attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan and is ready to ensure an uninterrupted flow of Indonesian palm oil to Pakistan.

He further said that after completing the necessary formalities, the first shipment of palm oil to Pakistan should leave within 24 hours. The Minister further said that he would ensure that the first shipment leaves the Indonesian port the next day. The minister also assured that Pakistan would be the first country to which the goods would be exported, following the enactment of new export regulations.

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