Jakarta: President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has announced that exports of cooking oil and its raw materials, which have been banned since April, will resume from Monday (May 23, 2022).
While announcing the export ban on April 28, the President had said that the exports would only resume once cooking oil stocks for the domestic market had been ensured.
"In view of the current cooking oil price and stocks and considering the 17-million workforce in the palm oil industry, which includes farmers, workers, and other employees, I have decided that cooking oil export can resume on Monday, May 23, 2022," the President said in a statement broadcast by the Presidential Secretariat's YouTube channel on Thursday.
Jokowi further said that he and government officials have been constantly monitoring and conceiving measures to ensure cooking oil stocks are available for the public ever since the export ban was implemented last month.
Indonesia needs 194 thousand tons of cooking oil every month, however, in March this year -- before the ban was imposed -- the cooking oil stocks available for the domestic market were pegged at only 64.5 thousand tons, he explained.
"Praise be to God, our cooking oil stocks continue increasing. Following the export prohibition last April, we have secured 211 thousand tons of cooking oil per month, exceeding our monthly needs," the President noted.
He also highlighted that the export ban has been successful in reducing the average cooking oil price from Rp19,800 per liter before the export ban to Rp17,200–17,600 per liter.
He said that efforts to increase cooking oil stocks and cut prices will require collective action from the government, state-owned enterprises, and the private sector.
"Despite some regions still recording high cooking oil prices, I believe that in the upcoming weeks, the price of bulk cooking oil will reach a more affordable level because the stocks have been assured," he added.
The President then expressed his gratitude to palm oil farmers for their understanding and support during the implementation of export restrictions for the public good.
"Despite the resumption of exports, the government will continue strict monitoring to ensure (cooking oil) stocks are assured at affordable prices," he said.
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