Malaysia to engage with India over palm oil curbs: Minister

In a photo from Jan 30, 2019, a worker collects oil palm fruits at a plantation in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
In a photo from Jan 30, 2019, a worker collects oil palm fruits at a plantation in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia will use diplomatic channels as it moves to resolve concerns over palm oil exports after India imposed some curbs last week, a minister said on Thursday (Jan 16).

"This year, we foresee more challenges in some of our major markets," Ms Teresa Kok, Malaysia's minister of primary industries, told an industry conference.

A key concern was India's imposition of restrictions on RBD palm oil, she added, referring to refined palm oil.

"Despite these developments, the ministry will continuously engage these markets, including through diplomatic channels to seek amicable solutions to restore market confidence and further strengthen existing and potential markets."

Ms Kok said Malaysia will not cut its export duties on palm oil to try to make its supplies competitive with those of Indonesia when asked if Malaysia would buy more from Indonesia to address concerns over India’s curbs.

Ms Kok said: “All palm oil buyers want us to buy more products from their countries. We will always encourage our local companies to do so.”