US-China trade war adds to headaches faced by palm oil industry

Villagers passing through an oil palm plantation in Indonesia's Aceh province. Palm oil producers are among South-east Asia's biggest employers. Around 16 million Indonesians owe their jobs to the commodity, which is used for cooking, in cosmetics an
Villagers passing through an oil palm plantation in Indonesia's Aceh province. Palm oil producers are among South-east Asia's biggest employers. Around 16 million Indonesians owe their jobs to the commodity, which is used for cooking, in cosmetics and as biofuel.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

When palm oil prices a decade ago were around twice what they are now, Ms Darsini and her husband wanted a piece of the action.

The couple, both high school teachers, saved enough from their combined monthly salary of about 10 million rupiah (S$950) to buy 4.5ha in East Kalimantan, where Ms Darsini's brother lives.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2019, with the headline 'Trade war adds to headaches faced by palm oil sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe