Jakarta. The government has decided to lift the ban on cooking oil exports on May 23, as cooking oil supply in the domestic market improved, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced on Thursday.
"[B]ased on the current supply and price of cooking oil and considering that there are 17 million workers in the palm oil industry, including farmers, workers, and other supporting staff, I have decided that the export of cooking oil will resume on Monday, May 23, 2022," Jokowi said in a video broadcast from Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.
The government banned all palm oil exports on April 28 to overcome scarcity in the domestic market and slash the cooling oil price sold in bulk in the traditional market by 28 percent to around $1 a liter from $1.3.
Since then, the price has decreased to between Rp 17,200 and Rp 17,600 ($1.17 and $1.20), but Jokowi said the government acknowledged cooking oil availability had improved.
"Based on my direct checks in the field and the reports I received, thank God the supply of cooking oil continues to grow," he said.
According to government data, the demand for bulk cooking oil is approximately 194,000 tons per month.
Before the export ban, the supply only reached 64,500 tons. But after the export ban in April, the stock increased to 211,000 tons per month, exceeding the monthly national demand, Jokowi said.
The increase in supply and the decrease in prices is a joint effort by the government, state-owned enterprises, and the private sector.
"Although there are indeed some areas where I know the price of cooking oil is still relatively high, I believe that in the next few weeks, the price of bulk cooking oil will be more affordable towards the price we set because it is more abundant now," Jokowi said.
He said the government would continue to monitor closely to ensure supplies are met at affordable prices.
"And on this occasion, I would also like to thank the oil palm farmers for their understanding and support for government policies taken for the benefit of the wider community," said Jokowi.