Band Stefanno Sulaiman
JAKARTA, June 7 (Reuters) – Indonesian Commerce Minister Muhammad Lutfi said on Tuesday the government would lower its maximum combined crude palm oil export and levy rate to $488 per ton from $575 per ton to encourage shipments.
Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, has allowed palm oil exports to resume after a three-week ban, but progress has been slow due to bureaucracy, which keeps palm mill storage tanks full.
Farmers have complained that palm fruit prices remain low because mills always limit their purchases.
The government would raise the maximum tax to $288 per ton, but lower the maximum levy to $200 per ton, Lutfi said. Indonesia currently collects a maximum of $200 per ton for export tax and a maximum of $375 per ton for levy.
Lutfi did not say when the new fees will be imposed.
The current total of taxes and levies is “heavy”, said Oke Nurwan, a senior Commerce Ministry official.
“Exports must flow, because the storage tanks are full,” he told reporters.
Indonesia banned the export of crude palm oil and some of its derivatives from April 28 for three weeks in a bid to control soaring domestic prices for cooking oil made from palm oil. webbed.
To ensure a secure domestic supply of palm oil after the ban is lifted, the government has put in place a policy stipulating that producers must sell some of their products on the local market before obtaining export permits. .
Industry groups have called on the government to allow a larger export quota during the transition period to free up storage after a number of palm oil mills stopped buying palm fruit to farmers.
Asked about the request, Lutfi said “we are looking” at the proposal. He said companies are allowed to export five times the amount they sold locally.
(Report by Stefanno Sulaiman Writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)
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