Indonesia to end palm oil export ban

Indonesia will lift a ban on palm oil exports next week, says President Joko Widodo, after hundreds of farmers protested the policy.

Jokowi, as the president is known, said exports would resume from Monday because cooking oil is now widely available at cheaper prices.

“Thank God, the supply of cooking oil has increased, more than enough nationally,” Jokowi said at a news conference announcing the change.

Exports of cooking oil and crude palm oil were suspended from April 28 as the government struggled to stabilize prices in the country.

On Tuesday, hundreds of small palm oil farmers demonstrated in several cities, demanding that the government end the ban.

They said companies had stopped buying palm oil from them, rendering their crops worthless.

Farmers welcomed the new decision.

“I thank the president for ending the ban. Our economic wheels can now turn again,” said Manusetus Darto, general secretary of the Oil Palm Farmers Union.

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