Opinion and commentary

Explained: Indonesia’s palm oil crisis, and its implications for India

By Harish Damodaran

The Indian express

April 8, 2022

It’s rare for any country that is the largest producer and exporter of a product to experience domestic shortages of the same product — so much so as to force its government to introduce price controls and curbs on shipments.

But that is precisely the story of Indonesia vis-à-vis palm oil. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has estimated the archipelago’s palm oil production for 2021-22 (October-September) at 45.5 million tonnes (mt). That’s almost 60% of the total global output and way ahead of the next bigger producer: Malaysia (18.7 mt). It is also the world’s No. 1 exporter of the commodity, at 29 mt, followed by Malaysia (16.22 mt).

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