Indian edible oil refiners told to avoid buying Malaysian palm oil: report
07 January 2020
The Indian government has informally asked palm oil refiners and traders in the country to avoid buying palm oil from Malaysia, on the back of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of India’s actions in Kashmir and its new citizenship law, reports citing government and industry sources said today.
India, the world’s largest importer of edible oils, is also the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil.
Any halt to purchases by India could put Malaysian plam oil market in disarray by a spike in palm oil inventories, which could put prices under pressure.
A Reuters report citing a senior industry official said the government had asked refiners at a meeting attended by vegetable oil industry officials in New Delhi on Monday to boycott Malaysia.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has gone out of the way to comment on India’s abrogation of Articlr 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and on the new Indian citizenship law, saying it could be used to discriminate against Muslims.
“People are dying because of this law. So why is there a necessity to do this thing when all this while, for 70 years almost, they have lived together as citizens without any problem?” Mahathir said last month.
India’s trade ministry did not immediately respond to the comment, but, rather sought traders’ support for an effective ban.
Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, followed by
Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil after Malaysia. Palm oil revenues also account for 2.8 per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product and 4.5 per cent of its exports.