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Indonesia’s palm oil ban sends inflation from the frying pan ...


Indonesia’s palm oil ban sends inflation from the frying pan into the fire

Your grocery bill is about to get even higher thanks to ill-judged move by world’s top supplier of the vital product

Anuradha Raghu, Pratik Parija and Eko Listiyorini

Indonesia’s palm oil export ban kicked off on Thursday in one of the most drastic cases of food protectionism since the war erupted in Ukraine. 

Indonesia imposed a sweeping ban on cooking oil exports, covering palm oil products across the value chain. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the tropical oil as it’s found everywhere today — in food, soap, lipstick and even printing ink — which makes Indonesia’s move important for the world. 

The move adds to the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which plunged the global edible oil market into disarray. With food costs surging to all-time highs, governments are taking steps to secure their own supplies. The UN has urged leaders to keep trade open, warning that protectionism will drive up prices and lead to empty shelves in countries dependent on imports...

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