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Malaysia plans biodiesel mandate slowdown to meet global palm oil demand

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Malaysia is considering slowing its implementation of its biodiesel mandate and cutting its export tax on palm oil to help meet global demand amid an edible oil shortage.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said in an interview with Reuters her ministry has already proposed the cut to the finance ministry, which has set up a committee to look into the details.


Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, could cut the tax to 4-6% from the current 8%, she said.


The cut would likely be temporary and a decision could be made as early as June, Zuraida said.

Malaysia is looking to boost its share of the edible oil market after Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupted sunflower oil shipments and Indonesia's move to ban palm oil exports further tightened global supplies.

Palm oil - used in everything from cakes to detergent - accounts for nearly 60% of global vegetable oil shipments and the absence of top producer Indonesia has rattled the market.

Zuraida told Reuters importing countries have asked Malaysia to reduce its export taxes, and some - like India, Iran and Bangladesh - are proposing barter trade.