Malaysia will delay the national rollout of its B20 palm oil biodiesel mandate to next year to prioritise an economy recovery that has suffered in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mandate to manufacture biofuel with a 20% palm oil component - known as B20 - for the transport sector was first rolled out in January last year, and was set to be fully implemented across the country by mid-Jun, state news agency Bernama reported.
Plantation industries and commodities ministry secretary general Ravi Muthayah said: "Nationwide we are giving priority for the government's post COVID-19 economic recovery plan, which is more crucial. We have limited resources and must identify priorities.”
Indonesia has also pushed back plans to raise the bio-content of palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% and instead the country has raised export levies to finance its B30 programme after the pandemic resulted in the collapse in crude oil prices.
A rally in Malaysia's benchmark crude palm oil prices to its highest in nearly a decade has also widened its premium over crude oil, making palm a less sustainable option for biodiesel feedstock.
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