Palm oil imports jump as Indonesia eases export restriction

Chinese imports of palm oil in July spiked to a year-to-date high thanks to eased export restrictions from Indonesia earlier this year. 

China’s palm oil imports last month totaled 310,000 tons, more than quadrupled from June this year as purchases from Indonesia gradually ramped up in the second quarter of this year after the government of the Southeast Asian country lifted a ban on exports. 

Imports of the edible oil in China slid continuously from 120,000 tons in April to 70,000 tons in June as the world’s top producer Indonesia introduced a ban on exports in an attempt to cool domestic inflation. 

Between April and June, Chinese imports of soybean oil grew four-folds from 10,000 tons to 40,000 tons as buyers sought alternative to palm oil. But it was insufficient to fully offset the impact of Indonesia’s export ban. 

As of July , China imported just 880,000 tons of palm oil this year, down significantly compared to 2.45 million tons imported between January and July last year.