Malaysia exempts palm oil from export dutyMalaysia exempts palm oil from export duty
FILE PHOTO: A worker unloads palm oil fruit bunches from a lorry inside a palm oil mill in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia will fully exempt palm oil from export duty this year as part of plans to support industries badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday said crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and processed palm kernel oil will be exempted from the export duty from July to December.

The world’s second largest producer and exporter of the edible oil had already lowered its export duty in crude palm oil to 0% this month.

The exemption is seen as move to encourage exports due to a slump in global demand after efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak shuttered restaurants and curbed travel around the world.

The duty exemption will give Malaysian crude palm oil a competitive price advantage over Indonesian crude palm oil, and could lead to higher exports to countries like Pakistan and India, said Sathia Varqa owner and co-founder of Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics.

Malaysia benchmark palm oil prices have plunged about 25% since the start of the year.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)