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    A worker unloads palm fruits at a palm oil processing plant in Lebak, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Indonesia Presses India to Cut Import Duty on Palm Oil

    © AP Photo / Tatan Syuflana
    Asia & Pacific
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    India is the largest importer of Indonesian palm oil. However, of late, the Indian government, with the intent to protect local farmers, had raised the import duty on crude and refined palm oil three times since last November. The current import duty on palm oil is the highest it's been in over a decade.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) – Raising concerns over India's protectionist policy towards exports from Indonesia, President Joko Widodo "Jokowi" has called upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce the import tariff for Indonesian palm oil.

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    "I beg PM Modi's attention regarding the increased tariffs on palm oil products," Jokowi said on Wednesday during a joint press conference after a meeting between the two leaders at the State Palace in Jakarta.

    Jakarta has been unhappy over India's increase in duties on palm oil imports. In March this year, the Narendra Modi government raised the import duty for crude palm oil to 44 percent from 30 percent. It also raised the tax for refined palm oil products to 54 percent from 40 percent. 

    "The leaders underscored the important role palm oil plays in Indonesia's export to India and in India's consumer preference and growing consumption. Both Leaders agreed to address all issues related to obstacles to trade and investment in palm oil products and industries," reads a joint statement issued after the bilateral meeting.

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    India's palm oil imports have decreased for the second month in a row due to increased tariffs and a weak rupee. According to industry data, Malaysian palm exports slumped nearly 40 percent in April, while the trend has continued in May as well.

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    Tags:
    palm oil, tariffs, consumer prices, export, import, growth, Narendra Modi, India, Indonesia
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