Plantation worker watches as a truck unloads freshly harvested oil palm fruit bunches at a collection point. Image: Shutterstock

Malaysia has raised its export tax for crude palm oil for January, for the first time in one-and-a-half years, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s website said on Friday, citing the national customs department. 

The world’s second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil had last imposed an export tax of 4.5% in August 2018 before lowering it to zero. It then placed a tax-free exemption on crude palm oil from May to December 2019 in a move to boost palm oil exports and expand into new markets. 

Malaysia had calculated a palm oil reference price of 2,571.16 ringgit ($616.59) per tonne for January 2020. 

Traders said Indonesia may follow in Malaysia’s footsteps to impose a similar tax on exports.

“The Indonesian export levy decision is keenly waited which would throw light on the 30% biodiesel implementation as well,” said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Sunvin Group, a Mumbai-based vegetable oil broker. 

“Malaysia will export more refined products as crude palm oil will now have 5% tax,” said one Kuala Lumpur-based trader. 

Malaysian benchmark palm oil futures were up 1% at 2,913 ringgit per tonne in early trade on Friday.



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