JAKARTA, Feb 18 Asia Pulse - Indonesia will formally ask India about thepurpose of its recent decision to increase the import duty on palm oilimports.
"I will ask for a detailed explanation about it," Trade Minister MariPangestu said here on Thursday.
India has raised the palm oil import duty from 65 per cent to 80 per centas of February 15, 2005.
The chief of the Association of Indonesian Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI),Derom Bangung, said the Indian government had its own way of slashing thevolume of its CPO imports from Indonesia. He said the decision to raisethe import duty was made after complaining about the beta carotene contentin the product from Indonesia.
The decision coupled with a reduction in the bench price from US$454 toUS$320 per ton has affected the international price of the commodity.
"I will seek an explanation about it. Moreover the decision was made aheadof plans to set up an ASEAN-India free trade," Pangestu said.
To strengthen its position, she said Indonesia would ask Malaysia to filea joint complaint to the relevant Indian authorities. "Malaysia andIndonesia are the world's biggest CPO producers and therefore we have tojoin forces in this case," she said.
Derom said that the CPO import duty has been raised from US$295.10 toUS$320 per ton.