Saturday, February 12, 2005 Jakarta - Indonesia has lifted the import dutyon stearic acid from China as part of the Southeast Asian free tradeagreement with the country, the Ministry of Finance announced on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Marwanto Harjowiyono said in a press release the importduty was now set at zero percent for 2005 and 2006.
"The new import duty is effective as of Jan. 1," he said.
Indonesia previously imposed a 5 percent import tariff on the product,although it does not import stearic acid from China.
China has lowered its import duty on Indonesian stearic acid to 5 percentfrom 16 percent, also effective as of Jan. 1.
The finance ministry said the new import duty was the result of theinclusion of stearic acid as one of the commodities in a new tradeliberalization agreement -- known as the Early Harvest Program -- signedlast September by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Stearic acid is a palm oil derivative used in the production of goods suchas detergents and cosmetics.
According to data from the Indonesian Association of Oleo ChemicalProducers, Indonesia supplies 60 percent of China's annual stearic aciddemand of 500,000 metric tons.