Malaysia says relations with India to improve after New Delhi lifts import duty on palm oil; to send a delegation
India has been the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for five years, but imports trickled to a halt after it restricted imports of refined palm and informally asked traders to avoid Malaysian palm.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s relationship with top palm buyer India, which soured under former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, is expected to improve after India lifted a 5 percent import duty on the edible oil, Malaysia’s commodities minister said on Wednesday.
India’s trade remedial body had in early March recommended the government not to extend the 5 percent bilateral safeguard duty on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, finding it unnecessary in light of new import curbs placed on 8 January.
Malaysia’s political veteran Mahathir lost power late last month.
“The new government sees India’s move as a positive step that signals an openness to rebuild a close relationship from the aspect of trade and culture,” Malaysia’s new commodities minister, Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, said.
India has been the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for five years, but imports trickled to a halt after it restricted imports of refined palm and informally asked traders to avoid Malaysian palm, which traders said was in retaliation for Mahathir’s criticism of its policy affecting its Muslim minority.
Mohd Khairuddin said Malaysia recognised the need for the two countries to discuss the import curbs and a trade imbalance in favour of Malaysia.
Malaysia will send a delegation to India after the coronavirus pandemic is over, the minister said.
Malaysia’s exports to India dropped 54 percent last month from January, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board data.
Curbs on import of refined palm oil product-specific, not country-specific; decision defined by trade policy, says MEA
Putting palm oil in the restricted category means an importer will require a license or permission for the inbound shipment.
Govt puts restrictions on import of refined palm oil; shipment from Malaysia likely to be hit, no curbs on Indonesia
Malaysia produces 19 million tonne of palm oil in a year, while Indonesia produces 43 million tonne, the trade data showed.
India resumes buying Malaysian palm oil as Kuala Lumpur offers discount over supplies from rival Indonesia, say traders
Malaysian palm oil is available at a $5 discount amid congestion at Indonesian ports, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.