Government Making Efforts to Ease the Palm Oil Problem (06/03/2011)
The shortage of palm oil has eased following the Government’s effective efforts to deal with the problem.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on 1 March 2011, acknowledged the solving of the palm oil problem, as proposed by the Ministry of Energy. It also heard a report on results of the meeting of the National Oil Palm Policy Committee held on February 22. The report was submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban, in his capacity as chairperson of the National Palm Oil Policy Committee.

According to the report, the National Palm Oil Policy Committee agreed to confirm its February 1 resolution to import 120,000 tons of crude palm olein. However, the imports will be considered on a case by case basis, as appropriate. The committee will hold a meeting every 15 days to evaluate the situation.

The first imported amount of palm olein will be 30,000 tons. A refined palm olein refinery will be the importer, while the Public Warehouse Organization (PWO) has been assigned to be the supervisor.

The committee entrusted the Thai Palm Oil Association with supplying 10,000 tons of crude palm olein to palm olein refineries at the price of 44.75 baht per kilogram.

Biodiesel manufacturers were assigned to lend 5,000 tons of crude palm olein to palm olein refineries.

The committee agreed to set the minimum orice for refined palm olein at 47.00 baht per liter (both bottled and packaged in a bucket or bag). The Government will compensate refineries for the difference between the production cost and selling price of refined palm olein. The price of refined palm olein used for continuous industries is based on demand and supply in the market.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives was assigned to instruct provincial, district, and local agricultural offices to publicize the information and launch a campaign to convince palm planters to only sell fully ripe palm, as it has a higher oil content. There should be a notice or sign placed in front of refineries and the places where palm is sold.

The Ministry of Industry was told to ensure that palm olein extract plants and refineries would produce palm oil in line with the committee’s decision.

The Ministry of Commerce was instructed to control the production and sale of palm olein, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives was asked to campaign to encourage palm planters to sell high-quality palm. The Royal Thai Police was asked to investigate and take action against traders who sell refined palm olein at a price higher than 47.00 baht per liter.

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