New Straits Times: Teaching critics of palm oil a lesson.

Palm oil is an integral ingredient in soap making while palm wax is a beautiful wax for candle making. At Craftiviti we carry both and as of 2022, the prices of both ingredients has skyrocketed due to political and economic upheavals and propaganda. Here’s an article by New Straits Times on the issue:

Recently Indonesia, the largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world, has just announced it will stop exporting it.

Many must have been taken by surprise by that decision.

I think Indonesia has grown tired of the constant criticisms, mostly baseless, levelled against palm oil: the country has no choice but to take a drastic decision to remove the largest chunk of the world’s supply from the market.

The repercussions will be devastating, especially for the many diehard importers of palm oil.

Over the years, many countries around the world have benefited from the importation of palm oil, not just in terms of satisfying edible oil needs, but also as an important economic input for food and oleochemical industries.

Palm oil-exporting countries, especially Indonesia and Malaysia which together account for 90 per cent of palm oil exports, have been tormented for far too long.

A lot of money has been spent trying to counter the ridiculous claims made by the so-called anti-palm oil group.

Enough is enough.

If the world does not appreciate the important role palm oil plays in the global edible oils business, then we might as well take it out of the world supply.

Indonesia has the capacity to do just that.

Thanks to its massive population of nearly 300 million, there is enough domestic demand, especially when we add the use of palm oil in their biodiesel mix.

With the current high petroleum diesel price, Indonesia must have done the math to reach that decision, at a time when world palm oil prices are also running high.

Maybe the idea is also to teach the critics of palm oil a lesson.

It is common knowledge that palm oil has been unfairly criticised for years now, for being unhealthy, damaging to the environment and using forced labour.

And new claims keep getting added to the list of the wrongs that palm oil has committed.

There is no mention of the fact that palm oil, because of the vast quantities produced, has helped cushion world prices.

As the world population continues to rise, the need for edible oils inevitably grows.

And as the buying power of the population improves, the per capita consumption of edible oils has also increased.

Take palm oil out of the equation, and the world will struggle to meet demand.

We have seen chaos when communities were denied access to affordable cooking oil. This happened in India before.

A major importer of edible oils, India used to experience shortages when domestic production slumped because of bad weather. A massive public riot broke out as a result.

Many among the poor could not afford the high price. Luckily for India, palm oil made its first international presence just then.

Thanks to its abundance and affordable pricing, the situation was quickly put under control.

The rest is history. India is now one of the largest importers of palm oil in the world.

It is not just buying palm oil to feed its population, as many palm oil-based industries have sprung up and contributed significantly to India’s economy.

The reality is that most countries are net importers of edible oils.

The only net exporters in the world are Malaysia, Indonesia, Argentina and maybe Brazil.

All others do not produce enough to satisfy domestic needs.

It is estimated that the world demand is increasing about three per cent annually.

China is another country which imports large amounts of palm oil.

Among the developed economies, the European Union is the largest importer.

It is unfortunate that the EU appears to have the biggest grudge against palm oil, especially on issues related to the environment.

Whatever it is, the confrontational stance they have taken is not the best way to resolve the issue.

Palm oil is such an important commodity for the world: taking it for granted will do more harm than good.

Read original article here: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2022/04/792415/teaching-critics-palm-oil-lesson

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