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The Indonesian government has extended its policy of waiving palm oil export levies until 31 October, Reuters reported trade minister Zulkifli Hasan as saying.

Indonesia started waiving palm oil export levies in mid-July, the 24 August report said, and – prior to the latest announcement – the policy was due to run until the end of August with a maximum US$240/tonne export levy for crude palm oil (CPO) due to take effect in September.

The latest decision was taken to help encourage exports of palm oil and prop up prices of palm oil fruits for farmers, Zulkifli was quoted as telling members of parliament in a hearing on 24 August.

The world’s biggest palm oil producer was struggling with a massive build-up of stocks following a three-week export ban in May, the report said.

Although shipments had resumed, exports had so far remained slow, with the result that storage tanks were near capacity and prices were down, Reuters wrote.

According to the latest data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), stocks totalled 6.68M tonnes at the end of June compared to around 4M tonnes at the end of last year.