Indonesian palm oil exports fell in August as Indian traders reduced shipments due to high import duties, Reuters reported on 17 October.

The world’s number oil palm oil producer exported 2.89M tonnes of palm oil, biodiesel and oleochemicals in August, down from 3.3M tonnes a year earlier and 2.92M tonnes in July, according to data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI).

Palm oil and palm kernel oil exports to India also fell in August to 2.53M tonnes, down 15% annually but up slightly from July’s 2.51M tonnes.

GAPKI chairman Joko Supriyono said import taxes of up to 50% on Indonesian palm oil remained a big burden for local palm producers.

“If we look into it carefully, in the long term it seems like (palm oil) export volumes to India are rising,” he said. “But the market share is not, because soya and rapeseed shares are increasing.”

Indian refiners had also stopped buying palm oil from rival Malaysia for November and December shipments, fearing New Delhi would raise import taxes or enforce other measures to curb imports from the country.

Reuters wrote that India was considering restricting imports of some Malaysian products, including palm oil, after Kuala Lumpur criticised New Delhi for its actions in the disputed Kashmir region.

Meanwhile, Indonesian palm oil output rose in August, sending inventories to their highest level so far this year at 3.8M tonnes, GAPKI said.

However, Indonesian palm oil shipments to China and the Middle East rose in August, said GAPKI executive director Mukti Sardjono.