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The Indonesian government is planning to extend a palm oil export tax waiver until the end of the year, Reuters reported the country’s chief economic minister as saying.

Indonesia started removing taxes on exports of palm oil products from mid-July to help reduce excess stocks following a three-week export ban, which had been introduced in late April in a bid to stabilise local cooking oil prices, the 4 October report said.

The tax waiver policy is currently scheduled to end after 31 October.

“The plan is for an extension... until the end of the year,” Indonesia’s chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto was quoted as telling reporters.

Indonesia collects export levies, on top of a separate export tax, to fund subsidies for its biodiesel and smallholder replanting programmes.

However, following a reduction in palm oil prices with the cost of palm oil-based biodiesel now lower than fossil diesel fuel, Indonesia currently needed less funds for the biodiesel programme, Hartarto added.

The government would continue to monitor the implementation of its Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) policy, which had been introduced in late May to ensure domestic cooking oil supply following the lifting of the palm oil export ban, he said.

Under the DMO policy, palm oil exporters are required to sell a portion of their products to the domestic market before they can receive a permit to export. Companies are currently allowed to export nine times the amount they have sold domestically.