Malaysia has delayed implementing a B10 biodiesel blending mandate for the third time this year, the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC), Mah Siew Keong, confirmed on 15 November.

The decision was taken "after a thorough study, taking into consideration the difference between crude palm oil and diesel prices in the current volatile market," Mah said in a statement on the MPIC website.

The B10 mandate was due to take effect on 1 December, following delays in June and July. No new date has been given for its introduction.

A B7 blend was also due to be introduced for the industrial sector on 1 December.

Mah said the government was committed to ensuring there was no burden of extra cost to consumers.

The retail price of B10 diesel would be higher than the current B7 blend as the price of palm oil was higher than diesel.

According to Platts, palm oil prices have risen sharply, with the crude palm oil (CPO) front-month contract hitting MR3,000/tonne (US$681.12/tonne) on 11 November, widening the palm oil-gas oil spread to US$262.17/tonne.

Malaysian Biodiesel Association (MBA) president U R Unnithan had said that raising the mandate from the current B7 level to B10 would require 709,000 tonnes of palm oil to be converted into palm methyl ester (PME), bringing down palm oil stocks and supporting prices on the international market.