The Thai government has announced a 5% limit on biodiesel blending until the end of March in a bid to counter surging global vegetable oil prices, according to a Bangkok Post report.

Following a meeting by the Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) on 31 January, it was announced that petrol stations would sell biodiesel B5 – a blend of diesel and 5% methyl ester derived from palm oil – from 5 February until the end of March but would no longer sell B7.

With global oil prices remaining at high levels, energy minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who chaired the Epac meeting, said the move would help the state Oil Fund.

The mix of diesel with methyl ester aims to reduce dependence on oil and support palm oil prices, according to the 1 February report.

However, the authorities would need to reduce the proportion of methyl ester as prices of both diesel and methyl ester had increased, the Bangkok Post wrote.

In an earlier announcement, Epac had postponed the offering of B10 and B20, a move forcing fuel retailers to sell only biodiesel B7 from last December to March this year, the report said.