Thailand is planning to introduce measures to shore up its domestic palm oil prices in addition to a recent price guarantee scheme on the edible oil.

The measures included a compulsory order for all petrol stations nationwide to sell B10 biodiesel (diesel blended with 10% biofuel), replacing B7 from 1 January 2020, according to the Thai Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit.

The Ministry of Commerce also vowed to tighten measures to prevent palm oil smuggling from neighbouring countries and speed up exports of crude palm oil (CPO), notably to India, Vietnam Plus wrote on 25 September.

Another measure was to install CPO automatic level gauges at crushing mills and refineries, enabling regulators to observe real-time information on CPO stocks, giving them verifiable data to help with decision-making and prevent future smuggling.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) would also be ordered to purchase palm oil to produce electricity.

In August, the cabinet approved a Bt34.873bn (US$1.1bn) budget to set guaranteed prices for rice and oil palm oil, earmarking Bt13.3bn (US$438M) for 300,000 oil palm farmers registered with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, according to the Nation Thailand.

Thailand was expected to produce about 3.02M tonnes of CPO this year, with 1.2M tonnes scheduled for consumption and 1.2M to 1.3M tonnes for power production, Vietnam Plus wrote.

The price of domestic fresh palm nuts hit a two-decade low in April at Bt1.6/kg-1.8/kg (US$0.05-0.06), far below growers’ costs and the average price of Bt3.45/kg (US$0.11) last year, Vietnam Plus reported.