Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Adam Mulawarman Tugio on Friday said that palm oil supply operation from Indonesia to Pakistan would be completed by July 10, 2022. “So far five ships have arrived in the port city of Karachi and another five will arrive by July 10 of this month,” Ambassador of Indonesia Adam Mulawarman Tugio told APP here. The Ambassador said that in last month on the June the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo had discussed the issue of increasing the supply of palm oil to Pakistan after Indonesia lifted the ban of palm oil exports in last months of May. He said the Indonesian government then decided to use 10 ships for oil supply in the next three weeks to meet Pakistan’s needs. “Pakistan is a brotherly Islamic country with which Indonesia has strong economic, trade and diplomatic relations, adding, Indonesia will always continue its cooperation to meet the need for palm oil in Pakistan, Ambassador Adam said.” Replying to a question, he said that the Indonesian government temporarily banned global palm oil exports to regulate local markets and provide subsidized palm oil to locals in the start months of May 2022. The Ambassador said the decision was made after lengthy deliberations on food security in Indonesia and revised soon as it is part of a short-term policy that would stabilize palm oil prices in the local market. The Ambassador said that the global consumption of palm oil worldwide was currently 70 MT, of which 33 MT was produced in Indonesia. Similarly, Indonesia was the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, which also impacts the local Indonesian market and had to be adjusted according to its prices, he said. Replying to another question, he said that Indonesia has lifted the global ban on palm oil export from last week of May and now palm oil supply in Pakistan would be improved. Indonesia is the largest supplier of palm oil to Pakistan as the palm oil would now be available in the local markets, he said. In this regard, the Indonesian government was paying special attention to increase the supply of Palm oil into Pakistani markets. He acknowledged that due to the ban on exports of palm oil, people and traders of Pakistan had faced difficulties. For that matter, the Indonesian embassy in Islamabad would fully cooperate with the local market, said the ambassador. Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widido lifted the ban on palm oil exports. According to the data issued here by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the palm oil import surged by 46.74pc during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The palm oil import during July-March (2021-22) was recorded at $2,730.668m against the imports of $1,860.934m in July-March (2020-21), the data said. On the other hand, the soybean imports also went up by 113.73pc to $103.283m as compared to the import of $48.325m during last fiscal year. On a year-on-year basis, the palm oil import witnessed an increase of 5.43pc during March 2022 as compared to the same month of last year. The palm oil import during March 2022 was recorded at $290.524m against the import of $275.549m in March 2021), according to PBS data. The soybean imports during the month under review also increased by 100pc to $11.750m as compared to the zero import of the same month of last year. Meanwhile, on a month-to-month basis, the palm oil import declined by 6.21pc in March 2022 as compared to the import of $309.766m in February 2022. The import of soybean, however, went up by 27.7pc in March 2022 as compared to the imports of $16.772 in February 2022. It is pertinent to mention here that ‘Edible Oil’ prices have gone following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The two countries produced about 71pc of the world’s sunflower oil, and the recent absence of exports had caused demand for substitutes, including palm oil, to spike.