Indonesia to challenge US embargo plan on palm oil

Rabu, 08 Februari 2012 | 09:02

The Trade Ministry will soon submit its refutation on US plan to put an embargo on crude palm oil from Indonesia on a reason that Indonesian palm oil is not environmental friendly.Trade Minister Gita Wijawan confimed the ministry will deliver its refutation following the US embargo plan on Indonesia crude palm oil (CPO).

“We will officially raise this issue. We will talk about this,” he said in Jakarta last week. The government targets to send the refutation letter on February 27 at the latest.

US government has issued a notification from the environmental protection agency (EPA) on fuel standard from the renewable resources.

The notification says that the vegetable oil or biofuel from Indonesian palm oil has not yet met the standard for renewable resources. The standard for greenhouse effect set by EPA for biodiesel and renewable diesel from palm oil is at a minimum of 20%.

While, the analysis of EPA for Indonesia palm oil product which exported to US market is still below 17% for biodiesel and 11% for renewable diesel.

Gusmardi Bustami, Director General of International Trade at the Ministry of Trade, said the analysis is just an unilateral research done by US.

“In their research, Indonesia and Malaysia palm oil have a default value of 17%,” said Gusmardi.

He said Indonesia is able to deliver its refutation which can be evaluated in order to be recognized.

General Secretary of Indonesia Palm Oil Association (Gapki) Joko Supriyono said the US strategy is a negative campaign against Indonesia palm oil.

He said the regulation on sustainable palm oil standard is not based on transparent data.

Joko said the black campaign was done since Indonesia is one of the biggest palm oil producers in the world.

Gapki predicts Indonesia's CPO export and its derivative products will increase between 6.1%-9.1% to 17,5-18 million tons from 16.5 million tons last year. (T03/msw)

Oleh Raydion