Malaysia mulls halting palm oil exports to EU to oppose new rule
12/01/2023 (Free Malaysia Today), Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, will consider halting exports to the European Union (EU) in retaliation for the bloc’s new deforestation regulation, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.
Fadillah Yusof, who is also the plantation and commodities minister, said the regulation is an act to block market access for palm oil.
He said Malaysia will discuss with Indonesia — the top producer and exporter — about the option of stopping shipments to the EU.
“That is one of the options for us but we have to discuss with Indonesia,” he said, adding that stronger cooperation between the two nations is important to overcome trade barriers and negative campaigns against palm oil.
“We would have one stronger voice if we join hands with Indonesia.”
The two countries produce more than 80% of the world’s palm oil supply.
Countries within the EU agreed to a historic law in December that will stop products causing forest destruction from being sold in European shops and supermarkets.
Products like wood, rubber, beef, leather, cocoa, coffee, palm oil and soy won’t make it past EU’s ports unless proven to be deforestation-free.
Palm oil producers have said the move could isolate and cut off market access for millions of small farmers across Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa who do not have the means to meet the stricter traceability requirements.
Fadillah will visit Indonesia as early as this month to follow up on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent trip.
He said Malaysia will focus on showing that its palm oil adheres to international environmental standards.