JAKARTA Jan 16 Indonesia, the world's biggest
palm oil producer, will not change its export tax structure for
the edible oil or follow rival producer Malaysia by cutting
tariffs on crude grades to zero, the trade minister said on
"Indonesian government will not change the palm oil export
tax structure although Malaysia has been lowering its CPO export
tax to zero percent," Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said.
"We have set up a progressive palm oil export structure in
line with our policy to boost the palm oil downstream industry,"
he added. "Although the Malaysian government has lowered its CPO
export tax to zero percent, we will not be."
Malaysia, the world's No.2 palm oil producer, set at zero
export taxes for crude palm oil for January and February after
announcing last year that it would set duties -- formerly at 23
percent -- on a monthly basis.
The Malaysian tax changes were aimed at clawing back market
share from Indonesia, which in 2011 slashed export taxes on
refined palm oil in a bid to boost its processing and downstream
Industry group the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI)
has repeatedly called for a reduction in palm oil export taxes
to provide greater parity against Malaysian competitors.
But on the downstream and processing side, the Indonesian
Vegetable Oil Association says it wants to keep things as they
are to maintain consistency.
Indonesia reduced its export tax on crude palm oil to 7.5
percent for January from 9 percent in December.
Last month, a junior minister in Indonesia's trade ministry
said his department was resisting pressure from parts of the
palm oil industry to change its export tax system in response to
planned tax cuts by Malaysia.
(Reporting by Yayat Supriatna, Writing by Michael Taylor;
Editing by Miral Fahmy)