The first of 10 cargo ships carrying 30,000 metric tons of edible oil will sail for Pakistan from Indonesia today, the Pakistan prime minister’s office said. This comes amid soaring oil and ghee prices in the South Asian country.
The development comes days after a telephonic conversation between Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in which they agreed to closely coordinate on ensuring a steady supply of palm oil to Pakistan.
Amid an increase in global commodity prices, the Pakistani government earlier this month jacked up the prices of ghee and cooking oil by an unprecedented Rs208 and Rs213 to an all-time high of Rs555 ($2.6) per kg and Rs605 ($2.9) per litre, respectively.
On Tuesday, PM Sharif’s office said Pakistan would receive 10 shipments of edible oil from Indonesia and Malaysia in the next two weeks.
“A total of 2.5 million metric tons of edible oil will be supplied from Indonesia to Pakistan,” it said on Twitter.
“The first ship carrying 30,000 metric tons of edible oil will leave for Pakistan today.”
The PM’s office said the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce expedited matters on the request of a Pakistani delegation.
Salman Sufi, PM Sharif’s aide on strategic reforms, said Pakistan secured the immediate import of edible oil to bring the prices down in a sustainable way.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil exporter, allowed palm shipments to resume from May 23 following a three-week ban designed to boost cooking oil stocks and keep runaway local prices in check. Authorities have since launched an export acceleration programme and tweaked tax rules after shipments were slow to restart amid confusion over procedural issues.
The removal of the ban has relieved pressure on the global vegetable oil market that witnessed peak prices because of the suspension, the invasion of Ukraine and global warming.