By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to renew its recommendation to place a temporary ban on excessive palm oil imports from Indonesia and Malaysia.
The DA first sounded the alarm in November last year over excessive palm oil importation from the two countries.
According to DA, palm oil imports from Malaysia grew to 80 million kilograms (kgs) in 2017 from 20 million kgs in 2016, while that from Indonesia surged to 120 million kgs last year. No comparative figure was presented for Indonesia.
As this happened, the European Union has already started a ban on the entry of palm oil imports from Malaysia and Indonesia over environmental issues.
“This development is expected to result in the dumping of more palm oil into countries like the Philippines,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, member countries could initiate measures to safeguard its farmers affected by the dumping of excess commodities from other countries.
The planned ban is temporary and is effective only for a specified period.
The dumping of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia is one of the factors pulling down the price of locally produced coconut and palm oil.