New Delhi: Pakistan has assured Malaysia that it will make up for the decline in the country’s palm oil exports after India enforced fresh curbs on the import of the oil from Kuala Lumpur in January.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made the assurance while addressing a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Tuesday.
“Since we noticed India threatened Malaysia to cut palm oil imports for supporting the Kashmir cause, Pakistan will do its best to compensate for that,” Khan said at Kuala Lumpur.
As reported by ThePrint, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had issued a notification on 8 January, restricting the import of refined palm oil into India by bringing import of palm oil and palmolein under ‘restricted category’. This meant that the importer of the commodity would require a licence for import henceforth, a move seen as an attempt to disincentivise Malayasian Palm oil import in India.
Pakistan palm oil imports feeble as compared to India
While Pakistan has promised to step in, its import numbers are feeble when compared to India’s palm oil trade with Malaysia.
New Delhi primarily imports refined bleached deodorised palm oil and palmolein from Malaysia and Indonesia. According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, India imported about 44 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT) of palm oil from Malaysia in 2019. This is a 75.4 per cent jump from 2018 when India imported 25 lakh MT of Palm Oil from Malaysia.
Pakistan, on the other hand, had decreased its import by 6 per cent in 2019 as compared to 2018. The country had imported 10.85 lakh MT of Palm Oil from Malaysia in 2019 as compared to the 11.61 lakh MT in 2018.
India, however, has been planning to cut down on imports from Malaysia since August 2019 after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad made statements against New Delhi’s Kashmir policy at the United Nations. The situation aggravated in December when Mohamad slammed India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act.