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Indonesia's policy flip-flop on palm oil export ban: 5 things to know

Total embargo may cost $3bn in foreign reserves monthly, warns economist

Stubbornly high cooking oil prices in Indonesia have frustrated President Joko Widodo's administration.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's announcement last week of a plan to ban palm oil exports shocked the world, sending edible oil prices roiling and igniting further worries over global food price rises amid the still raging Russia-Ukraine war.

On Tuesday, the government retracted its plan to impose a total embargo and said only the export of palm oil products used as raw materials for cooking oil will be banned effective from Thursday. But on Wednesday evening -- just hours before the embargo was due to go into effect, it made another announcement saying the ban will apply to all palm oil products.

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