Crude palm oil (CPO) reserved for biofuel will end up in frying pans as Thailand, the world’s third largest palm oil producer, addresses domestic palm oil shortage.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said 5,000 tonnes CPO stock reserved for biofuel held by the Energy Ministry would be refined as cooking oil.
The move was part of immediate solutions agreed upon at the National Palm Oil Policy Committee meeting chaired by Suthep here Tuesday.
In addition, 10,000 tonnes of CPO held by the private sector would be turned into cooking oil from today, he told reporters after the meeting.
Thailand will also import 30,000 tonnes of CPO in 15 days to support the domestic consumption demand.
“The government will allocate 200 million Baht (about RM20 million) subsidy to refine the 45,000 tonnes of CPO into cooking oil so that the price for per litre bottle can be capped at 47 Baht,” he said.
He said the 30,000 tonnes of CPO could be turned into 22 million litres of cooking oil, thus 45,000 tonnes of CPO equals to 33 million litres of cooking oil.
Thailand has been experiencing cooking oil shortage since last month and people have to stand in long queues just to get one litre of palm oil at supermarkets which limited purchase to just one bottle per customer.
The shortage is caused by the November-December floods last year and alleged hoarding, forcing the police department’s special investigation to intervene.
The price of one-litre bottle palm oil-derived cooking oil skyrocketed to 47 Baht since Jan 8 as approved by the government compared to 36 Baht before the shortage crisis.
Thailand is the world’s third largest palm oil producer after Indonesia and Malaysia.