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Less Malaysian palm oil may enter the European Union

Updated Jan 22, 2023
Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, has announced it may halt palm exports to the European Union after the EU imposed further restrictions over deforestation concerns. For years, Malaysia and Indonesia have been in dispute with the European Union over curbs on palm oil imports, which the two countries say amounts to trade barriers and protectionist measures on the part of the EU.
The EU's deforestation regulation complements the EU's renewable energy directive announced in 2018, which calls for the phasing out of palm oil-based transport fuels by 2030. The EU has set a separate safety limit for the food contaminant 3-MCPD esters for palm oil, compared to soft oils from crops such as soybean, canola and sunflower. Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85% of the world's palm oil exports, have filed a separate case at the World Trade Organization against the EU over the renewable energy directive. Palm oil producers say they have taken steps to meet EU requirements, including tightening national standards for sustainable palm oil certification and improving environmental and food safety standards, but the EU continues to introduce new restrictions. EU officials say their regulations are not country-specific and aim to ensure that commodity production does not promote deforestation and forest degradation. Some representatives of the palm industry see the ...
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