Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi visited the Kramat Jati Market in East Jakarta to monitor the prices and availability of cooking oil after the ministry issued a regulation enacting the maximum retail price for cooking oil.

"Today, we can observe that merchants have begun selling cooking oil, with the regulated price of Rp14,000 (US$0.98) a litre for the premium pack, Rp13,500 (US$0.94) a litre for a simple pack, and Rp11,500 (US$0.8) a litre for bulk oil," the minister stated in Jakarta on Thursday.

Lutfi remarked that residents might still find some market merchants selling their bulk cooking oil at a higher price of Rp14 thousand, as their cooking oil is sold by combining earlier stocks bought at a higher price with newer stocks purchased at a lower price.

The minister affirmed that in two or three days, merchants will sell their cooking oil at the price that the government has instructed.

"This is the result of our cooperation as in the idiom 'many hands make light work,' as crude palm oil (CPO) companies, cooking oil companies and even the distributors have all contributed to this common work," he remarked.

The government has also enforced a domestic market obligation on cooking oil companies that necessitates them to allocate 20 percent of their total exports for domestic market purposes, he remarked.

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The minister is optimistic that the domestic market obligation requirement would improve the distribution and availability of cooking oil in the country.

Moreover, Lutfi confirmed that he would visit cooking oil companies to monitor the CPO supply and ensure smooth production and distribution to traditional markets and hypermarkets.

"We are ensuring that the supply will be smooth and the cooking oil price will refer to the maximum retail price as the government's intervention in the CPO price is at the downstream stage," he stated.

The ministry will make efforts to ensure cooking price affordability for residents while also ensuring cooking oil exports amid the current price hike in the global market, Lutfi added.

Related news: No indication of cooking oil hoarding so far: police

Translator: Sella PG, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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