Indonesia to lift palm oil export ban from May 23 hinh anh 1Plantation workers harvest palm oil seeds in Pelalawan Regency, Riau province of Indonesia. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Indonesia will lift its palm oil export ban from May 23, following improvements in the domestic cooking oil supply situation, the country's President Joko Widodo has announced.

The decision was taken as the government considers the welfare of 17 million workers in the palm oil industry and the supply of cooking oil, the leader said in a video statement on May 19.

The Indonesian government will closely monitor everything to ensure that the demand will be met at affordable prices, he added.

Indonesia, the world's top palm oil exporter, halted shipments of crude palm oil in April to ensure the supply of this commodity amid a shortage of domestic cooking oil.

President Widodo at that time emphasised that supplying the country’s 270 million people was the "highest priority" of his government.

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in Indonesia. It is used in a range of goods from chocolate to cosmetics.

Despite accounting for about 60 percent of global palm oil production, the country has been facing a cooking oil shortage for months due to poor regulations and producers reluctant to sell at home. The shortage has forced consumers to spend hours in queues at distribution centres in some cases./.