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Malaysian palm oil news: Malaysia, India aim to repair sour bonds that affect palm trade | India Business News


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and India will work to improve ties that deteriorated under former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and severely affected palm oil trade between countries, officials from both nations said on Sunday.

India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil, but its purchases from Malaysia, the second largest palm exporter behind Indonesia, declined dramatically in recent months after Mahathir’s attacks on India’s policies.

Malaysia swore before a new prime minister on Sunday after the resignation last week by the open Mahathir, 94, after a power battle in his coalition government.

Malaysia swears by new prime minister when Mahathir is forced to retire

Muhyiddin Yassin of Malaysia took an oath as prime minister on Sunday for the king, after a week of political chaos caused by the resignation of veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad. Muhyiddin, 72, a government interior minister who collapsed last Monday, becomes the eighth prime minister of the Southeast Asian nation.

Wee Ka Siong, a legislator who hoped to get a ministerial position, said that repairing ties is a priority because Malaysian palm oil producers have been suffering due to the effective ban on purchases in India.

“Can we renegotiate? It’s for my country and for my people,” Wee said. “As we are a new government, let the prime minister, the new government, take care of it. We treasure friendship with India.”

An Indian official with knowledge of the matter said that New Delhi also wishes to improve bilateral relations, including trade in palm oil, provided that Malaysia remains outside the internal affairs of India.

Just out of power, Mahathir, 94, plans to return to Malaysia

Mahathir’s abrupt resignation last Monday began a week of horse trade that saw his fortune increase and decrease every hour. On Saturday morning, he said he had the numbers to form a government, but in the late afternoon the king appointed Muhyiddin Yassin, until recently Mahathir’s right hand, as prime minister.

India could also invite the new Malaysian Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, to visit this year, the official said on condition of anonymity.

India put refined palm oil and palmolein on its list of restricted items on January 8, a measure that sources say was in response to Mahathir’s criticism of his actions in Kashmir and a new citizenship law.

Palm shipments from Malaysia to India in January fell 85% from the previous year to 46,876 tons, the lowest since 2011.

India accounted for almost a quarter of Malaysia’s total palm oil exports last year and has been Malaysia’s largest buyer of palm oil for five years.

India’s restrictions on imports from Malaysia disrupted global trade flows of edible oil, with Indonesia diverting supplies to India, Malaysia rushing to take advantage of the markets left by Indonesia and India by replacing palm with other oils.

Times of India