Malaysia postpones biodiesel mandate rollout to 2022 – state media – Successful Farming

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Malaysia will delay the
nationwide rollout of its B20 palm oil biodiesel mandate to
early 2022 to prioritise an economy that has been battered by
the COVID-19 pandemic, state news agency Bernama reported late
Thursday.

The mandate to manufacture biofuel with a 20% palm oil
component – known as B20 – for the transport sector was first
rolled out in January last year, and was set to be fully
implemented across the country by mid-June 2021.

“Nationwide we are giving priority for the government’s post
COVID-19 economic recovery plan, which is more crucial,”
Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary general
Ravi Muthayah was quoted as saying.

“We have limited resources and must identify priorities,” he
said.

Rival and top producer Indonesia has also pushed back plans
to raise the bio-content of palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% and
instead raised export levies to finance its B30 programme after
the pandemic triggered a collapse in crude oil prices.

A rally in Malaysia’s benchmark crude palm oil prices
to its highest in nearly a decade has also widened its
premium over crude oil, making palm a less sustainable option
for biodiesel feedstock.
(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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