Biodiesel betrayal: Big fuel companies snub palm oil producers

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The Thai Biodiesel Producers Association plans to lodge a formal complaint against major fuel traders under Section 7 of the Fuel Trade Act. The traders have refused to purchase B100 biodiesel from local palm oil producers.

Section 7 traders, including industry giants like PTT Plc and Bangchak Corporation, are those handling over 100,000 tonnes of fuel annually. These powerhouses stand accused of flouting the Energy Ministry’s directive from June 20, which urged them to buy B100 biodiesel at prices set by the Energy Policy and Planning Office. This directive was intended to support palm farmers reeling from plummeting palm prices, aligning with government policy.

“By refusing to buy B100 biodiesel, these companies are deliberately circumventing the Cabinet’s resolution. This defiance negatively impacts the price structure of both upstream and downstream palm products.”

The association labelled the companies’ actions as an exploitation of palm farmers and society at large.

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“We cannot let this exploitation go unpunished. It must be addressed immediately and decisively to set an example for other traders.”

The complaint will be directed to Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompow, who leads the government’s committee on palm oil prices. It will also be forwarded to the prime minister, and the commerce, finance, and energy ministers. The association is urging the government to withhold subsidies from Section 7 traders who refuse to comply with the biodiesel purchase directive, reported The Nation.

In related news, the Commerce Ministry directed the Internal Trade Department to investigate the recent drop in oil palm prices by visiting provinces known for palm plantations. This initiative follows complaints from growers about reduced purchase prices.

In other news, a convoy of trucks will hit the roads next week as truckers in northeast Thailand protest against rising diesel prices which are massively cutting into their profits, demanding the government cap the price at 30 baht per litre.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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