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Gov't stops refunding export tax on some vegetable oil products
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China will stop refunding export taxes levied on some types of vegetable oil from June 13, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said in a statement on Tuesday.

This move is part of the government's effort to control vegetable oil exports, ensure domestic supplies and stabilize prices.

The MOF said the move had been approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Twenty vegetable oil products, including soybean oil, peanut oil, olive oil, palm oil, cotton seeds oil and corn oil, were covered in the measure.

Surging grain and food price in the international market has led to rising prices. Experts fear this could stimulate China's vegetable oil exports, driving up prices in China.

A report jointly released by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development last month said world food and grain prices would remain high for the next 10 years, led by rising demand, speculation and climate factors.

Vegetable oil prices, in particular, are expected to rise 50 percent in the next 10 years, said the report.

The tax refund rate on vegetable oil exports has been 13 percent since September 2006.

The MOF said last month that China had begun to cut import taxes on coconut oil and palm oil from 10 percent and 9 percent to 5 percent from June to September to encourage imports.

Customs figures show the country's vegetable oil exports stood at 48,000 tonnes in the first quarter, down 3.8 percent over the same period last year.

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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