BANGKOK, Jan 20 – Thailand plans to import 50,000 tonnes of semi-refined palm oil in February in anticipation of a shortage of the commodity due to drought. Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwarn said the National Palm Oil Committee had agreed to the move while related agencies and farmers’ representatives had supported it.

The situation is expected to return to normal in March, Gen. Prawit said after chairing the committee’s meeting here today. Prawit, who is also defence minister, said the government would ensure that the import would not adversely affect the farmers.

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