Indonesias exports of palm oil shrink in first quarter

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesias exports of palm oil and derivatives shrank year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, the Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Companies (GAPKI) said.

Exports of crude palm oil and biodiesel and oleochemicals dropped 7.84 million tons in the first three months of this year from 8.02 million tons in the same period last year, Executive Director of GAPKI Danang Girindrawardana said. .

“Among the causes of the declining performance include restriction adopted by a number of importing countries,” Danang said in a written statement here on Thursday.

He pointed to restriction by the European Union with Parliamentary resolution which accuses oil palm plantations of deforestation and increase in the import duty slapped by India on vegetable oils.

India raised its import duty on CPO to 44 percent from 30 percent earlier , and the import duty on refined palm oil was set at 54 percent up from 40 percent earlier.

In addition , the United States has launched biodiesel dumping allegation and China tightens control over imports of vegetable oils.

GAPKI said exports of crude palm oil and derivatives (not including biodiesel and oleochemicals) dropped 3 percent to 7.5 million tons in the first quarter of 2018 from 7.73 million tons in the same period last year.

On the contrary , an increase was recorded in palm oil production , up 24 percent to 10.41 million tons in the first quarter of 2018 from 8.4 million tons in the same period last year.

The production increased because of favorable climate and expansion of plantations, despite replanting in many plantations .

The exports in March alone, however, rose 1 percent from February in 2018. In March exports of palm oil not including biodiesel and oleochemicals totaled 2.4 million tons , up from 2.37 million tons in February.

Exports of palm oil to India dropped 8 percent to 408,550 tons in March from 442,090 tons in February this year as a result of the rise in import duty.

A decline was also recorded in exports in the exports of palm oil to Bangladesh in March down 59 percent from the previous month. Similarly , exports fell 30 percent to Middle East and 0.5 percent to Pakistan.

However, increases were recorded in the exports in March to the countrys traditional markets including the European Union, China, and the United States respectively rising 38 percent, 16 percent and 11 percent from the previous month.

Exports to new market such as African countries rose 38 percent.

The countrys production of palm oil in March 2018 rose nine percent to 3.65 million tons from 3.35 million tons in the previous month .

The increase was attributable to longer working days and favorable climate .

The countrys stock of palm oil rose to 3.65 million tons by the end of March from 3.5 million tons a month earlier on the increase in production and stagnation in exports.

The price of CPO in global market in March, 2018 averaged US$676.2 per metric ton from an average of US$663.1 per metric tons in the previous month.

Source: ANTARA News