Indonesia`s palm oil exports down 2 percent in 2016

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias export of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives fell by nearly 2 percent to 25.7 million tons in 2016 from 26.2 million tons in 2015 from after-effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

"At the end of 2015, oil palm fruit production fell due to the El Nino-induced drought for all of 2015. Exports fell 2 percent by volume as production dropped by 7 to 30 percent," President Director of the Oil Palm Plantation Fund Managing Board (BPDP) Bayu Krisnamurthi said at a press conference here Tuesday.

Although the export volume of CPO, palm kernel oil (PKO) and their derivatives went down by 2 percent, the export value of palm oil rose by 8 percent to US$17.8 billion or Rp240 trillion from $16.5 billion or Rp220 trillion a year earlier, he said.

The increase in the export value was caused by the improving global CPO prices which increased by 41.4 percent in 2016. The CPO prices stood at $535 per ton in June 2015, rose to $558 per ton in January 2016 and further moved up to $789 per ton in December 2016.

Yet, the BPDP has asked exporters to pay attention to the latest CPO price which is too high because it can reduce Indonesias competitive edge in the vegetable oil market.

"We know that Indonesian palm oil has to compete with soybean oil, so if the palm oil price is too close to the soybean oil price, our competitive edge will decline," he said.

Indonesia is currently the worlds biggest CPO producer.

In 2015, Indonesias CPO production reached 32.5 million tons, with exports reaching 26.4 million tons. The export value went down from $21.1 billion in 2014 to $18.6 billion in 2015. (*)