"We have to give priority to domestic demand, for both subsidized and non-subsidized fertilizers. The surplus supply could then be exported," Minister of State Enterprises Rini Soemarno noted at the launch of the export of 20 thousand tons of urea fertilizer to the Philippines from PT Pupuk Kaltim Port, a subsidiary of PT Pupuk Indonesia, in Bontang on Tuesday.
Most of the company`s exports were channeled to Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
"Pupuk Indonesia Group is one of the state-owned firms that has always encouraged national economic growth through the exports of its qualified products," Soemarno noted.
However, the exports are carried out after ensuring adequate supply of fertilizers in the domestic market, she remarked.
Meanwhile, President Director of PT Pupuk Indonesia Aas Asikim Idat stated that the total value of exports of urea, ammonia, and NPK fertilizers in the year was expected to reach Rp8.31 trillion.
The company has committed to maintaining export selling as part of the efforts to boost the national economic growth and strengthen the rupiah.
He reiterated that exports will only be made after obtaining the permit, and the company will remain committed to meeting the local demand and fulfilling the minimum supply requirement as stipulated in Trade Ministerial Decree No. 15 of 2013.
During the period from January to August 2018, Pupuk Indonesia had recorded total exports of 1,081,425 tons of fertilizer, comprising 616,294 tons of urea, 371,841 tons of ammonia, and 93,290 tons of NPK, valued at Rp4.55 trillion ($306.2 million).
As the largest fertilizer producer in Southeast Asia, Pupuk Indonesia has dominated fertilizer markets in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Timor Leste, and Singapore, with exports of 507,694 tons of urea, 126,170 tons of ammonia, and 21,301 tons of NPK, and total export value of Rp2.67 trillion ($179.7 million).
In addition to Southeast Asia, the company`s main export destination countries are China, Japan, and South Korea in East Asia.
Other markets for Indonesian fertilizers are Jordan, the United States, South Africa, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Peru.
Reporting by Muhammad Razi Rahman
Editing by Sri Haryati