Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia's palm oil exports declined by some 11 percent in the first semester of 2020.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's palm oil exports decreased by 11 percent from the corresponding period in 2019, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and nations enforce lockdown of varying degrees.

The decline in palm oil exports will impact farmers and business operators in the industry, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated.

"Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia's palm oil exports declined by some 11 percent in the first semester of 2020," Vice President Amin remarked at the opening of a santripreneur program to develop the small- and medium-scale program at the Islamic boarding school here on Thursday.

The vice president believes that palm oil had become the government's leading commodity, with its major contribution to national development.

"Indonesia is the world's largest palm oil producer, with 55 percent of the global market share. The palm oil industry and plantations have created jobs and boosted the people's welfare around the industry," he pointed out.

Indonesian palm oil exports have weakened as a ripple effect to the enforcement of lockdown in European nations and China.

"Indonesia's palm oil exports, which were earlier targeted at Europe, as the main destination, had been diverted to India, China, and Africa," he revealed.

However, the vice president sees a potential growth from domestic palm oil consumption.

"The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) recorded domestic palm oil consumption in the first semester of 2020 at 8.66 million tons, or cumulatively up by some 2.8 percent," he stated.

At that point, Amin highlighted the need for all stakeholders to work closely to boost production and marketing of palm oil products in a bid to strengthen the domestic industry and market.

"This collaboration is deemed important to boost production and accelerate distribution and marketing of palm oil products," he remarked.

Gapki pointed to 9.2-percent decline in Indonesia's palm oil production (CPO and PKO) during the January-June 2020 period to reach 23,504 thousand tons as compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Domestic consumption rose by 2.8 percent to 8,665 thousand tons during the period. Export volume dropped by 11.7 percent to touch 15,503 thousand tons, while its value increased by 6.4 percent to US$10 billion.

Related news: North Sumatra posts trade surplus of US$248 million with India

Related news: Legislators view palm oil as strategic commodity for national economy


Translator: Fransiska Ninditya, Sri Haryat
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020