Indonesian Palm Oil Exports Expected to Jump 6-8 Percent in 2010

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s palm oil exports are expected to grow 6-8 per cent in 2010, from 16 million tonnes estimated for this year, an industry official said, thanks to buying from India and China. The world’s top palm oil producer is expected to produce 22.5 million tonnes of palm oil next year, against 20.5 million tonnes seen for this year, Fadhil Hasan, executive director of Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) said on Thursday. Hasan said that weather conditions were favourable for higher production next year. “As for exports, I think we should be able to maintain growth from recent years. Demand from traditional markets, India and China, will remain strong,” he said.

He said there was also hope for a pick up in palm purchases from Pakistan if it agrees to lower the import tax rate for Indonesian palm oil products, putting it on a par with Malaysia. Indonesia’s palm exports to Pakistan have slumped in the past two years after Pakistan cut the import tax for palm oil from rival producer Malaysia. More than half of Indonesia’s palm oil exports are in the form of crude palm oil while Malaysia exports mostly higher value by-products. Separately, Indonesia’s largest listed plantation firm, PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk, revised up on Friday its forecast for crude palm oil production this year to a 10 per cent rise due to favourable weather. Astra Agro, which is controlled by the country’s largest automotive distributor PT Astra International, had previously forecast 8 per cent growth this year, from 981,538 tonnes in 2008, but good rainfall in the second half of the year had made it more positive. “Until the end of this year we will be able to produce 1,010,000 tonnes to 1,050,000 tonnes, increasing around 10 percent compared to last year,” vice president director Tonny Hermawan told a media briefing. He also said that production next year should rise by 6-7 per cent next year, helped by expansion plans. Source : Business Times

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