Indonesia’s palm oil output is expected to exceed 28 million tonnes this year, industry groups said on Tuesday, adding any impact from the El Nino weather phenomenon forecast for this year is unlikely to affect production until 2015. A strong El Nino can induce droughts and wither crops in Southeast Asia when other parts of the globe are drenched in rains.
So far, however, impact of the El Nino forecast this year had been unseen in Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, said Joko Supriyono, secretary general of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI). “Some forecasters tell us this year (palm oil production) may reach 30 million (tonnes),” Supriyono told reporters. “I see in the Sumatra area it has started to rain and production is getting better this month,” he said, adding that El Nino was expected to affect weather patterns over the next three months. “We will have to see in the coming months,” said Supriyono, who is also a director of Astra Agro Lestari, among the biggest palm oil producers in Indonesia.
He said Indonesia’s crude palm oil output would show a “slight increase” above the 28 million tonnes he forecast in January. “We are still optimistic,” Supriyono said. Derom Bangun, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board (IPOB), said if anything El Ni?o would have a delayed impact on the industry. “If it happens this year, the impact will not be felt this year, but next year,” Bangun said, restating his earlier forecast for production to reach 29.5 million tonnes this year.
Source : Business Recorder