Exports of processed cocoa surge more than 100%
Indonesia’s semi-processed and fully-processed cocoa exporst have risen significantly over the last two years, both in terms of volume and value, partly due to the introduction of an export tax on cocoa beans in 2010, according the latest data issued by the Trade Ministry.
Indonesia, the world’s third largest cocoa producer, exported around 137,460 tons of semi-processed cocoa products in 2011, such as cocoa paste and butter, up 60 percent from 2009 with a value topping US$518.9 million, up 107.25 percent from the past two years.
It also sold around 58,010 tons of fully-processed cocoa overseas last year, including cocoa powder and chocolate confectionery, rising by 46.08 percent from 2009, with the value settling at US$209.29 million, up 179.28 percent from 2009.
In line with a major leap in processed cocoa products, exports of cocoa beans also dropped by 51.24 percent to 214,740 tons in 2011 from 2009, while its value slumped by 43.29 percent to $617.09 million during the two year period.
“This reflects that in the last two years, the posture of our cocoa exports have changed from beans-dominated to value-added products as shown by the figures,” Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krishnamurti said on Monday in Jakarta. The significant jump in exports of semi-finished and finished cocoa products was particularly a result of the export tax imposed by the government since 2010, he said.
The local cocoa industry has gradually recovered from a slowdown in 2009, when the number of processing companies shrunk partly due to a shortage of materials as cocoa producers preferred exporting beans due to surging international commodity prices.
The government then introduced a progressive export tax on cocoa in 2010 to help to provide a sufficient supply of cocoa beans for the domestic industry, which processed semi-finished and finished products.
Several new investments – both local and foreign – have entered the cocoa processing industry since then, in addition to firms expanding their production capacities and the local industry has been upbeat about a higher output of processed products in the near future.
“This year the production capacity of our processing industry will reach 400,000 tons annually, while in the first quarter of this year, it has been 80,000 tons,” Indonesian Cacao Industry Association (AIKI) executive director Sindra Wijaya told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
According to Sindra, several existing firms, including BT Cocoa, General Food, Mayora and Cocoa Ventures, upgraded their production capacity, while new comers such as Asia Cocoa Indonesia, Jebe Koko, Barry Callebaut-Comextra Indonesia, and Cargill made new investments in the country, boosting the country’s production capacity of 268,000 tons.
Indonesian exports processed cocoa products, such as cocoa butter to make chocolate bars in the US and European countries and cocoa powder, which is used for chocolate drinks and biscuits, to the Philippines and China.