The Jakarta Post
Oil palm tree growers in Indragiri Hulu, Riau province have been experiencing losses amid declines in the price of oil palm fresh fruit bunches to only Rp 600 (4 US cents) per kilogram, from Rp 1,300 per kg in previous months.
Growers are reportedly only keeping around Rp 250 per kg from sales after paying workers to harvest the commodity.
“If we sell the fresh fruit bunches to collectors, the price will only be between Rp 600 and 700 per kilogram. But if we sell directly to palm oil manufacturers, prices could be up to Rp 930 per kilogram,” said Emy Rosyadi, one of the farmers, as quoted by tribunnews.com on Tuesday.
Emy said the price decline had occurred in the last two months.
Joni Sigiro, also a farmer, said he had been selling fresh fruit bunches to collectors because palm oil manufacturers were no longer buying the fruit.
“The price is low because palm oil manufacturers in this area are not buying the fruit because they still have stock,” Joni said.
With such low prices, Emy said, growers were not able to consider ways to improve productivity because they had no money to buy fertilizer.
“It’s difficult for us to even buy food for ourselves,” said Emy, who criticized negative campaigns against the commodity.
Previously, the Trade Ministry has issued a crude palm oil (CPO) reference price for September of US$603.94 per metric ton (MT), which is 4.46 percent lower than the reference price in August, which was set at $632.17 per MT. (bbn)