The Jakarta Post
According to the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki), the country’s palm oil exports increased in the first quarter of 2019, despite an alleged smear campaign against the commodity led by the European Union and a global economic slowdown.
Exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative products – such as biodiesel and oleochemical – increased 16 percent to 9.1 million tons in the first quarter, compared to 7.84 million tons exported in the corresponding period last year, said Gapki chairman Joko Supriyono.
“Production and exports increased, although the price was under pressure because of the global economy,” Joko said on the sidelines of a breaking-of-the-fast event in Jakarta on Wednesday evening.
‘We are now busy facing the global slowdown and the threat by Europe, which plans to phase out palm oil [as a raw material for biofuel].”
The EU has classified oil palm as a crop that causes deforestation and should, therefore, be phased out by 2030 in transportation fuel under its Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).
However, Gapki recorded a sharp decline in exports of CPO and its derivative products to India from 516,530 tons in February to only 194,410 tons in March, Joko said, adding that Malaysia also saw a similar decline of its exports to India.
He attributed the decline to the country’s economic slowdown.
There was also a decline in Palm Oil exports to African countries by 38 percent, to the United States by 10 percent, to China by 4 percent and the EU by 2 percent.
However, he added, exports to countries like South Korea, Japan and Malaysia in March increased by 60 percent month-on-month. (ban)