Indonesia’s palm oil output, exports rise in July: survey; keeps export tax at zero for September

Production and exports of palm oil from Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of the vegetable oil, rose in July from a month earlier, said a Reuters survey of two industry groups and a state palm oil research firm.

Palm oil production is expected to have reached 3.897 million tonnes in July from 3.45 million tonnes in June, according to the survey.

Exports of palm oil, widely used in variety of food and cleaning products, rose to 2.887 million tonnes from 2.48 million tonnes in June, the survey showed.

Survey respondents said they see healthy overseas demand for palm last month, such as from top buyer India.

In comparison, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) reported palm and palm kernel oils exports of 2.81 million tonnes in July, up 23 per cent from a month earlier and 17 per cent on annual basis. Its figures often differ from numbers given by respondents in the regular Reuters survey.

The survey also showed domestic use of the vegetable oil was seen at 950,000 tonnes last month, down from 994,550 tonnes in June. By end-July, palm oil stocks were estimated at 4.30 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Indonesia will keep the export tax for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) at zero and cocoa beans at 5 per cent in September, the country’s trade ministry said. Export tax for cocoa has been set at 5 per cent since July, while exports of CPO have not been taxed in over a year.

The government estimated its reference price of palm oil to stay below a threshold of US$750 per tonne and below $2,750 for cocoa beans.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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