TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia's palm oil exports hit a record high of US$22.97 billion last year, the Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said. The palm oil exports in 2017 represented a 26 percent increase compared to US$18.22 billion a year earlier, GAPKI Secretary General Togar Sitanggang said in a discussion on "the reflection of 2017 palm oil industry and its prospects for 2018" held in Jakarta on Tuesday.
According to GAPKI, the country's export of crude palm oil and its derivatives excluding biodiesel and oleochemical in 2017 reached 31.05 million tons, up 23 percent from 25.11 million tons the year before. Indonesia's palm oil exports to almost its main export destinations rose in 2017, with India recording the significant increase in the volume and value of palm oil imports from Indonesia, Togar said.
India's palm oil imports from Indonesia reached 7.63 million tons, up 32 percent or 1.84 million tons compared to 5.78 million tons a year earlier. Palm oil exports to African countries also jumped 50 percent to 2.29 million tons in 2017 from 1.52 million tons in the previous year, while palm oil exports to China increased 16 percent to 3.73 million tons from 3.23 million tons.
Palm oil exports to European Union countries rose 15 percent from 4.37 million tons in 2016 to 5.03 million tons in 2017, while palm oil exports to Pakistan went up 7 percent from 2.07 million tons to 2.21 million tons, the United States 9 percent from 1.08 million tons to 1.18 million tons.
Indonesia also recorded a 7 percent surge in its palm oil exports to Bangladesh from 922.85 thousand tons to 1.26 million tons and a 7 percent increase in its palm oil exports to Middle Eastern countries from 1.98 million tons to 2.12 million tons. Togar predicted that Indonesia's palm oil exports will further increase in 2018, along with the global population growth and increasing palm oil consumption.
"Palm oil will still have higher competitiveness than other vegetable oils because of its low price. Palm oil is also much used and cannot be replaced with other vegetable oil," he said.