Indonesia recorded higher exports of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) derivative products, biodiesel, and oleochemicals by eight percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. However, the CPO exports were also down by eight percent last year compared to 2017,  the Indonesian Palm Oil Producer Association (GAPKI) said.

In a press release received by The Palm Scribe on Thursday, GAPKI said that CPO exports and its derivative products, biodiesel and oleochemicals rose by eight percent to 34.71 million tons in 2018, but the CPO export also declined by the same number of percentage to 6.56 million tons.

“The lower CPO exports are showing that Indonesia’s downstream palm oil industry continues to develop so that derivative products with added value, have a higher exports number compared to that of crude palm oil, ”GAPKI’s Executive Director Mukti Sardjono was quoted by the release.

GAPKI also said that the highest export increase was posted by biodiesel, soaring by 851 percent to 1.56 million tons in 2018 after Indonesia won a dispute with the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over alleged biodiesel price dumping practice.

The export of CPO derivative products such as refined CPO and lauric oils, went up by seven percent to 25.46 million tons in 2018 while exports of oleochemicals rose by 16 percent to reach 1.12 million tons in 2018.

The rise in export volume, however, was not followed by its revenues. Lower prices led to less foreign exchange from the exports of CPO and related products reaching only an estimated $20.54 billion, or 11 percent down from the previous year.

GAPKI said that the average CPO price stood at $595.5 per metric ton in 2018 or down 17 percent compared to the average in the previous year, with GAPKi explaining the lower average to a number of factors, including a global glut of vegetable oils, the US-China trade war, and low purchasing power because of slowing down economies in a number of Indonesian palm oil export destination countries.

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