The Palm Scribe

Indonesian Palm Oil Output and Exports drops in January 2021, Domestic Consumption up

Indonesia produced and exported respectively 7.1 percent and 7.7 percent less palm oil in January 2021 compared to the previous month while domestic consumption of the commodity rose slightly by 1.1 percent, the Association of Indonesian Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said Wednesday (17/3.)

Production of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) in January only reached 3.421 million tons and 334,000 tons respectively, the association said in a press release, adding that the drop was part of a seasonal trend but which was exacerbated by flooding in a number of palm oil producing regions.

Palm Oil exports went down by 7.7 percent in January 2021 with the steepest drop, 54.6 percent, experienced by CPO exports. Exports of oleochemicals weakened by 8.7 percent compared to December 2020, the first ever drop since January 2020.

“This is possibly because December 2020 exports were very high at 3.5 million ton (the highest in 2020) so that available stocks in importing countries would be quite high,” the release said.

In terms of value, palm oil export in January went down by 8.0 percent to $2.596 billion.

Overall palm oil consumption rose by 1.1 percent in January compared to the previous month, or 1.5 percent year-on-year. The consumption for food products rose by 5,5 percent to 763,000 tons in line with the upward trend of this type of consumption so far during the Covid-19 pandemic from June 2020 onward. Consumption of oleochemicals, however, weakened by 19.6 percent in January 2021, the first drop in a year.

Palm oil consumption for biodiesel also went down slightly, by 0.7 percent, but as a whole, the drops were still offset by the rise in palm oil consumption in the food product sector.

Exports to China, the largest export destination for Indonesian palm oil, saw a drop of 28 percent or by 166,400 tons, while exports to Malaysia dropped by 166,200 ton, or 77 percent. India, the second largest absorber of Indonesian palm oil exports, saw its intake drop by 136,200 tons or 41 percent while those to the Netherland fell by 80,000 tons or 81 percent.  Myanmar saw its intake of Indonesian palm oil rise by 51 percent in January to 852,000 ton.

In 2017, Indonesia exported palm oil to some 160 countries with around 90 percent absorbed by the top 20 export destination countries. 

China, India and Pakistan were the top three importers, followed by the Netherlands, Malaysia, Spain, The United States, Bangladesh, Italy, Egypt, Myanmar, Russia, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, the Arab United Emirates, Ukraine, South Africa and Tanzania.

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