Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia's palm oil export to China and Bangladesh saw a huge jump this February, according to the industry association.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) recently revealed that the country's palm oil export to China witnessed a 55-percent increase from 522,900 tons in January to 809,500 tons a month later.
Indonesia shipped 154,000 tons of palm oil to Bangladesh in February. This marked an estimated 289 percent jump from just 39,600 tons at the beginning of the year.
The figures made China and Bangladesh the top two export destinations for Indonesian palm oil that booked the highest increase volume-wise in February.
"We are also seeing an increase in palm oil exports to the Netherlands," the newly elected Gapki chairman Eddy Martono told reporters in Jakarta on Friday evening.
Data shows Indonesia exported 154,500 tons of palm oil to the Netherlands in February, up from 152,900 tons the previous month. However, exports to the US fell from 207,400 tons at the start of the year to 127,700 tons in February.
According to Eddy, Indonesia's overall palm oil export totaled 5.86 million tons in January-February. The Southeast Asian nation exported 2.91 million tons of palm oil this February, a drop from 2.95 million tons a month earlier. Despite the decline volume-wise, palm oil export value rose from an estimated $2.61 million in January to around $2.69 million the next month.
"So the palm oil industry contributed a total of $5.29 billion to Indonesia's foreign exchange [in the first two months of 2023]. The industry has helped Indonesia to book a trade surplus," Eddy said.
China was the top buyer of Indonesian palm oil last year. Throughout 2022, Indonesia's palm oil exports to China totaled 6.35 million tons. Followed by India (5.54 million tons) and Pakistan (2.83 million tons). The US imported 2.29 million tons of Indonesian palm oil last year, thus ranking fourth place.
Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) production had dropped from 3.89 million tons in January to 3.88 million tons the next month, according to Gapki. Last year, Indonesia produced 46.73 million tons of CPO. Domestic palm oil consumption amounted to 3.59 million tons in January-February. Throughout 2022, palm oil consumption at home stood at 20.98 million tons.