Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesian palm oil exports to China and India are facing a decline, according to data from the industry association released on Tuesday.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) said that while the overall palm oil export booked double-digit growth in September, Indonesia sent far less of its top commodity to China and India compared to the previous month.
According to Gapki, Indonesia only exported 781,000 tons of palm oil to China in September. This marks a 15.11 percent decrease compared to the China-bound palm oil exports in August, which totaled 920,000 tons.
"[Palm oil] exports to India also dropped from 744,000 tons in August to 352,000 tons in September," Mukti Sardjono, the executive director at Gapki, said in a statement.
In other words, Indonesia shipped only half of what it had exported to India in August.
According to Gapki, Indonesia's total palm oil exports totaled almost 2.69 million tons in September. This is an approximately 29.9 percent increase from August's exports of 2.07 million tons. Palm oil exports in September were worth $2.11 billion.
Processed CPO exports rose from around 1.25 million tons in August to 1.97 million tons the following month. CPO exports dropped from 317,000 tons to 233,000 tons over the same period. Oleochemical exports also went down from 416,000 tons in August to 333,000 tons the following month.
Indonesia's exports of palm oil were worth $39.07 billion throughout 2022, reaching about 33.93 million tons in volume. Gapki reported palm oil exports already amounted to $21.31 billion or equivalent to 24.6 million tons in the first nine months of 2023.
Earlier reports put China as the top buyer of Indonesian palm oil last year with exports reaching 6.35 million tons. Followed by India (5.54 million tons) and Pakistan (2.83 million tons).
Government data shows bilateral trade between India and Indonesia totaled almost $20 billion in January-September 2023. Indonesia-China trade stood at $93.44 billion over the said period.