Gapki: Palm Product Exports Decreased 11 Percent, Oleochemicals Raised 24 Percent

The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) noted that theexportofpalm oilderivative products, namely oleochemicals, which are used as raw material for cleaning, grew significantly by 24 percent during the first semester of 2020.

Chairman ofGapki, Joko Supriyono explained that oleochemicals, which are chemicals derived from palm oil products, have become raw materials for cleaning, ranging from soap, hand sanitizers, to disinfectants.

Market demand for oleochemicals has also increased, along with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which demands the importance of sanitation or cleaning materials for community use

“What is interesting is that our exports fell 11 percent, but oleochemical exports increased significantly. Oleochemical exports ‘year on year’ through June rose 24 percent,” Joko said at a press conference on the performance of the palm oil industry in Jakarta, Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

Joko specified that the overall export of palm products from January to June 2020 fell by 11 percent, due to weak market demand for this commodity.

The weakening demand was influenced by the implementation of regional quarantine (lockdown) in a number of major palm export markets, namely China, which fell 43 percent, Bangladesh 22 percent, the Middle East 18 percent, Africa 11 percent and the European Union 9 percent.

On the other hand, oleochemical exports actually recorded a positive performance with a growth of 24 percent, compared to the January-June 2019 period.

On the same occasion, Chairman of the Indonesian Oleochemical Producers Association (Apolin) Rapolo Hutabarat explained that the export volume of oleochemicals in January-June reached 1.8 million tons with a value of US $ 1.3 billion.

Rapolo projects that if demand continues to grow, total oleochemical exports by the end of the year could reach 3.7 million tons with a value of US $ 2.6 billion.

When compared to before, oleochemical exports in 2018 only reached 2.8 million tonnes with a value of US $ 2.4 billion.Then, the export volume in 2019 jumped to 3.2 million tons, but in terms of value there was a decrease to US $ 2 billion.

Meanwhile, the domestic market also saw an increase in consumption.In the first half of this year, domestic consumption has reached 1.6 million tons, or an increase of 38 percent from the same period last year of 1 million tons.

“For both export and domestic consumption, oleochemical products have increased. It is true that almost all people in the world have sanitary equipment in their activities,” said Rapolo.