Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Indonesian crude pal oil (CPO) producers predict that the CPO price in the world market will fall further to US$500-US$600 per ton from US$600-US$700 per ton this year.
"Actually it is difficult for me to predict the CPO price next year. But it could be US$500-US$600 per ton based on the prevailing trend in which the price dropped to US$505 per ton in late November 2008," said Derom Bangun, chairman of the Indonesian CPO Producers Association (GAPKI).
He was speaking at an Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and Price Outlook 2009 here on Thursday.
The CPO price during the April-May period in 2008 reached US$1,300 per ton but it later went downward to stand at US$800 per ton in August.
Bangun said he feared the fall in the CPO price constituted a 5-6 year cycle so that he was not sure whether next year the price would recover or even drop further.
At the end of November 2008, the CPO price in the country showed an improvement after the government issued a mandatory policy requiring the use of a mixture of vegetable and fuel oils.
On November 25, the CPO price in Rotterdam was recorded at US$489 per ton but on November 28, it had risen to US$505 per ton.
The same condition also happened at home. On November 25, the price of CPO (FOB) at Belawan/Dumai was Rp5,329 per kg. It rose to Rp5,915 per kg on November 28.
Amid the fall in the CPO prices, however, Chinese investors still are still interested in doing business in the sector.
Meanwhile, according to a report from Medan, a few Chinese investors are planning to invest in palm oil-based biodiesel production in North Sumatra and have in this context sent an exploration team to the province.
"A team of Chinese businessmen is expected to arrive in North Sumatra to talk about their investment plan and survey local conditions," Washington Siregar, acting head of North Sumatra`s plantation office, said in Medan, North Sumatra, on Wednesday.