TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Indian industrial groups making use of oil palm have asked Indonesia to continue importing crude palm oil (CPO).
Should the government revise its export policy for crude oil palm, they would be threatened with having to stop using Indonesian oil palm products.
Indonesia’s yearly exports of oil palm to India are estimated to reach 3.5 tons valued at US$1 billion.
“If Indonesia only offers the processed products, we will seek other sources,' said Director of Solvent Extractors Association of India BV Mehta after a meeting for preparing international conference of oil palm last night (04/03) in Jakarta.
Mehta's statement was a comment on the government's plan of preparing a policy for developing the downstream industry of oil palm.
The development of downstream industry is intended to provide value added for the products.
The government is still drawing up the plan for restricting the export CPO so that downstream industry will be more progressive.
According to Mehta, should the government have desire to apply domestic policy, it must still put the balance over external or export needs.
“The government must have a balanced view,” he said.
India, he said, requires raw materials to be processed in their own country.
Crude oil palm, he said, will be manufactured into palm oil and solid oil such as butter aimed at traditional food consumption.
India's alternative, if they did not get exported crude oil palm, said Mehta, would be soybean.
“You may look at China. It was initially the biggest importer of oil but now an importer of grains,” said Mehta.