Indonesia's palm oil exports surge by 8.9 percent in first half
JAKARTA, (Xinhua) Indonesia's palm oil exports increased by 8.9 percent in the first half of this year to 8.2 million tons, up from 7.47 million tons in the same period last year, the Jakarta Post quoted an official as saying on Wednesday.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI)'s Chairman Fadhil Hasan said that projections were exceeded as exports had been almost half of the projected total this year.
The GAPKI projected this year's export to reach 17 million tons, up by 8.97 percent from the 15.6 million tons exported last year. The 2010 figure was only a 0.8 percent increase from 15.53 million tons in 2009.
"Usually, demand soars in the second semester, mainly due to various festivities such as Idul Fitri and Christmas, and still relies mainly on key buyers," he told the Jakarta Post.
Hasan said the first semester rise was driven by higher demand from major buyers, including India, the European Union and China.
This year, worries over climate change impacts that cut harvests have pushed buyers to buy large quantities of agricultural commodities, including palm oil, partly for stocks," he said.
Hasan added that various constraints over the country's palm oil, such as environmental concerns linked to expanding palm oil plantations, dubbed by local growers as "negative campaigns", had so far not hindered exports, as shown by surging demands from the EU.
The EU imported 1.63 million tons of palm oil in the first semester this year, up 10.88 percent from 1.47 million tons in the same period in 2010, making it the second-largest importer of Indonesia's palm oil.