Mon, 03 Jan 2000

Govt maintains CPO price

JAKARTA (JP): The government has decided not to change the benchmark prices of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives in January due to the commodity's stability last month.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade's International Trading Director General, Djoko Moeljono, said the standard prices, which are fixed every month as the base in calculating export tax payment from CPO commodity, remained the same also due to the relatively stable exchange rate of the rupiah against the U.S. dollar.

The standard price for CPO in January will stay at US$120 per metric ton, and its derivatives such as refined bleached deodorized palm oil at $140, crude olein at $150, refined bleached deodorized palm olein at $165 and fresh fruit bunches at $25.

The government gradually lowered export tariffs for the commodity to up to 10 percent recently from as high as 60 percent in early 1998 to secure enough supplies for the domestic market.

In 1999, Indonesia produced 5.7 million tons of CPO, which was 6.3 percent higher than 1998's output of five million tons.

The international price of CPO reached $600 in early 1999 but dropped by over 60 percent to $350 in August.

Official data shows that Indonesia's total CPO export increased significantly to over one million tons worth $445.9 million in the first semester this year from 473,978 tons worth $238.9 million. (06)