Fri, 04 May 2001

RI wood exports may fall short

JAKARTA (JP): The Ministry of Industry and Trade warned on Thursday Indonesia might not be able to reach the 10 percent growth target for its wood products exports this year due to weak market demand, following the global economic slowdown.

"The best we can do amid the sluggish market is to reach last year's export results," Gatot Ibnusantosa, the director general for chemical, agriculture, and forest product industries at the ministry, said here on Thursday.

Last year, Indonesia exported US$6.7 billion worth of wood products, or 14 percent of the total $47.8 billion non-oil and gas exports that year, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The wood products exports in 2000 include $1.99 billion plywood and veneer products, $1.64 billion furniture and wood components products, $3 billion pulp and paper products, and other wood products valued at $942.3 million.

The global economic slowdown, which started with the Asian economic crisis in 1997, has hit Indonesian major wood export markets, including the United States, Japan, South Korea and Europe.

Theoretically, Indonesia still has a good opportunity to boost its exports, given the fact that today its share in the global wood market is still small.

Citing the ministry's latest data, he said Indonesian exports accounted for only 13 percent, or $2.1 billion of the world's plywood and veneer demand which was worth $15.5 billion in 1998.

The data further indicated that Indonesian furniture exports accounted for 1 percent of the global furniture demand of $50.1 billion that year.

But, in prefabricated woods exports, the country enjoyed a whopping 20 percent share of the global market. (03)