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Indonesia’s palm oil, biodiesel exports skid in Aug – GAPKI

Palm oil exports by top producer Indonesia fell in August as traders from top buyer India reduced shipments due to high import duties.

Indonesia exported 2.89 million tonnes of palm oil, biodiesel and oleochemical in August, data from the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Thursday, down from 3.30 million tonnes a year earlier and 2.92 million tonnes in July.

Exports of palm oil and palm kernel oil in August were 2.53 million tonnes, down 15% annually but up slightly from July’s 2.51 million tonnes.

Shipments to China and the Middle East rose in August, said GAPKI Executive Director Mukti Sardjono, but exports to India continued to drop due to high duties.

Earlier this week, Indian refiners said they have stopped buying palm oil from rival Malaysia for shipments in November and December fearing New Delhi could raise import taxes or enforce other measures to curb imports from the southeast Asian country.

India is considering restricting imports of some products from Malaysia, including palm oil, after Kuala Lumpur criticised New Delhi for its actions in Kashmir, Reuters reported on Friday.

GAPKI Chairman Joko Supriyono said the import taxes of up to 50% on Indonesian palm oil remain a big burden for local palm producers.

“It is important to maintain market share, because it’s actually shrinking,” Supriyono said.

“If we look into it carefully, in the long term it seems like (palm oil) exports volume to India is rising. But the market share is not, because soya and rapeseed shares are increasing.”

Meanwhile, palm oil output rose in August, sending inventories to the highest so far this year at 3.8 million tonnes, GAPKI said.

Monthly palm and palm kernel oils exports      
 Month         Volume      M/M percent  Y/Y percent
             (mln tonnes)    change        change
 August              2.53        +0.80        -15.38
 July                2.51       +15.67        -10.68
 June                2.17        -9.58         -5.24
 May                 2.40          +18           +12
 April               2.03          -27            -9
 March               2.78        +0.36         +15.8
 February            2.77        -10.6         +16.7
 January             3.10         +5.1         +13.1
 December            2.95         -1.6         +12.4
 November            2.99         -4.8         +14.1
 October             3.14        +5.02         +20.8
 September           2.99            0          +8.3
 August              2.99         +6.0          +0.3
 July                2.81        +22.7         +17.1
 June                2.29         +7.0          +7.5
 May                 2.14         -3.6         -18.3
 April               2.22         -7.4         -13.6
 March               2.40         +1.3          -2.8
 February            2.37        -13.5          -6.3
 January             2.74          4.6           0.7

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Mark Potter and Subhranshu Sahu)

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