February 6, 2019 / 8:03 AM / 17 days ago

Indonesia's 2018 palm oil exports rise 8 percent: GAPKI

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past a palm oil-based refinery plant owned by Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) in Marunda, West Java March 30, 2011. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s 2018 exports of palm oils, including oleochemical and biodiesel shipments, rose 8 percent from a year earlier to 34.6 million tonnes, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Wednesday.

Shipments to China and Pakistan rose last year, supporting global demand for the vegetable oil, GAPKI chairman Joko Supriyono told reporters.

Meanwhile, shipments to India dived 12 percent due to higher import tariffs imposed by the world’s biggest vegetable oil buyer. Exports to European Union countries also dropped.

Excluding the oleochemical and biodiesel, Indonesia exported 32 million tonnes of palm and palm kernel oils.

Last year, crude palm oil output by Indonesia, the world’s top producer, jumped 12.5 percent to 43 million tonnes, its highest output in history after a bumper harvest.

In 2019, crude palm oil output was estimated to increase by 4 percent-5 percent, Supriyono said.

Domestic use of palm oil “jumped significantly” to 13.4 million tonnes last year, Supriyono added, due to higher biodiesel usage and for cooking purposes.

Domestic use of biodiesel in 2019 seen rising to at least 6.2 million kilolitres, from 4.3 million kilolitres in 2018, Paulus Tjakrawan, vice chairman of Indonesia’s Biodiesel Producers Association, said.

Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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