Even in the Covid-19 Pandemic, Foreign Exchange of Palm Oil Reached USD 5.3 Billion
The Indonesian palm oil industry once again established itself as an economic savior even during the Covid-19 onslaught. Based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (Badan Pusat Statistik/BPS), the export value of palm oil and it’s derivatives products in January-March or TW-1/2020 has accumulatively reached USD 5.3 billion. The export value has increased about 9.6 percent from the same period last year.
The main contributor to the export value is exports to India, which has increased about 58 percent compared to last year. The value of palm oil exports to the European Union and the United States of America also recorded positive growth. Meanwhile, the export value of palm oil products to China has decreased by 36 percent due to the sting of Covid-19 since December 2019.
The export foreign exchange generated by palm oil and its derivative products made Indonesia’s trade balance of TW1/2020 relish a surplus of USD 2.6 billion.
If there were no oil palm exports, Indonesia’s trade balance in that period would have a deficit of USD 2.7 billion. Fortunately there are palm oil exports, so that Indonesia’s trade balance continues to relish a surplus. Once again, the foreign exchange contribution shows how important the palm oil industry is as saving the national trade balance even in the difficult times like in the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The palm oil’s foreign exchange is needed to add to the “fresh blood” of the Indonesian economy, which is suffering from “anemia” due to COVID-19. With a rupiah exchange rate of around Rp.15000, the palm oil foreign exchange of USD 5.3 billion is equivalent to Rp. 80 trillion. The foreign exchange generated by the palm oil and it’s derivatives is slightly larger than the health fund that spent by the government to resolve the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, which is around Rp.75 trillion. The results of the palm oil foreign exchange from January to March 2020 are economically able to finance the Covid-19 treatment intervention program in Indonesia.
Dr. Tungkot Sipayung,
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