Foreign Exchange Of Export Palm Oil Remains Shining Reaches USD 22.9 Billion During Covid-19 Pandemic

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Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sluggish global economy, the palm oil industry has succeeded in proving its existence in the national economy. One of the proofs can be seen from the amount of foreign exchange generated by the export of palm oil-based products.

 

Data from the Central Bureuau of Statistics (BPS) shows the export volume of palm oil-based products (including CPO and RPO, Crude and Refined PKO, biodiesel, and oleochemicals) for the period of January to December 2020 was 33.9 million tons, or lower than the previous year which reached 37.3 million tons. However, the export value of palm oil products in 2020 reach USD 22.9 billion or IDR 321.5 trillion (with an exchange rate of IDR 14,000). The foreign exchange for palm oil product exports this year is even higher than in 2019, which was only USD 20.2 billion.

The sparkling export performance of palm oil products in 2020 has succeeded in bringing them as the main contributor to Indonesia’s export foreign exchange. Even their foreign exchange was greater than foreign exchange from export oil and gas products, as well as mining products.

palm oil; africa

The large foreign exchange value for palm oil product exports was due to an increase in prices especially for CPO and RPO products, meanwhile the export volume of these products has actually decreased due to low global demand. This is confirmed by data from Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) shows an increase in the average monthly CPO price (CIFF Rotterdam) from USD 592 per ton in June 2020 to USD 954 per ton in December 2020. The average price (CIFF Rotterdam) for RPO products (RBD Palm Oil, RBD Palm Olein, and RBD Palm Stearin) also increased by around USD 637 per ton to USD 975 per ton in the same period.

However, this is different from the export perfomance of palm oil-based oleochemical products which also has increased driven by the increase in export volume. During the 2019-2020 period, it’s export volume was increased from 3.1 million tons to 3.8 million tons, while the export value also increased from USD 2 billion to USD 2.6 billion. The high demand of the global consumer for hygienic products such as soap, detergent, hand sanitizer and disinfectant, which their functions to prevent the transmission of the Covid virus also encourages the demand for palm oil-based oleochemicals as one of the raw materials for these hygiene products.

Otherwise, the export performance of biodiesel products has decrease both in terms of export volume and value. This is due to the lockdown policy that is implemented by importer countries to limit economic and social activities as effort to minimize contact and transmission of Covid-19, so that it has an impact on reducing biodiesel demand.

Among the top-five main export destination countries for Indonesian palm oil products, the decline in export volume occurred in China (24.3 percent), European Union (18.5 percent) and United States (1.3 percent). In contrast to these countries above, exports of Indonesian palm oil products to India and Pakistan have increased respectively by 2.1 percent and 12.3 percent in the same periode.

The impact of Covid-19 in China on the decline in demand and consumption of palm products was very large, especially in the first semester of 2020. Apart from the impact of Covid-19, the decline in demand was also related to the soybean harvest in Brazil which was able to reduce pressure on China’s soybean supply due to the trade war with the United States. However, the demand for palm oil products in China gradually recovered in the second semester as economic and social activities in this country returned to normal.

It is expected that exports of palm oil products in 2021 will lead to a positive trend both in terms of volume and value. GAPKI Vice Chairman III, Togar Sitanggang predicts that the performance of Indonesian palm oil exports will increase by 11.5 percent in line with the global economic conditions that are starting to recover gradually.

The increase in exports of Indonesian palm oil products identified by increasing global demand for vegetable oil including palm oil, which is the demand also greatly depends on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccine. This is because the effectiveness of the vaccine program has been carried out in several countries is a positive sentiment in increasing economic activity and contributing to the consumption of vegetable oils (including palm oil). However, we must be aware of the uncertainty and distraction that has an impact on palm oil demand, such as the re-outbreak of Covid-19 in China and other palm oil importer countries.

Meskipun ditengah pandemi Covid-19 dan lesunya perekonomian global, industri sawit berhasil membuktikan eksistensinya dalam perekonomian nasional. Salah satu buktinya dapat dilihat dari besarnya devisa yang dihasilkan oleh ekspor produk sawit.

Data Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) menunjukkan volume ekspor produk sawit  (mencakup CPO dan RPO, Crude dan Refined  PKO, biodiesel dan oleokimia) periode Januari hingga Desember tahun 2020 sebesar 33.9 juta ton, atau lebih rendah dibandingkan tahun sebelumnya yang mencapai 37.3 juta ton. Namun, nilai ekspor produk sawit pada tahun 2020 mencapai USD 22.9 miliar atau sebesar Rp 321.5 triliun (dengan kurs Rp 14,000). Devisa ekspor produk sawit di tahun ini bahkan lebih tinggi dibandingkan tahun 2019 yakni hanya sebesar USD 20.2 miliar.

Kinerja ekspor produk sawit yang sangat berkilau di tahun 2020 juga berhasil membawa produk sawit menyandang predikat sebagai kontributor utama devisa ekspor Indonesia. Bahkan devisa ekspor yang dihasilkan produk sawit di tahun tersebut lebih besar dibandingkan dengan devisa ekspor yang dihasilkan oleh produk migas dan produk tambang.

palm oil; africa

Besarnya devisa nilai ekspor produk sawit pada tahun 2020 lebih disebabkan karena peningkatan harga minyak sawit global khususnya pada produk CPO dan RPO, sementara itu volume ekspor kedua produk sawit tersebut justru mengalami penurunan sebagai dampak dari lemahnya demand global. Hal tersebut terkonfirmasi dari data yang dipublikasikan pada website Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) yang menunjukkan terjadinya peningkatan pada harga rata-rata bulanan CPO CIFF Rotterdam dari USD 592 per ton pada Juni 2020 menjadi USD 954 per ton pada Desember 2020. Harga rata-rata CIFF Rotterdam untuk produk RPO (RBD Palm Oil, RBD Palm Olein dan RBD Palm Stearin) juga mengalami peningkatan dengan kisaran sekitar USD 637 per ton menjadi USD 975 per ton pada periode yang sama.

Namun, berbeda dengan produk oleokimia berbasis sawit dimana peningkatan kinerja ekspor pada tahun ini juga didorong oleh peningkatan volume ekspor. Selama periode tahun 2019-2020, volume ekspor produk tersebut meningkat dari 3.1 juta ton menjadi 3.8 juta ton dengan nilai ekspornya yang juga meningkat dari USD 2 miliar menjadi USD 2.6 miliar. Tingginya demand masyarakat global terhadap produk higenitas seperti sabun, deterjen, hand sanitizer hingga disinfektan yang berfungsi untuk mencegah penularan virus Covid juga turut mendorong permintaan oleokimia sawit sebagai salah satu bahan baku produk higenitas tersebut.

Sebaliknya, kinerja ekspor produk biodiesel mengalami penurunan baik dari sisi volume maupun nilai ekspor. Hal ini disebabkan kebijakan lockdown yang diterapkan oleh negara importir untuk membatasi aktivitas ekonomi dan sosial untuk meminimalisir kontak dan penularan Covid-19 sehingga berdampak pada penurunan demand biodiesel.

Diantara kelima negara tujuan ekspor utama produk sawit Indonesia, penurunan volume ekspor produksi sawit terjadi di China (24.3 persen), Uni Eropa (18.5 persen) dan Amerika Serikat (1.3 persen). Berbanding terbalik dengan ketiga negara diatas, ekspor produk sawit Indonesia ke India dan Pakistan mengalami peningkatan berturut-turut sebesar 2.1 persen dan 12.3 persen.

Dampak Covid-19 di China terhadap penurunan demand dan konsumsi produk sawit sangat besar khususnya pada semester I-2020. Selain dampak Covid-19, menurunnya demand produk sawit di China pada periode tersebut berhubungan juga dengan panen kedelai di Brazil yang mampu meredakan tekanan pasokan kedelai China akibat perang dagang dengan Amerika Serikat. Namun, demand produk sawit di China berangsur pulih pada semester kedua seiring dengan aktivitas ekonomi dan sosial di negara tersebut kembali berjalan normal.

Diharapkan ekspor produk sawit tahun 2021 mengarah pada tren positif baik dari sisi volume maupun nilai. Wakil Ketua Umum III Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (GAPKI), Togar Sitanggang memprediksi kinerja ekspor sawit Indonesia meningkat hingga 11.5 persen seiring dengan kondisi ekonomi global yang mulai berangsur pulih.

Peningkatan ekspor produk sawit Indonesia yang dicirikan dengan meningkatnya permintaan global terhadap minyak nabati termasuk minyak sawit juga sangat tergantung dari efektivitas vaksin Covid-19. Hal ini dikarenakan keberhasilan program vaksin yang telah dilakukan di beberapa negara dunia menjadi sentimen positif dalam peningkatan aktivitas ekonomi dan turut mendukung konsumsi minyak nabati termasuk minyak sawit. Namun, kita harus waspada dengan ketidakpastian dan distraksi yang berdampak pada permintaan minyak sawit seperti mewabahnya kembali Covid-19 China dan negara importir sawit lainnya.

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