Will Palm Oil Consumption be Recover in 2021?

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The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 was a tough year for the national palm oil industry. The pandemic and the lockdown policy or Pembatasan Sosial Skala Besar (PSBB) policy had an impact on reducing palm oil consumption in the domestic market, and also weakened the demand for importer countries, thereby reducing the performance of Indonesia’s palm oil exports.

The decline in palm oil consumption in the domestic market occurred in the food industry. Limited operating hours until the closure of FnB industries such as restaurant, cafe, hotel, or food traders MSME as an implication of social restriction policies in order to prevent the spreading of the Covid-19 virus, leading to decresed consumption of palm oil-based food products that are widely used by these industries such as cooking oil, butter, noodles, and other food products.

This is confirmed by Togar Sitanggang‘s presentation in the Virtual Indonesia Palm Oil Conferences 2020, which was states that the consumption of palm oil by the food industry has decreased by 16.5 percent compared to 2019. His statement also in accordance with GIMNI‘s estimation which states that production oleofood products in 2020 was only around 6.4 million tons, or missed from the initial production prediction around 7.1 million tons.

In contrast to the oleofood industry, the biodiesel and oleochemical industries has increase in palm oil consumption in 2020. The increase of blending rate biodiesel from 20 percent to 30 percent in the mandatory B30 policy caused palm oil absorption to increase from 5.8 million tons to 7.2 million tons or equal to 23.48 percent. Although due to PSBB policy has caused the decresed demand for biodiesel by 12 percent, experts of the global vegetable oil market have admitted that the consistency of the Indonesian Government in implmenting mandatory B30 policy amidst the Pandemic is considered successful policy to saving the national palm oil industry and being a game-changer in global palm oil demand.

The increase in consumption of hygienic products such as soap, detergent, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant which is quite significant in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, has also contributed to increasing consumption of palm oil as one of the raw materials for these products. It is recorded an increase in demand for palm oil for the oleochemical industry reached 48.96 percent from 2019.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s palm oil export performance in 2020 experienced a decline as an implication of the lockdown policy that was widely implemented in Asian and European countries. The decline in export volume occurred for CPO, RPO, Lauric, and biodiesel products, while the export volume of oleochemicals increased. However, along with the improvement in economic conditions in countries that are affected by Covid-19, followed by the opening of port access in importer countries, the export performance of Indonesian palm oil products has increased since the third quarter and fourth quarter in 2020.

Although it has decreased in export volume, the export value of palm oil has increased. This is due to the increase in global palm oil price in 2020, even the appreciation of it’s price have reached the highest level in the last 10 years. The implication is that palm oil products are the main contributor to generating export foreign exchange on Indonesia’s trade balance in this year.

palm oil

Then the question is, how consumption palm oil projection in 2021? Has continued to decline or has it recovered?


Palm oil market expert agree that palm oil consumption in domestic market continues to increase. This was revealed by the Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association (GAPKI), Togar Sitanggang, who estimated that domestic palm oil consumption in 2021 would increase, which are food industry by 2.4 percent, the oleochemical industry by 12.5 percent, and the biodiesel industry by 11 percent.

Along with the recovery of economic and social activities due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, which was shown by the revival of activities in the catering/FnB industry such as restaurant, hotels, or MSME traders, which are almost running normally by implementing new normal adaptations are expected to increase demand for palm oil-based food products and hygiene products, as well as biodiesel.

The implementation of the B30 policy was also re-implemented. APROBI has also targeted biodiesel (B30) production in 2021 to reach 9.2 million kiloliters. With the implementation of the Minister of Finance Regulation (PMK) 191/2020 regarding the latest export levy tariffs, it is hoped that it will be able to increase BPDPKS’s funds to continue carrying out the B30 mandatory policy. One of Socio-Techno Economic researcher in IOPRI, Ratnawati Nurkhoiry M.Sc, also emphasized that domestic palm oil consumption in 2021 still expects the role of the B30 program.

Meanwhile, the export performance of Indonesian palm oil products in 2021 is estimated not to recover. The General Chairperson of GAPKI, Joko Supriyono, explained that the factors affecting the export market were due to the different economic situation of the destination export countries, there were some countries that had recovered their economies but there also some countries that experienced the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, Indonesia’s palm oil export performance has not yet recovered due to the adaptation of the new normal which may affect changes in consumption behavior.

The phenomenon of the high price trend of palm oil is predicted will occur until the first quarter of 2021, also has the potential to reduce competitiveness and demand especially in very price-sensitive importer countries such as India and China. In fact, exports of palm oil products to these two countries are gradually recovering as industrial activity returns to normal operations and access to export-import ports is open again.

Although there are many uncertainty variables that will affect global palm oil consumption in 2021, positive sentiment regarding the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine is expected to have a positive effect on global economic recovery so that Indonesia’s palm oil exports will recover and the absorption/consumpetion of palm oil by the domestic industry will also increase.

Pandemi Covid-19 yang berlangsung sepanjang tahun 2020 menjadi tahun yang cukup berat bagi industri kelapa sawit nasional. Pandemi dan kebijakan lockdown atau Pembatasan Sosial Skala Besar (PSBB) berdampak pada menurunnya konsumsi minyak sawit di pasar domestik, dan juga turut melemahkan permintaan negara importir sehingga menurunkan kinerja ekspor sawit Indonesia.

Penurunan konsumsi minyak sawit di pasar domestik pada tahun 2020 terjadi pada industri pangan. Terbatasnya jam operasional hingga ditutupnya FnB industry seperti restauran, cafe, hotel atau UMKM pedagang makanan sebagai implikasi dari kebijakan pembatasan sosial dalam rangka mencegah penyebaran virus Covid-19, menyebabkan konsumsi produk pangan berbasis minyak sawit yang banyak digunakan oleh industri tersebut seperti minyak goreng, mentega, mie dan produk pangan lainnya juga mengalami penurunan.

Hal tersebut terkonfirmasi dari paparan Togar Sitanggang dalam webinar Virtual Indonesia Palm Oil Conferences 2020, yang menyatakan bahwa konsumsi minyak sawit oleh industri pangan menurun sebesar 16.5 persen dibandingkan tahun 2019. Pernyataan tersebut juga sesuai dengan perkiraan GIMNI yang menyebutkan bahwa produksi oleopangan nasional hingga akhir tahun 2020 hanya sekitar 6.4 juta ton atau meleset dari prediksi awal yang mencapai 7.1 juta ton.

Berbeda dengan industri oleopangan, industri biodiesel dan industri oleokimia justru mengalami peningkatan konsumsi minyak sawit di tahun 2020. Peningkatan blending rate minyak sawit dari 20 persen menjadi 30 persen dalam kebijakan mandatori B30 menyebabkan penyerapan minyak sawit meningkat dari 5.8 juta ton menjadi 7.2 juta ton atau sebesar 23.48 persen. Meskipun akibat kebijakan PSBB yang menyebabkan permintaan biodiesel mengalami penurunan hingga 12 persen, namun para pengamat pasar minyak nabati global telah mengakui bahwa konsistensi Pemerintah Indonesia untuk menjalankan kebijakan B30 ditengah Pandemi, dianggap kebijakan yang sukses untuk menyelamatkan industri sawit nasional dan menjadi game changer pada aspek permintaan minyak sawit dunia.

Peningkatan konsumsi produk higenitas seperti sabun, deterjen, hand sanitizer hingga disinfektan yang cukup signifikan di tengah pandemi Covid-19, juga turut meningkatkan konsumsi minyak sawit sebagai salah satu bahan baku produk higenitas tersebut. Tercatat peningkatan permintaan minyak sawit untuk industri oleokimia mencapai 48.96 persen dari tahun 2019.

Sementara itu, kinerja ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia pada tahun 2020 mengalami penurunan sebagai implikasi dari kebijakan lockdown yang banyak diterapkan di negara Asia dan Eropa. Penurunan volume ekspor terjadi pada produk CPO, RPO, Lauric, dan biodiesel, sedangkan volume ekspor oleokimia mengalami peningkatan. Namun, seiring dengan perbaikan kondisi perekonomian di negara-negara terdampak Covid-19 yang diikuti dengan terbukanya akses pelabuhan di negara importir menyebabkan kinerja ekspor produk sawit Indonesia mengalami peningkatan sejak kuartal ketiga dan berlanjut pada kuartal keempat tahun 2020.

Meskipun dari sisi volume mengalami penurunan, namun nilai ekspor minyak sawit mengalami peningkatan. Hal ini disebabkan karena meningkatnya harga minyak sawit global Indonesia tahun 2020, bahkan apresiasi harga sawit ini disebut mencapai level yang tertinggi selama 10 tahun terakhir. Implikasinya produk sawit menjadi kontributor utama menghasilkan devisa ekspor pada neraca perdagangan Indonesia tahun ini.

palm oil

Kemudian yang menjadi pertanyaan, bagaimana konsumsi minyak sawit di tahun 2021? Apakah konsumsi minyak sawit tetap menurun atau sudah kembali pulih?

Para pengamat industri sawit sepakat menyatakan bahwa konsumsi minyak sawit di pasar domestik tetap meningkat. Hal tersebut diungkapkan oleh Wakil Ketua Umum III Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (GAPKI), Togar Sitanggang yang memperkirakan konsumsi minyak sawit domestik tahun 2021 mengalami peningkatan dengan rincian industri pangan sebesar 2.4 persen, industri oleokimia sebesar 12.5 persen dan industri biodiesel sebesar 11 persen.

Seiring dengan pemulihan aktivitas ekonomi dan sosial akibat Pandemi Covid-19 yang ditunjukkan dengan kembali menggeliatnya aktivitas pada catering industry seperti operasional restauran, hotel atau UMKM pedagang yang hampir berjalan normal namun tetap menerapkan adaptasi kebiasaan baru (5M), diperkirakan mampu meningkatkan permintaan terhadap produk pangan dan produk higenitas berbasis minyak sawit serta biodiesel.

Implementasi kebijakan B30 juga kembali diterapkan. APROBI juga telah menargetkan produksi biodiesel (B30) tahun 2021 mencapai 9.2 juta kiloliter. Dengan diimplementasikannya kebijakan PMK 191/2020 terkait tarif baru pungutan ekspor diharapkan mampu menambah dana BPDPKS untuk tetap menjalankan mandatori B30. Ketua Kelompok Peneliti Sosio Tekno Ekonomi PPKS, Ratnawati Nurkhoiry M.Sc, juga menegaskan bahwa konsumsi minyak sawit domestik masih mengharapkan peran dari program B30.

Sementara itu, kinerja ekspor produk sawit Indonesia di tahun 2021 diperkirakan belum pulih. Ketua Umum GAPKI, Joko Supriyono menjelaskan bahwa faktor yang mempengaruhi pasar ekspor dikarenakan perbedan situasi perekonomian negara tujuan, ada negara yang telah pulih perekonomiannya tetapi ada juga negara yang mengalami gelombang ketiga pandemi Covid-19. Selain itu, belum pulihnya kinerja ekspor sawit Indonesia juga disebabkan karena adaptasi new normal yang akan mungkin akan mempengaruhi perubahan perilaku dalam konsumsi.

Fenomena trend harga minyak sawit yang berada pada level tinggi yang diperkirakan akan terjadi sampai kuartal 1-2021, juga berpotensi menurunkan daya saing dan permintaan khususnya pada negara importir yang tergolong price-sensitive seperti India dan China. Padahal ekspor produk sawit ke kedua negara tersebut berangsur-angsur pulih seiring dengan aktivitas industri yang kembali beroperasi normal dan akses pelabuhan ekspor-impor kembali terbuka.

Meskipun banyak variabel ketidakpastian yang akan mempengaruhi konsumsi minyak sawit global tahun 2021, namun sentimen positif terkait efektivitas vaksin Covid-19 diharapkan membawa pengaruh positif terhadap pemulihan ekonomi global sehingga ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia kembali pulih dan penyerapan minyak sawit oleh industri domestik juga semakin meningkat.

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