Positive Trends of Indonesian Palm Oil Export To Pakistan

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Pakistan is one of the main export destinations for Indonesian palm oil, which is in the 4th position with export share of 7.9% in 2019. This is because the country has large domestic vegetable oil market potential. Domestic vegetable oil demand continues to increase in line with the increasing population, which is estimated to reach 220 million people by 2020.

Increasing purchasing power due to the growing middle income-class also contributed to the increasing of vegetable oils in Pakistan. In addition, the shifting in the appetite of the Pakistani both in urban and rural areas from consuming animal oil to vegetable oil is also a factor that drives the demand for vegetable oil in this country is getting bigger.

Based on the comsuption structure of vegetable oil in Pakistan, palm oil is the main vegetable oil consumed by the Pakistani with a proportion reached 66 percent or 3.19 million tons in 2018. The large of palm oil consumption is due to the lower price of palm oil compared to other vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, corn oil, or soybean oil.

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Most of the palm oil is used by the food industry as a raw material to produce Vanasphati Ghee. Vanasphati Ghee is an oil or fat with a semi-solid texture and is a suspension made from refined vegetable oil. Besides this product, palm oil also used by other such as other food industries (cooking oil, margarine, shortening), cosmetics industries and toiletries (soap) industries.

To fulfill the growing demand for palm oil, so that the Pakistan Government imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. Before 2014, the imported palm oil market in Pakistan was dominated by Malaysia, but since the implementation of the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (IP-PTA), this has implications for making Indonesian as the largest exporter in Pakistan. This is confirmed by global trade data which shows Indonesia’s market share in 2019 was 80.6%, while Malaysia’s market share was only 19.4%.

Even during the global economic recession due to the pandemic, Pakistan became one of the export destinations for Indonesia’s palm oil which showed a positive trend in export performance. Indonesia’s palm oil (CPO + RPO) exports to Pakistan reached 1.83 million tons with an export value of USD 1.15 billion in January-October 2020 period. When compared with the export performance in the same period at 2019, which was 1.78 million tons or USD 915.89 million. It can be concluded that the export performance of Indonesia’s palm oil to Pakistan has increased.

However, amidst the performance of imported palm oil market in Pakistan that more bright, it has triggered trade barriers, one of which is the Punjab Food Authority (PFA), which is the health and food product control authority in Pakistan. This institution has issued a recomendation banning the consumption of Vanasphati Ghee from palm oil, because it is considered endangered health since October 2017. Regarding this recommendations, it received various responses, one of which was from the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) who responded that recomendation was baseless and contradicted with Pakistan’s national standard policies.

However, after going through various meetings, both official and unofficial, and discussions between the Pakistan Government and private parties regarding these constraints, finally, the recommendation to ban the consumption of Vanasphati Ghee from palm oil was officially abolished at the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) meeting in Karachi on April 10, 2019. In the meeting, it was also agreed that the decision to make Vanasphati Ghee production would still be allowed, however the trans fat levels had to be reduced gradually to keep it safe for consumption by Pakistani consumers.

The success story of trade diplomacy to reduce trade barriers of palm oil in Pakistan has again opened the way for strengthening the palm oil market in that country. Not only dominating the Pakistani palm oil market, but Indonesia also has the opportunity to enter the markets of other countries such as the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia by using Pakistan as a trade and investment hub. In other words, Pakistan can become a gateway to access the broader market for Indonesian palm oil.

Pakistan merupakan salah satu negara tujuan utama ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia yang menempati posisi ke-4 dengan pangsa ekspor sebesar 7.9% tahun 2019. Hal ini dikarenakan negara tersebut memiiki potensi pasar domestik untuk komoditas minyak nabati yang besar. Permintaan minyak nabati domestik terus meningkatkan seiring dengan meningkatnya populasi penduduk yang diperkirakan mencapai 220 juta jiwa pada tahun 2020.

Meningkatnya daya beli akibat semakin banyak masyarakat middle income-class juga turut mendorong meningkatnya minyak nabati Pakistan. Selain itu, pergeseran selera penduduk Pakistan baik di perkotaan maupun pedesaan yang semula mengkonsumsi minyak hewani menjadi minyak nabati menyebabkan permintaan minyak nabati negara ini semakin besar.

Berdasarkan struktur konsumsi minyak nabati Pakistan, minyak sawit merupakan minyak nabati utama yang dikonsumsi oleh masyarakat Pakistan dengan proporsi mencapai 66 persen atau 3.19 juta ton pada tahun 2018. Tingginya konsumsi minyak sawit disebabkan karena harga minyak sawit yang lebih murah dibandingkan minyak nabati lainnya seperti minyak rapeseed, minyak jagung, atau minyak kedelai.

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Sebagian besar minyak sawit digunakan oleh industri pangan sebagai campuran bahan baku untuk memproduksi Vanasphati Ghee. Vanasphati Ghee merupakan minyak atau lemak dengan tekstur semi padat dan berupa suspensi yang terbuat dari minyak nabati yang telah mengalami proses pemurnian. Selain industri Vanasphati Ghee, minyak sawit juga digunakan oleh industri lainnya seperti industri pangan lainnya (minyak goreng, margarin, shortening) serta industri kosmetik dan toilleteries (sabun).

Untuk memenuhi permintaan minyak sawit yang semakin tinggi, Pemerintah Pakistan mengimpor minyak sawit dari Indonesia dan Malaysia. Sebelum tahun 2014, pasar minyak sawit impor Pakistan dikuasai oleh Malaysia namun sejak diimplementasikannya Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (IP PTA), berimplikasi menjadikan Indonesia sebagai ekspotir minyak sawit terbesar di Pakistan. Hal tersebut terkonfirmasi dari data perdagangan global yang menunjukkan pangsa pasar Indonesia pada tahun 2019 sebesar 80.6% sedangkan pangsa pasar Malaysia hanya sebesar 19.4%.

Bahkan di masa resesi ekonomi global akibat pandemi, Pakistan menjadi salah satu negara tujuan ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia yang menunjukkan kinerja ekspor dengan tren yang positif. Ekspor minyak sawit (CPO+RPO) Indonesia ke Pakistan mencapai 1.83 juta ton dengan nilai ekspor sebesar USD 1.15 miliar periode Januari-Oktober 2020. Jika dibandingkan dengan kinerja ekspor periode yang sama tahun 2019 yakni sebesar 1.78 juta ton senilai USD 915.89 juta, dapat disimpulkan bahwa kinerja ekspor sawit Indonesia ke Pakistan mengalami peningkatan.

Namun, ditengah kinerja pasar minyak sawit impor di Pakistan yang semakin cemerlang, memicu adanya hambatan dagang salah satunya dari Punjab Food Authority (PFA) yang merupakan otoritas pengawasan kesehatan dan produk makanan Pakistan. Lembaga tersebut mengeluarkan rekomendasi pelarangan mengkonsumsi Vanasphati Ghee dari minyak sawit, karena dianggap membahayakan kesehatan sejak Oktober 2017. Terkait rekomendasi pelarangan yang dikeluarkan oleh PFA tersebut mendapat berbagai respon, salah satunya dari Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturer’s Association (PVMA) yang menanggapi bahwa rekomendasi tersebut tidak berdasar dan bertentangan dengan kebijakan standar nasional Pakistan.

Namun, setelah melalui berbagai pertemuan baik resmi maupun tidak dan pembahasan antara Pemerintah Pakistan dan pihak swasta di negara tersebut terkait kendala tersebut, akhirnya rekomendasi pelarangan konsumsi Vanasphati Ghee yang berasal dari minyak sawit resmi dihapuskan pada saat pertemuan Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) di Karachi pada 10 April 2019. Dalam pertemuan tersebut juga disepakati pula keputusan terkait produksi Vanasphati Ghee yang tetap diizinkan, namun kadar lemak trans harus dikurangi bertahap agar tetap aman dikonsumsi oleh konsumen Pakistan.

Keberhasilan diplomasi dagang untuk mengurangi hambatan perdagangan minyak sawit di Pakistan kembali membuka jalan untuk penguatan pasar minyak sawit di negara tersebut. Bahkan tidak hanya mendominasi pasar minyak sawit Pakistan, Indonesia juga berpeluang memasuki pasar negara-negara lain seperti kawasan Timur Tengah, Asia Selatan dan Asia Tengah dengan memanfaatkan Pakistan sebagai hub perdagangan dan investasi. Dengan kata lain, Pakistan dapat menjadi pintu gerbang akses pasar minyak sawit Indonesia yang lebih luas.

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