Palm Oil Contribute the Biggest Foreign Exchange During the Covid Pandemic

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Palm Oil During Pandemic

The palm oil industry has again shown its superiority. Even in the Covid-19 pandemic, the palm oil industry was still able to contribute foreign exchange of USD 10.06 billion in Semester 1/2020. Compared to the same period in 2019, where foreign exchange generated from exports of palm oil and its derivative products (oleochemicals and biodiesel) was only USD 9.46 billion. It means that the export foreign exchange generated by the palm oil industry in this period is greater than the previous period.

Foreign exchange exports of palm oil and its processed products also succeeded in contribute to creating Indonesia’s trade balance surplus of USD 5.5 billion in the same period. With such a large foreign exchange value, the palm oil industry has placed the largest foreign exchange earner among other national export industry sectors. Meanwhile, the second position is occupied by the mineral fuel sector with an export value of USD 9.3 billion.

By using this BPS data, we can understand the importance of foreign exchange generated by the palm oil industry in Indonesia’s trade balance. In Semester 1/2020, the oil and gas trade balance experienced a deficit of USD 3.5 billion. Meanwhile, the non-oil and gas balance (including the trade balance for palm oil and processed products therein) experienced a surplus of USD 9.05 billion.

If we don’t take the foreign exchange into account from the palm oil industry, then the non-oil and gas balance will turn into a deficit of USD 1 billion and make the deficit in the total trade balance even bigger of USD 4.5 billion. This further shows that the achievement of the oil and gas and non-oil and gas trade surplus in Semester 1/2020, which is in fact in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, cannot be separated from the contribution of foreign exchange from palm oil.

Palm oil foreign exchange has long been the determinant of the non-oil and gas trade balance surplus. In the 2012-2019 period, the net value of Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports (other than palm oil and its processed products) decreased so that the non-oil and gas trade balance without palm oil always experienced a large deficit, even the non-oil and gas trade deficit without palm oil had reached USD 17.5 billion in in 2012.

On the other hand, the export foreign exchange of palm oil and its derivative products tends to increase from year to year, so that the non-oil and gas trade balance always experiences a surplus during the 2012-2019 period. Even at certain times, the oil and gas foreign exchange surplus is not only able to create a non-oil and gas trade balance surplus, but also create a surplus in the oil and gas and non-oil and gas trade balance. This is more complement our empirical evidence on the importance of the palm oil industry in improving Indonesia’s trade balance.

Palm Oil During Pandemic

Industri sawit kembali menunjukkan keunggulannya. Meski di tengah masa pandemi Covid-19, industri sawit masih mampu menyumbang devisa  sebesar USD 10.06 milyar pada Semester 1/2020. Dibandingkan dengan periode yang sama pada tahun 2019, dimana devisa yang dihasilkan dari ekspor minyak sawit dan produk turunannya (oleokimia dan biodiesel) hanya sebesar USD 9.46 miliar. Artinya devisa ekspor yang dihasilkan oleh industri sawit pada periode ini lebih besar dibandingkan periode sebelumnya.

Devisa ekspor minyak sawit dan produk olahannya juga berhasil berkontribusi menciptakan surplus neraca perdangangan RI sebesar USD 5.5 miliar pada periode yang sama. Dengan nilai devisa  sawit sebesar itu, telah menempatkan industri sawit sebagai penyumbang devisa terbesar diantara sektor industri ekspor nasional lainnya. Sementara, posisi kedua ditempati oleh industri sektor bahan bakar mineral dengan nilai ekspor sebesar USD 9.3 milyar.

Dengan menggunakan data BPS tersebut, kita dapat memahami pentingnya devisa yang dihasilkan oleh industri sawit dalam neraca perdagangan Indonesia. Pada Semester 1/2020, neraca perdagangan migas mengalami defisit sebesar USD 3.5 milyar. Sementara itu, neraca non migas (termasuk neraca perdagangan minyak sawit dan produk olahan didalamnya) mengalami surplus USD 9.05 milyar.

Seandainya devisa dari industri sawit tidak kita perhitungkan, maka neraca non migas  berubah menjadi defisit sebesar USD 1 milyar dan membuat defisit neraca total perdagangan semakin besar yakni sebesar USD 4.5 milyar. Hal ini semakin menunjukkan bahwa pencapaian surplus perdagangan migas dan non migas pada Semester 1/2020 yang notebene di tengah masa pandemi Covid-19, tak terlepas dari kontribusi devisa sawit.

Devisa sawit telah lama menjadi penentu surplus neraca perdagangan non migas. Dalam periode 2012-2019, nilai net ekspor non migas Indonesia (selain minyak sawit dan produk olahannya) makin merosot sehingga neraca perdagangan non migas tanpa sawit selalu mengalami beban defisit yang cukup besar, bahkan defisit perdagangan non migas tanpa sawit pernah mencapai  USD 17.5 milyar pada tahun 2012.

Sebaliknya devisa ekspor minyak sawit dan produk turunannya cenderung meningkat dari tahun ke tahun, sehingga neraca perdagangan non migas selalu mengalami surplus selama periode 2012-2019. Bahkan pada waktu tertentu, surplus devisa sawit bukan hanya mampu membuat surplus neraca perdagangan non migas, tetapi juga membuat surplus pada neraca perdagangan migas dan non migas. Hal ini semakin melengkapi bukti-bukti empiris tentang pentingya industri sawit  dalam menyehatkan neraca perdagangan Indonesia.

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