The Plan of Indonesian CPO Export Prohibition to Support Domestic Downstream, is it Possible?

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Since 2006, Indonesia has succeeded as the world’s largest palm oil producer and also the largest exporter of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) in the world.

In this regard, President Joko Widodo in his speech asked Indonesia to stop exporting CPO so that the commodity is processed into downstream products that have high added value. Indonesia must be ready and brave to stop the export of CPO, even though it has the potential to cause a lawsuit filed by the importing country to the World Trade Organization (WTO). To support that, the President of the Republic of Indonesia also asked his staff to prepare a international lawyer to face a lawsuit related to the ban on the export of crude palm oil.


Previously, the Indonesian government had also set a ban on nickel ore exports as of January 1, 2020, which was stated in the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation (Permen) Number. 11/2019. The purpose of implementing the policy is to maintain the availability of resources and encourage downstream mining such as domestic smelting and refining industry smelter.


In fact, Indonesia currently exports a small portion of CPO. Based on the export trend of Indonesian palm oil products, the CPO’s export share has decreased from around 57 percent in 2010 to around 22 percent in 2020. Meanwhile,  the export share of refined palm oil (RPO/RPKO) and downstream products (oleochemicals and biodiesel) increased from 43 percent to 88 percent in that period.

The same thing was also expressed by Tofan Mahdi, Head of Communications Division of GAPKI, who said that currently most of Indonesia’s palm oil exports are no longer in crude form (CPO) but are already in processed form. For example, Indonesia’s palm oil exports in 2020 reached 34 million tons, consisting of 21.1 million tons in the form of one-level derivatives of CPO (or refined), oleochemical volume of 3.8 million tons, biodiesel volume of 31 thousand tons, and only 7.17 million tons of CPO. This means that the share of CPO exports is only 21 percent of Indonesia’s total palm oil exports.

The President’s speech regarding the ban on Indonesia’s CPO exports raised various opinions. One of them is Andry Satrio Nugraha, Head of the Center for Industry, Trade and Investment in Indef, who said that if the CPO export ban was implemented, there would be a potential for domestic prices to rise. The domestic market and industry also were not ready to accommodate excess stocks from the overflow of CPO export quotas.

Responding to the discourse on the ban on CPO exports, MP Tumanggor, General Chairperson of APROBI, said that the plan to ban CPO exports will not happen considering its large contribution to national export performance. This policy will also pose another challenge, such as developing the domestic market to be able to absorb export quotas.

Exports of Indonesian CPO are also expected to continue, considering that several Indonesian palm oil refineries also operate overseas. The refinery still needs Indonesian CPO as raw material to meet demand in the country.

The plan on the ban on CPO exports can also be seen from another perspective, where the aim is to encourage the downstream of palm oil in Indonesia. In addition to creating added value in the country, the development of the downstream industry also has the potential to create large multiplier effects such as employment and increased income, so that it will contribute positively to the economy going forward. Palm oil downstreaming also aims to stabilize palm oil prices in the global market.

PASPI Executive Director, Dr. Tungkot Sipayung, also said that downstreaming is part of the industrialization strategy, both for export promotion to increase foreign exchange and for import substitution in order to reduce import dependence so as to save foreign exchange. In addition to creating a larger multiplier effect, the development of the downstream palm oil industry is also able to increase the bargaining power of the Indonesian palm oil industry in the global market.

Seeing the urgency of the palm oil downstream industry in Indonesia, the Ministry of Industry has also made efforts to create a variety of downstream palm oil products, which currently have reached 168 types, as well as to create a set of policies for support the development of palm oil-based downstream industries and encourage the strengthening of the competitiveness of the palm oil downstream industry along with palm products in the era of the borderless world.

In the Webinar Palm O’Corner at Diponegoro University, as well as various webinars related to the development of the oleochemical industry and phytonutrients based on palm oil, representatives from the Minister of Industry explained government policies supporting palm oil-based downstream industries. A policy that is quite crucial for the development of downstreaming is the guarantee of the supply of raw materials through the application of progressive export levies (levy) in accordance with PMK 191/2020 in conjunction with PMK 76/2021, where the tariff of export levies on raw materials (CPO/CPKO) is higher than downstream products. In addition, the harmonization of export duty rates is also carried out through an international market access cooperation scheme to ensure the availability of auxiliary materials.

In addition to fiscal policy instruments, the Indonesian government also provides tax incentives for the palm oil-based downstream industry, such as Super Deduction Tax, the exemption from import duty for capital goods, tax incentives for the industrial sector affected by the pandemic (PMK 188/2015), and tax allowance (PMK 96/2020, PP 78/2019) for new investment or expansion of the downstream industry.

The Indonesian government’s policy also focuses on strengthening industrial competitiveness through a gas price discount policy (Perpres 121/2020). In times of pandemics, Indonesian government has also issued permits for the issuance and monitoring of Industrial Mobility Operational Permits (IOMKI).

Regarding the policy of strengthening the competitiveness of downstream palm oil-based products in the global market, the Ministry of Industry is also currently preparing regulations related to the segregation of palm oil quality as industrial raw material that produces the final product. This regulation aims to ensure the safety of palm oil-based downstream products used by the global community as well as debunk negative issues of food safety such as 3-MCPD Ester and Glycidol esters (GE).

The Ministry of Industry is also preparing an industrial area as a focus for new investment or expansion of the downstream palm oil industry, and facilitating the promotion of investment in the downstream palm oil industry at various international events such as Hannover Messe, as well as Germany and Dubai Expo Middle East.

Efforts to develop downstream industries also need to be encouraged at the scale of smallholders. The production of downstream palm oil products must be carried out by those who are affiliated with a corporation, so that the FFB/CPO produced from them can be directly absorbed and processed into various downstream products such as green fuel or palm cooking oil.

Sejak tahun 2006, Indonesia telah berhasil menjadi negara produsen minyak sawit terbesar dunia, sekaligus menjadi eksportir minyak sawit (CPO) terbesar di dunia.

Berkaitan dengan hal tersebut, Presiden Joko Widodo dalam pidatonya menginginkan Indonesia untuk menghentikan ekspor minyak sawit mentah (CPO) agar komoditas tersebut diolah menjadi produk hilir yang memiliki nilai tambah tinggi. Indonesia harus siap dan berani untuk menghentikan ekspor CPO, meski hal tersebut berpotensi menimbulkan gugatan yang dilayangkan oleh negara importir CPO ke World Trade Organization (WTO). Untuk mendukung keinginan tersebut, Presiden Republik Indonesia juga meminta jajarannya untuk menyiapkan lawyer kelas internasional untuk menghadapi gugatan terkait pelarangan ekspor CPO.

Sebelumnya, Pemerintah Indonesia juga telah menetapkan larangan ekspor bijih nikel per 1 Januari 2020 yang tertuang dalam Peraturan Menteri (Permen) ESDM No. 11/2019. Tujuan implementasi kebijakan tersebut untuk menjaga kesediaan sumberdaya dan mendorong hilirisasi pertambangan seperti industri peleburan dan pemurnian (smelter) dalam negeri.


Sebenarnya, Indonesia saat ini hanya mengekspor sebagian kecil minyak sawit mentah (CPO). Berdasarkan data tren ekspor produk minyak sawit Indonesia, pangsa ekspor produk mentah (CPO/CPKO) mengalami penurunan dari sekitar 57 persen tahun 2010 menjadi sekitar 22 persen pada tahun 2020. Sementara itu, pangsa ekspor olahan minyak sawit baik dalam bentuk refined (RPO/RPKO) dan produk hilir (oleokimia dan biodiesel) mengalami peningkatan dari 43 persen menjadi 88 persen pada periode tersebut.

Hal serupa juga diungkapkan oleh Tofan Mahdi, Ketua Bidang Komunikasi GAPKI, yang menyampaikan bahwa saat ini sebagian besar ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia sudah tidak lagi dalam bentuk mentah (CPO) namun sudah dalam bentuk olahan. Misalnya ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia tahun 2020 yang mencapai 34 juta ton terdiri dari 21.1 juta ton dalam bentuk turunan satu tingkat dari CPO (atau dalam bentuk refined), volume oleokimia sebesar 3.8 juta ton, volume biodiesel sebesar 31 ribu ton dan hanya volume CPO sebesar 7.17 juta ton. Artinya pangsa ekspor minyak CPO  hanya sebesar 21 persen dari total ekspor minyak sawit Indonesia.

Pidato Presiden terkait pelarangan ekspor CPO Indonesia menimbulkan berbagai opini. Salah satunya dari Andry Satrio Nugraha, Kepala Pusat Industri, Perdagangan dan Investasi Indef, yang mengungkapkan jika kebijakan pelarangan ekspor CPO diimplementasikan maka akan berpotensi terjadinya kenaikkan harga domestik. Pasar dan industri domestik juga belum siap untuk menampung kelebihan stok dari limpahan kuota ekspor CPO.

Wacana pelarangan ekspor CPO juga ditanggapi oleh MP Tumanggor, Ketua Umum APROBI, yang mengungkapkan bahwa wacana tersebut tidak akan dilakukan mengingat besarnya kontribusinya terhadap kinerja ekspor nasional. Wacana kebijakan ini juga akan menimbulkan tantangan lain yaitu pengembangan pasar domestik yang sedemikian rupa hingga mampu menyerap kuota ekspor.

Ekspor CPO Indonesia juga diperkirakan masih tetap dilakukan, mengingat beberapa pabrik rafinasi minyak sawit Indonesia yang beroperasi di luar negeri. Pabrik rafinasi tersebut juga masih membutuhkan CPO Indonesia sebagai bahan baku untuk memenuhi permintaan di negara tersebut.

Wacana pelarangan ekspor CPO tersebut juga dilihat dapat dilihat dari perspektif lain, dimana tujuannya adalah untuk mendorong hilirisasi sawit di Indonesia. Selain menciptakan nilai tambah di dalam negeri, pengembangan industri hilir juga berpotensi untuk menciptakan multiplier effect yang besar seperti penyerapan tenaga kerja dan peningkatan pendapatan, sehingga akan berkontribusi positif terhadap perekonomian ke depan. Hilirisasi sawit juga bertujuan untuk menstabilkan harga minyak sawit di pasar global.

Direktur Eksekutif PASPI, Dr. Tungkot Sipayung, juga menyampaikan bahwa hilirisasi merupakan bagian dari strategi industrialisasi baik untuk promosi ekspor untuk meningkatkan devisa maupun untuk substitusi impor untuk mengurangi ketergantungan impor sehingga dapat menghemat devisa impor. Selain mencipatkan multiplier effect yang besar, pengembangan industri hilir sawit juga mampu meningkatkan bargaining power industri sawit Indonesia di pasar global.

Melihat urgensi dari industri hilirasi sawit di Indonesia, Kementerian Perindustrian RI juga telah berupaya untuk menciptakan ragam produk hilir sawit yang saat ini sudah mencapai 168 jenis hingga menciptakan seperangkat kebijakan yang mendukung berkembangnya industri hilir berbasis sawit dan mendorong penguatan daya saing industri hilir sawit beserta produk sawit pada era borderless world.

Dalam Webinar Palm O’Corner di Universitas Diponegoro maupun berbagai webinar terkait pengembangan industri oleokimia maupun phytonutrient berbasis minyak sawit, perwakilan dari Kementerian Perindustrian RI memaparkan terkait dukungan kebijakan pemerintah untuk industri hilir berbasis sawit. Kebijakan yang cukup krusial untuk perkembangan hilirisasi adalah jaminan pasokan bahan baku melalui penerapan tarif progresif pungutan ekspor (levy) sesuai dengan PMK 191/2020 jo PMK 76/2021, dimana tarif pungutan ekspor bahan baku (CPO/CPKO) lebih tinggi dibandingkan produk hilirnya. Selain itu, dilakukan juga harmonisasi tarif Bea Keluar hingga melalui skema kerjasama akses pasar internasional untuk menjamin ketersediaan bahan penolong.

Selain instrumen kebijakan fiskal, Pemerintah Indonesia juga memberikan insentif perpajakkan bagi industri hilir berbasis sawit yaitu seperti Superdeduction Tax, pembebasan bea masuk untuk barang modal, insentif perpajakkan untuk sektor industri yang terdampak pandemi (PMK 188/2015) dan Tax allowance (PMK 96/2020, PP 78/2019) untuk investasi baru/perluasan industri hilir.

Kebijakan pemerintah Indonesia juga berfokus pada penguatan daya saing industri melalui kebijakan diskon harga gas (Perpres 121/2020). Di masa pandemi. Pemerintah Indonesia juga memberikan izin penerbitan dan monitoring Izin Operasional Mobilitas Kegiatan Industri (IOMKI).

Terkait dengan kebijakan penguatan daya saing produk hilir berbasis sawit di pasar global, Kementerian Perindustrian juga sat ini sedang menyiapkan regulasi terkait segregasi kualitas minyak sawit sebagai bahan baku industri yang menghasilkan produk akhir. Regulasi ini bertujuan untuk menjamin keamanan produk hilir berbasis sawit yang digunakan oleh masyarakat global sekaligus mematahkan isu negatif keamanan pangan berbasis minyak sawit seperti 3-MCPD Ester dan GE.

Kemenperin juga menyiapkan kawasan industri sebagai fokus investasi baru atau perluasan industri hilir kelapa sawit dan memfasilitasi promosi investasi industri hilir sawit di berbagai event internasional seperti tahun ini di Hannover Messe, serta Jerman dan Dubai Expo Timur Tengah.

Upaya pengembangan industri hilir juga perlu didorong pada skala petani sawit. Produksi produk hilir sawit harus diarahkan untuk dilakukan oleh petani sawit rakyat yang berafiliasi dan bekerjasama dalam suatu korporasi sehamparan, sehingga TBS/CPO yang dihasilkan dari perkebunan sawit rakyat dapat langsung diserap dan diolah menjadi berbagai produk hilir seperti produk greenfuel atau minyak goreng sawit.

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