JAKARTA Indonesia's palm oil exports fell 8.5 per cent last year because of a volatile regulatory environment and sluggish output that is expected to continue this year, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association GAPKI said on Wednesday.
In 2022, the world's top palm oil producer exported 30.8 million tons of palm oil product, down from 33.7 million tons a year earlier.
The government implemented changes in palm oil export policy in order to control soaring prices of domestic cooking oil last year, including a three-week export ban in late April.
GAPKI Chairman Joko Priyono told the media briefing that a slight drop in palm oil production last year was a result of rising domestic consumption in the energy sector.
Biodiesel consumption went up last year because fuel consumption went up after the pandemic, he said.
Indonesia uses palm oil as a feedstock for its 30 per cent mandatory blend in biodiesel. The blend will be known as B 35 in February and will be raised to 35 per cent.
The Southeast Asian nation produced 46.7 million t of crude palm oil last year, down 0.4 per cent from 2021. It produced 4.5 million tons of palm kernel oil.
This is the fourth year of stagnant output while domestic consumption continues to rise, Joko said.
We expect production to be stagnant in 2023 due to high fertiliser prices. The production of farmers is going to be affected this year because of the lower dosage. Indonesia's palm oil stocks were 3.65 million tons by the end of 2022.