JAKARTA Jan 7 Palm oil exports from Indonesia,
the world's biggest producer of the edible oil, may rise by as
much as 9 percent this year, a top industry association official
said on Monday, as improving global economic conditions boosts
Palm oil exports were little changed in 2012 at 16.5 million
tonnes but this will rise to between 17 million-18 million
tonnes in 2013, Fadhil Hasan, executive director at the
Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), told Reuters.
"After the first half, if there is an improvement in the
global economy and a rise in (crude) oil ... maybe around 17
million-18 million tonnes," said Hasan.
Late last year, GAPKI forecast that Indonesia's palm oil
production would rise 7 percent this year to 27 million tonnes.
Palm oil is used mainly as an ingredient in food such as
biscuits and ice cream, or as biofuel. Indonesia and Malaysia
account for about 90 percent of global production.
Demand for the edible oil eased last year due to the global
economic slowdown, which has led to record-high inventories.
Benchmark palm oil futures notched its worst annual
performance since the financial crisis in 2008, losing more than
Hasan said that current palm oil inventory levels in
Southeast Asia's largest economy were between 3 million-4
million tonnes versus typical levels of around 1.5 million
He urged the government to scrap a two-year moratorium on
forest clearing that is due to end in May.
Indonesia imposed the moratorium under a $1 billion climate
deal with Norway aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation.
The moratorium has curbed the expansion of palm plantations in
the country and impacted the economy negatively, industry
"The moratorium to some extent, just gives a negative
perception that our managing of the plantations is not good,"
(Reporting by Michael Taylor; Editing by Muralikumar