JAKARTA: Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, may leave a tax on exports of crude oil unchanged at 15% in August as output slows traditionally during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The government may raise the base export-price used to calculate the levy to US$955 a metric ton from US$944 in July, Steaven Halim, an official at the Indonesia Palm Oil Association, wrote in an e-mail today.
Southeast Asia’s biggest economy reviews the tax rates and base export prices every month, based on average prices in Kuala Lumpur, Rotterdam and Jakarta.
The government may announce the decision next week. Exports and output typically slow during Ramadan as workers take holidays, Bonny Setiawan, a Jakarta- based analyst at UBS AG, said in an e-mail.
“Demand on the other hand tends to be stable, depending on the stockpiles in each importing countries,” Setiawan said.
Exports may gain to 1.5 million tons this month, from an estimated 1.2 million tons in June, before falling to about 1.4 million tons next month, Joelianto, a trader at PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, said in a mobile-phone text message today.
Exports typically rise before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan when consumption of staples usually climbs as communal meals boost overall demand.
The October-delivery contract rose 1% to 3,022 ringgit or US$959 a ton at the midday trading break on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, while futures for delivery in the same period gained 1.1% to 9,020 rupiah a kilogram or US$951 a ton on the Indonesia Commodity & Derivatives Exchange in Jakarta.(t03/sut)