JAKARTA: Palm-oil shipments from Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, are poised to advance 9% this month as importers increase purchases before the Muslim fasting season of Ramadan starts in July.
The gain may boost revenues for companies including PT Astra Agro Lestari and Golden Agri- Resources Ltd., the world’s second-largest grower.
“Buyers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Middle Eastern countries have started to increase stockpiles ahead of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr” festival, said Susanto, head of marketing at the Indonesia Palm Oil Association.
Consumption of cooking oils climbs during Ramadan as followers break daylong fasts with communal meals. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month.
Exports of refined palm oil may rise this year to benefit from the lower taxes, Sahat Sinaga, second deputy chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, said May 28.
Shipments will reach about 5 million tons in the first half from 2.6 million tons a year earlier, he said. Refining capacity will probably increase to 25 million tons next year from 18.5 million tons as new plants are built and existing operations are expanded, he said.
Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s biggest palm-oil processor, plans to spend more than US$100 million to boost refining capacity in the country by 50%, Chief Operating Officer Martua Sitorus said on May 10.
Indonesia will keep the tax rate for crude palm-oil exports unchanged at 19.5% in June, Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the Trade Ministry, said today. The base price to calculate the levy exporters must pay will be cut to US$1,098 a ton from US$1,120 per ton in May, he said.
Indonesia’s production is set to climb 6.4% to 25 million tons this year, while exports may gain 9 percent to as much as 18 million tons, according to the Indonesia Palm Oil Association. (Bloomberg/tw)