JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)—China has agreed to increase import of crude palm oil (CPO) from Indonesia by at least 500,000 tons. Last year, Indonesia’s CPO export to China reached 3,730,000 tons.
President Joko Widodo said on Monday (7/5) that it was part of the agreements reached with visiting China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang during their bilateral meeting in Bogor on Monday.
“China is committed to providing support for the CPO, coffee, cocoa, fruits, and swallos’ nests,” said President Widodo after the bilateral meeting.
Based on data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association, Indonesia’s CPO exports to China recorded at 3.73 million tons in 2017, a 16 per cent rise from 3.23 million tons in 2016. This figure accounts for 12.01 percent of Indonesia’s total palm oil trade volume of 31.05 million tons last year.
The increase of China’s CPO import will help reduce Indonesia’s trade deficit with China. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics data, Indonesia booked US$3.81 billion trade deficit with China in the first quarter of 2018. This figure is widening compared to the same period last year when Indonesia experienced a trade deficit of US$2.99 billion.
The Chinese Prime Minister said that he will immediately give direction to the country’s ministries and agencies to realize the additional import of CPO.
Recognizing China as the largest palm oil importer from Indonesia, he hopes this step could boost the country’s economic growth.
But he also expected Indonesia to increase imports of coffee and some tropical fruit from China. Currently, Indonesia sets a restriction on importing fruits from China such as mandarin oranges.
“I hope Indonesia could increase import of mandarin orange. We ensure the quality meets Indonesia’s standard,” he added.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistic Data, the import of mandarin orange from China was recorded at US$96.6 million in 2017, or jumped by 88.3 per cent from import in 2016 that reached US$51.3 million.
President Widodo emphasized the importance of increasing Indonesian exports to China. “As a country with a population of 1.3 billion people, China is a huge market for Indonesian commodities and products,” he said.