JAKARTA (May 11 2003) : Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) exports may riseto 6.5 million tonnes in 2003 from 6.3 million last year due to buoyantdemand from India and a higher domestic output, an Indonesian palm oilbody said on Friday.
Derom Bangun, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association(Gapki), told reporters palm oil output in Indonesia, the world'ssecond-largest producer of the commodity after Malaysia, was estimated torise to 9.6 million tonnes in 2003 from last year's nine million.
"The increase will mainly be caused by maturing plants which are reachingtheir peak this year," Bangun said on the sidelines of the group's annualmeeting.
Indonesia annually consumes about 3.5 million tonnes of palm oil andexports the rest.
Bangun said global soyabean prices could fall in coming months as SouthAmerican nations were harvesting record crops this year.
This could push down soya oil prices, prompting key buyers like India andChina to shift to soya oil.
He said Indonesian palm oil exporters should try and capture as muchmarket as they can before soya oil starts filling the gap.
"It is time for local companies, that have access to forward sales, to beready to jump in," he said.
While Brazil is expected to harvest an estimated 51 million tonnes ofsoyabeans this year, Argentina's crop is expected to rise to 34-35 milliontonnes from last year's 30 million.
Trade officials expect India, the world's largest edible oil importer, tobuy up to 17 percent more oil from overseas this May as poor monsoon rainshad hit domestic output.-Reuters