Indonesia resumes collecting palm oil export levies

Indonesia resumed collecting a crude palm oil (CPO) US$50/tonne export levy on 1 January due to recovering palm oil prices.

Since 1 March, the world’s top palm oil producer had ordered its CPO Fund to stop collecting the export levy as plunging palm oil prices impacted the incomes of oil palm smallholders, Cogencis wrote.

However, on 26 December, Musdhalifah Machmud, Indonesia's deputy coordinating minister for economic affairs, told Cogencis that the CPO Fund would resume collecting the US$50/tonne CPO export levy from 1 January, and a lower rate levy for palm oil downstream products.

The trade ministry also announced that the CPO reference price for January would be US$729.72/tonne, up from US$650.18/tonne in December.

The reference price is calculated through an average of CPO prices on cost, insurance and freight basis on the Rotterdam market, Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, and Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange over the previous one month, Cogencis said.

The reference prices helped determine export duties, which the trade ministry said would not be imposed because CPO prices were still below the threshold of US$750/tonne.

“Indonesia has not imposed an export duty on palm oil since April 2017 as prices have been low globally,” Cogencis wrote.