Indonesian crude palm oil exports to East African countries declined sharply in November as the Ghanese Food and Drugs Authority confiscated large quantities of adulterated CPO in major markets in Ghana. The confiscated palm oil was adulterated with an industrial dye (used in the coloration of plastics). This led to weak demand for CPO from East Africa. According to data from Gapki, Indonesian CPO exports to East African countries declined 70 percent (month-on-month) to 72,370 ton in November 2015.

Palm oil demand from Bangladesh also dropped sharply. In November Indonesia's CPO export to Bangladesh fell 55 percent to 44,850 tons from the preceding month. Meanwhile, palm oil exports to India fell 24.5 percent (month-on-month) to 506,390 in November as Indian authorities seek to curb palm oil imports in an effort to develop the domestic palm oil industry.

Indonesian CPO exports to the USA declined 30 percent (m/m) to 82,190 in November as the USA can rely on ample soybean reserves. But the decline is also the result of the negative image of the Indonesian palm oil industry after forest fires on parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra and the related toxic haze that plagued parts of Southeast Asia. Between June and October, more than 100,000 man-made forest fires destroyed 2.6 million hectares of land with total costs estimated at IDR 221 trillion (USD $16 billion or 1.9 percent of the country's gross domestic product), according to World Bank information.

However, exports of Indonesian palm oil to China, the European Union and Pakistan climbed in November compared to the preceding month.

Indonesian Crude Palm Oil Exports:

Export Market November 2015
(in tons)
India        506,390          -24.5%
China        436,910           +15%
European Union        418,050           +27%
Pakistan        159,950           +22%
United States         82,190           -30%
Bangladesh         44,850           -55%

Source: Gapki

Indonesian Palm Oil Production and Export Statistics:

    2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015¹
(million metric tons)
  19.2   19.4   21.8   23.5   26.5    30.0    31.5    33.1
(million metric tons)
  15.1   17.1   17.1   17.6   18.2    22.4    21.7    25.0
(in USD billion)
  15.6   10.0   16.4   20.2   21.6    20.6    21.0    15.6

¹ indicates forecast
Sources: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) and Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture