Persistent weak crude oil prices jeopardize smoothness of Indonesia's biodiesel program as cheap oil - currently trading below USD $30 per barrel - reduces demand for biodiesel and makes the biodiesel industry less economic viable. This year the government of Indonesia plans to launch the B20 biodiesel program (one notch up from the existing B15 program), referring to the requirement to blend a mandatory 20 percent of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME, derived from palm oil) with 80 percent of diesel.
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4 December 2020 (closed)
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Although Indonesia's B15 biodiesel program, which refers to the government's program to blend 85 percent of diesel with a mandatory 15 percent of fatty acid methyl ester (derived from palm oil), is no success yet, the government is expected to introduce the B20 biodiesel program (raising the mandatory content of fatty methyl ester in biofuel to 20 percent) in early 2016. To support the B20 program, eleven companies are ready to supply biodiesel to state-owned energy company Pertamina and publicly-listed petroleum and basic chemicals distributor AKR Corporindo between November 2015 and April 2016.
The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index) hit a record high on Friday (06/02) on the back of rising palm oil-related stocks (palm oil demand is expected to grow due to the Indonesian government’s proposal to increase biodiesel subsidies) and an improvement in the country’s foreign exchange reserves which shows that economic fundamentals remain strong in current global uncertain times. Corporate earnings results of Indonesian companies also provide positive market sentiments.
Due to the Indonesian government’s plan to increase biofuel subsidies from IDR 1,500 per liter to IDR 4,000 per liter - in a move to protect the domestic biofuel industry - palm oil futures climbed the most in 28 months. Amid the world’s current low crude palm oil (CPO) prices, Indonesian biofuel producers have it rough as production costs exceed market prices and therefore requested the government to raise biofuel subsidies to offset losses. If approved by Indonesian authorities then this move should result in higher palm oil demand.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) expects that Indonesian exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm oil derivatives will increase between 10 and 15 percent to 11.29 million tons in the second half of 2014 from 9.82 million tons in the first half of this year. If achieved, then total CPO exports (and derivatives) from Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2014 would be 21.11 million tons. Assuming an average CPO price of USD $895 per ton, these exports can be worth USD $18.89 billion in total.
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Although the Indonesian government has already announced that biodiesel subsidies have been raised to IDR 4,000 per liter (from IDR 1,500 per liter in 2014) and bioethanol to IDR 3,000 per liter (from IDR 2,000 last year) - in a move to protect the domestic biofuel industry as production costs exceed market prices amid the low global palm oil prices -, Indonesian biodiesel producers are eager to see the country’s biodiesel price is set based on a different benchmark than the Mean of Platts Singapore (MoPS).
Indonesia has the potential to become a global force in the biodiesel industry because of the country’s position as the world’s top producer of crude palm oil (CPO). In 2014, Indonesia’s CPO production is estimated to total 30 million tons. Traditionally, Indonesia exports about 75 percent of its total CPO production, particularly to the giant economies of China and India. As such, this commodity is one of Indonesia's most important foreign exchange earners, apart from coal, in the non-oil and gas sector.
Indonesia's production of crude palm oil (CPO) in the first six months of 2013 rose 25.64 percent compared to semester I-2012 to 14.7 million tons, which is a little over half of this year's CPO production target. Despite weak global demand for the commodity (accompanied by falling CPO prices), growth was accomplished due to new seeds that became productive and because the total size of Indonesian palm oil estates continues to expand. Productive estates now stand at 9.4 million hectares from 8.7 million hectares last year.
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