Indonesia kept its export tax for crude palm oil (CPO) shipments at USD $18 per metric ton for March 2017 as the government's March reference CPO price was determined at USD $825.8 per ton, up 1.27 percent (m/m) from the reference price in the preceding month. When this reference CPO price of Indonesia is set below USD $750 per ton, the export tax is scrapped. When the price reaches the range of USD $750 - $800, then Indonesian authorities introduce a USD $3 per ton export tax, followed by a USD $18 per metric ton export tax if the reference price rises to the range of USD $800 - $850 per ton.
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Today's Headlines Export Tax
Indonesia, the world's largest producer and exporter of crude palm oil (CPO), set the export tax for its CPO shipments at USD $18 per metric ton for February 2017, significantly higher than the USD $3 per metric ton export tax in the preceding month. Indonesia's benchmark February CPO price was set at USD $815.5 per ton, rising further above the USD $750 per ton threshold that the Indonesian government uses to separate a zero export tax policy from the setting of an export tax.
For the first time since October 2014, Indonesia's palm oil exporters will have to pay an export tax on crude palm oil (CPO) shipments as the government's reference CPO price was set at USD $754.10 per ton in May (the level of USD $750 per ton separates taxable from non-taxable shipments). The Indonesian government announced that it will impose a USD $3 per ton tax on CPO exports in May 2016. Palm oil is the key foreign exchange earner for Indonesia in terms of non-mining export products. The country is the world's largest producer and exporter of CPO, followed by Malaysia.
After introducing palm oil export levies earlier this month, the Indonesian Finance Ministry announced on Tuesday (28/07) that it has implemented another change in the country’s palm oil industry. From now on, export taxes for crude palm oil (CPO) and other palm oil products will be expressed in US dollar instead of a percentage of the price. Indonesia’s palm oil export tax kicks in when the government’s reference CPO price exceeds USD $750 per metric ton. If the price is below this level, palm oil exporters only need to pay the new export levies.
Indonesian government officials announced that the recently-unveiled palm oil export levies will be imposed starting from Thursday (16/07). The new rules require that a USD $50 per metric ton levy is imposed on crude palm oil (CPO) exports, and a USD $30 per metric ton levy is imposed on exports of processed palm oil products. These palm oil export levies only need to be paid by exporters when the government’s reference CPO price falls below USD $750 per metric ton, effectively cutting the palm oil export tax to zero.
Indonesia's Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Jero Wacik opened the possibility for Newmont Nusa Tenggara, subsidiary of US-based gold miner Newmont Mining Corporation, to resume exports of ore concentrates, provided that Newmont shows its commitment to build a smelter in Indonesia as in accordance with the new and controversial 2009 Mining Law. One of the targets of this new law is to boost Indonesia’s downstream mining industry by prohibiting export of unprocessed minerals.
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Indonesia's Finance Ministry said it will not revise the tax revenue target set in the 2016 State Budget. The Indonesian government targets to collect IDR 1,360.2 trillion (approx. USD $100 billion) worth of tax revenue in 2016, a 28.9 percent rise from tax revenue realization in 2015. However, although it is good to aim high - hence setting an ambitious target - it is also important to be realistic (to avoid budgetary turmoil and gain fiscal credibility, important for Indonesia to be eligible for a credit rating upgrade). How realistic is Indonesia's 2016 tax revenue target?
Freeport Indonesia, subsidiary of US-based natural resources company Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, is optimistic that the Indonesian government will extend the company’s contract to operate the Grasberg mine in Papua (eastern Indonesia). This mine is the world’s largest gold mine and third-largest copper mine. The current contract between the Indonesian government and Freeport Indonesia expires in 2021. However, Freeport is currently in need of some certainty before investing a large amount on mining operations and smelting facilities.
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