The productivity of Indonesia's human resources has improved markedly over the past 15 years. This is one of the conclusions mentioned in the latest Economic Insight: South East Asia, released by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). This quarterly report focuses on the economic trends in the largest economies of the ASEAN countries. Vietnam and Indonesia are the top performers in terms of productivity growth (growth of the average output per worker) supported by the ongoing shift from agriculture to more capital-intensive sectors (manufacturing and the service industries).
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Today's Headlines Agriculture
Only five plantation companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) managed to post higher revenue in the first quarter of 2016 (compared to the same quarter one year earlier). Of the 14 plantation companies listed on the IDX, four still need to publish their Q1-2016 corporate earnings (Golden Plantation, Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, Multi Agro Gemilang Plantation, and Tunas Baru Lampung). Sampoerna Agro was the company with the highest revenue growth among Indonesia's listed plantation companies in Q1-2016.
According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) the unemployment rate of Indonesia fell to 5.5 percent of the nation's labor force, or 7.02 million people in absolute terms, in February 2016 (compared to an unemployment rate of 5.81 percent one year earlier). The data from BPS also indicate that Indonesia's workforce - remarkably - shrank from 128.3 million in February 2015 to 127.8 million people in February 2016 particularly due to a decline in workers in the agriculture sector.
Indonesia's Ministry of Public Works and Housing targets to complete the tender process for eight dams, worth a combined IDR 8.60 trillion (approx. USD $637 million) - all national strategic projects - by June 2016. Imam Santoso, Director of Dams at the Public Works Ministry, said one dam has already been tendered last week: the IDR 1.04 trillion Kuwil Kawangkoan Dam in North Sulawesi. Next week the government is set to tender the Leuwikeris Dam in West Java. The central government aims to tender a new dam project every two weeks up to June 2016.
Production of heavy equipment in Indonesia fell 23 percent (y/y) to 4,100 units in 2015 due to the weak conditions in the mining and agriculture sectors. Traditionally, most of heavy equipment sales occur in these two sectors. Weak demand caused utilization of the nation's installed production capacity for heavy equipment to fall to 41 percent in 2015 from 51 percent in the preceding year. When fully utilized Indonesia can produce an estimated total of 10,000 units of heavy equipment per year.
More than 60 percent of Indonesia's soybean consumption still needs to be imported from abroad. To reduce its dependence on soybean imports Indonesia's Agriculture Ministry aims to enhance domestic soybean production. For this reason soybeans have been included in the government's list of strategic food commodities (other examples are rice, sugar and corn), meaning these food items get special attention from the government. The Agriculture Ministry targets to see the production of 1.5 million tons of soybean in 2016, up from an expected 920,000 tons this year. Meanwhile, Indonesian soybean demand in 2015 is estimated to reach 2.3 million tons.
It is increasingly believed that the El Nino weather phenomenon will hit Indonesia in the next couple of months. Over the past weeks reports already surfaced about unusual dry weather impacting negatively on harvests of agricultural commodities in parts of Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, dry weather traditionally lasts from May to August. However, El Nino may cause warmer conditions and extending these into September hence affecting output in the peak harvest season. This will cut agricultural output and provide inflationary pressure.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization that works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change, is positive about the economic prospects of Indonesia. However, the institution also emphasized that Indonesia needs to do its homework in order to benefit optimally from the country’s demographic bonus and to join the ranks of the upper-middle-income countries.
On Saturday 5 July 2014, the fifth presidential debate between the two presidential pairs took place. Candidates Prabowo Subianto (joined by running mate Hatta Rajasa) and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (joined by running mate Jusuf Kalla) faced off in the last debate. The theme of this debate was 'energy, food security and environment'. Sudharto P. Hadi, Professor of Sociology at the Diponegoro University in Semarang (Central Java) was the moderator. On Wednesday 9 July 2014, the Indonesian people will go to the ballot boxes to elect their next leader.
With the presidential election of Indonesia (scheduled for 9 July) becoming a battle between Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, and former army general and Suharto crony Prabowo Subianto, it is worth taking a closer look into the ideas and policies that both candidates would like to implement if elected as the next Indonesian president, as well as their stance on specific economic issues. The viewpoints that are mentioned below are based on the documents that both parties provided to the General Election Commission.
Latest Columns Agriculture
The World Bank has revised down its forecast for economic growth in Indonesia in 2013 to 5.9 percent from its original estimate of 6.2 percent. Similarly, the institution has altered its forecast for economic growth in 2014 from 6.5 percent to 6.2 percent. The revised figures were published in July's edition of the Indonesia Economic Quarterly (IEQ), titled 'Adjusting to Pressures'. The World Bank's forecast is also in sharp contrast with the GDP assumption of the Indonesian government, which puts economic growth in 2013 at 6.3 percent.
Indonesian companies engaged in the production of a variety of agricultural products, such as palm oil, experienced a rather poor year in 2012 regarding net profit. Global economic turmoil has reduced the world's consumption of palm oil in both the developed markets and developing markets. In particular decreased demand from China, the world’s biggest buyer after India, made a negative impact on the balance sheets of Indonesian companies.
Associated businesses Agriculture
- Astra Agro Lestari
- Bakrie Sumatera Plantations
- BISI International
- Bumi Teknokultura Unggul
- Eagle High Plantations
- Indofood Sukses Makmur
- Inti Agri Resources
- Perkebunan Nusantara III (SOE)
- Perkebunan Nusantara IV (SOE)
- PP London Sumatra Indonesia