Indonesian oleochemical exports are expected to increase for a third consecutive year on higher demand for cleaning and healthcare products during the pandemic, the chair of the country’s oleochemical producers association (APOLIN) said.
The south-east Asian nation is the world’s biggest palm oil producer and is expected to export 4 million tonnes of oleochemicals derived from the edible oil this year, up 5.3 per cent from 3.8 million tonnes in 2020.
In value terms, exports of the chemical compounds used in soaps and cosmetics are seen at $3.8 billion this year, up 46.2 per cent on the $2.6 billion recorded in 2020, APOLIN Chairman, Rapolo Hutabarat, told a virtual conference on Thursday.
In 2019, Indonesian oleochemical exports stood at 3.2 million tonnes valued at $2.1 billion.
Impact of Covid
The steady rise was due to increased demand for personal hygiene products during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Awareness for hygiene, frequent hand washing and bathing after doing activities outside is directly increasing demand for… liquid soap, soap bars, shampoo and healthcare products,” Hutabarat said, describing the pandemic as the main driver.
In the January-July period, oleochemical exports jumped to 3.82 million tonnes, up more than 16 per cent on 3.27 million tonnes in the same period last year, according to data from the trade ministry.
The data also showed higher palm oil exports in the January-July period compared to the year earlier.