22 January 1999
Indonesian exports to dip

INDONESIAS commodity exports are set to decline this year, according to figures released by the trade and industry department.

Cocoa sales are forecast to drop to $338 million (£205m), against $360m last year, while coffee exports will drop from $510m to $479m.

Indonesia is the worlds third largest producer of both coffee and cocoa.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects Indonesia to produce a record 310,000 tonnes of cocoa in the 1998-99 season.

USDA puts coffee output at 6.8m bags, 6% lower than in 1997-98.

The crop is still recovering from a severe drought in 1997 that damaged coffee trees and delayed the harvest.

Indonesias overseas sale of crude palm oil have already begun to fall because of a rise in export taxes to 60%.

Production has also been hit by heavy rain and growers say output fell 15% last month.

The industry ministry predicts that crude palm oil exports will total $505m this year against $538m in 1998.

  • Financial Times 22/01/99 page 26 (News Digest)