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Indonesia oleochem exports up on pandemic demand for hygiene goods

JAKARTA : Indonesian oleochemical exports are expected to increase for a third consecutive year on higher demand for cleaning and healthcare products during the pandemic, the chairman of the country's oleochemical producers association (APOLIN) said.

The Southeast Asian nation, the world's biggest palm oil producer, is expected to export 4 million tonnes of oleochemicals derived from the edible oil this year, up 5.3per cent on the 3.8 million tonnes in 2020.

In value terms, exports of the chemical compounds used in soaps and cosmetics, are seen at US$3.8 billion this year, up 46.2per cent on the US$2.6 billion recorded in 2020, APOLIN's chairman, Rapolo Hutabarat told a virtual conference on Thursday.

In 2019, Indonesian oleochemical exports stood at 3.2 million tonnes valued at US$2.1 billion.

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 16per 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.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Ed Davies)

Source: Reuters


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