Cocoa Exports to Exceed US$1 Billion
Monday, 26 March, 2007 | 16:51 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: Cocoa producers have stated that the value of exports this year is estimated to reach US$950 million.

Head of the Indonesian Cocoa Association Halim Abdul Razak said that the growth of export this year will be between 20 percent and 30 percent.

“The increase is a result of the 30 percent rise in world cocoa price last month,” said Halim last week.

He said that the price of cocoa seeds, which were previously US$1,415 per ton, has increased by between US$500 and US$1,920 per ton since early March this year.

“Seen from the overall value, the increase can be more than between 20 percent and 30 percent. However, bearing in mind the volume, the increase will be between 5 percent and 10 percent compared to 2006,” said Halim.

Previously, the government stated that the value of cocoa exports this year would reach US$1 billion, an increase compared to last year's US$800 million.

Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that the increase in exports was caused by improvements in the sector.

“In addition to cocoa, crude palm oil and footwear have also increased,” Mari said last week.

According to Halim, the increase in exports was triggered by the exemption of value added tax on primary products.

“In addition, there were improvements in the on-farm sector,” he said.

Halim went onto to say that Indonesian cocoa seeds exported in 2006 totaled 450,000 tons, while production reached 590,000 tons.

“The remainder was absorbed by domestic industry.”

Secretary General of the Association of Cocoa Industry Sasongko stated that the exempted value added tax on the primary value of cocoa seeds has automatically boosted exports.

“The removal of cocoa import duty to China, which is the new industrial market, has helped in boosting the increase of exports,” he told Tempo.

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