"The decline in exports over the past several months had been caused by falling prices of rubber, and palm oil, the main export commodities from West Sumatra," head of the provincial branch of BPS Sukardi said here on Monday.
The prices of the commodities and import duty slapped by the the main export destination India contributed to the shrinking export earning, Sukardi said.
West Sumatra`s export commodities in June included palm oil valued at US$66.43 million and natural rubber and rubber products valued at US$23.05 million.
Sukardi said the largest export destination in June was India to which exports were valued at US$40.87 million, followed by the United States valued at US$23.05 million and Pakistan US$9.17 million.
Exports to India contributed 26.73 percent to total exports of West Sumatra in the same period.
A sharp decline was also recorded in the West Sumatra`s exports of manufactured goods shrinking 17.83 percent month to month in June, he said.
Meanwhile, imports of the province were valued at US$49.70 million in June or an increase of 36.77 percent from US$36.34 million in May this year.
Its main imports included mineral fuel valued at US$44.67 million, fertilizers valued at US$4.81 million, and salt, sulfur, lime valued at US$0.09 million.
Earlier Bank Indonesia said West Sumatra could increase exports as the world economy is growing and the prices of a number fo commodities have improved.
Currently, West Sumatra still relies only on natural rubber and palm oil for exports, head of the West Sumatra representative office of Bank Indonesia, Endy Dwi Tjahjono said.
The province needs to diversify its export commodities, Endy said, adding "it is good momentum to create synergy to boost exports.
He said replanting is also needed for oil palm plantations in the province as many of the oil palm trees have been too old and less productive amid limited land for expansion of plantations.
In addition West Sumatra is still lagging behind in the development of downstream palm oil industry, he said.
West Sumatra has developed only crude palm oil processing plant, he said, adding, industry should be developed to produce end products to earn greater added value.
Meanwhile, Vice Governor Nasrul Abit said said West Sumatra has other potential export commodities such as coffee, gambier and fishery products.
Nasrul Abit said increase had been recorded from year to year in the exports of West Sumatra, but the increase was not enough to improve the welfare of the people. (SYS/AS).
(T.SYS/C/H-ASG/C/F001) 17-07-2018 07:57:08