Friday, 7 Jumadil Akhir 1439 / 23 February 2018

Friday, 7 Jumadil Akhir 1439 / 23 February 2018

Indonesia starts processing rice imports to stabilize prices

Sabtu 20 January 2018 12:10 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution.

Foto: Yasin Habibi/ Republika
Govt to ask Bulog to conduct market operations if the prices do not drop.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- A senior economic minister of Indonesia said here on Friday that the country has started processing rice imports to stabilize prices and curb inflation. Import process was said to be started next week.

"We have indeed pushed the Bulog (national logistics agency) to immediately finish the process of tender," stated the coordinating minister for economic affairs, Darmin Nasution.

He cautioned against worrying about the policy as the decision was made in response to the limited supply of "special" rice. "Please do not worry about whether there is a surplus or deficit. The decision was made because the price is up," he noted.

Darmin pointed out the Bulog was ready to stabilize the price of rice in regions where prices have risen because of supply problems. "We will ask the Bulog to conduct market operations if the prices do not drop," he added.

The Ministry of Trade has made assurances that the decision to import up to 500 thousand tons of premium rice will not affect farmers.

Also read: Imported rice not to be released in the markets: Bulog

Trade Minister Enggartiadto Lukita remarked that the imported rice is intended to cover the stock shortage ahead of the grand harvest in March. "The decision to import rice was made to avoid a shortage in stock that could cause prices in various regions to rise," he stressed at a meeting with the House Commission VI on Thursday.

Based on the Trade Ministry's records as of January 17, rice stocks in the Bulog were recorded at 854,947 tons. Of this amount, the government's reserves have reached 134,646 tons, while the market needs are estimated to be some 8,992 tons per day.

With the planned distribution to be carried out from January 18 to March 31, the remaining supply at the Bulog by March 31 is expected to be some 152,029 tons. "The government would not risk a shortage in the rice supply, as the harvest is expected to arrive only in March," the minister stressed. 

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