Yohanes Maharso, Riani Sanusi Putri, Defara Dhanya, Jakarta – Arief Prasetyo Adi, head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) blatantly revealed the reason behind the recent sugar price hike to more than Rp16,000 per kilogram. He said that the cause was the low realization of sugar imports by importers, below the import permit quota issued by the government.
"The import task was supposed to have been properly executed by whoever holds the import permit. If they worked properly, the import realization would be more than 26 percent, and today we could have stocks with good prices," Arief said when met at the House of Representatives Complex, on Wednesday, November 8.
Furthermore, Arief said that the government had previously issued import permits to companies, both State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) and private companies. However, it turns out that these companies have not executed according to the specified time.
"Now prices are high, and people are asking the Food Agency. No. The question would be 'Why didn't you import?' Since they already have a permit," he said.
When asked if there would be sanctions for importers who failed to realize sugar imports, Arief said that if the realization of sugar imports did not improve, the government would evaluate and then stop granting import permits to the companies concerned.
Based on data from the Food Agency's Price Panel, the national average price of granulated sugar as of Thursday, November 9 stood at Rp16,210 per kilogram. This is above the upper Reference Sales Price (HAP) of sugar consumption set forth in National Food Agency (Perbadan) Regulation No. 17 of 2023, which pegs it at Rp12,500 per kilogram at the producer level, Rp14,500 per kilogram at the consumer level, and Rp15,500 per kilogram in Eastern Indonesia and in Disadvantaged, Outermost, Remote and Border areas (3TP).