Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will import 215,000 tons of sugar to maintain the national supply and anticipate increased demand during the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
Head of the National Food Agency (NFA) Arief Prasetyo noted in a statement on Saturday that the import will be conducted by state-owned food enterprises: ID Food and plantation holding company PTPN.
Adi said domestic sugar production during the January-December 2023 period is expected to reach 2.6 million tons, while demand during the same period is expected to reach 3.4 million tons.
"Hence, we have to cover the lack of supply with import. We are expediting this move of (sugar) provision from the foreign market to prevent scarcity because this year's fasting month and Eid will fall ahead of the sugar milling season," he elaborated.
The State-Owned Enterprises Ministry has tasked the two companies with importing the commodity in stages.
"All licensing processes from the SoE Ministry and the Trade Ministry have been conducted. The sugar import will arrive in stages. During the March-May period, some 99 thousand tons of white crystal sugar will arrive," Adi revealed.
The import will arrive at the three ports of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, and Belawan in Medan.
The decision to import was agreed upon during a ministerial coordination meeting in January. The move is aimed at maintaining stability in food supply and prices and improving the government's food reserves (CPP).
Based on NFA's food prices panel on March 24, the average price of sugar at the consumer level is stable at Rp14,416 (around US$0.95) per kg since October 2022, still below its selling reference price (HAP).
The reference price for sugar at the consumer level was set at Rp14,500 per kg, according to NFA Regulation No. 11 of 2022.