Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo or Jokowi chaired a limited meeting on food commodity prices, especially corn, sugar, and rice, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Monday, October 9, 2023. The government concluded that the solution to curb the price hikes is imports.
When met after the meeting, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said the prices of sugar and corn were gradually increasing given the current global situation, such as conflicts and El Nino phenomena. "We will see the development from week to week. We don't want to be late in making decisions," he said.Zulkifli confirmed that the government would import 250,000 tons of corn for the animal feed industry. Meanwhile, on sugar, the National Mandate Party (PAN) politician said the government would first wait for the prices to fall before deciding on imports.
The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) set the price of sugar at Rp12,500 per kilogram, lower than the government's purchase price at Rp13,000 per kilogram.
The Food Agency's (Bapanas) Price Panel showed that the average price of sugar at the retail level was Rp15,580 per kilogram as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
"Bapanas will look for the solution," he said, adding that sugar importers had only sent about 30 percent of the total sugar allotment.
In anticipation of the impact of El Nino, the government is also collaborating with a number of countries to procure rice if needed. The government had built up stocks by importing 1.5 million tons. The National Logistics Agency (Bulog) has rice reserves of 1.7 million tons.