08:27 | 15/01/2018 Trade
Indonesia will import 500,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam and Thailand to contain rice price hikes and a declining supply in the local market, said Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita.
The type of imported rice will be of premium quality, using varieties not grown in Indonesia, so it will not harm local farmers or rice production, Lukita said on January 12.
The country’s current rice stocks were estimated at about 950,000 tonnes, most of which is low-grade rice to be distributed as aid for low-income people. Meanwhile, rice stocks for commercial purposes were only at 11,000 tonnes.
Previously, Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla had called on the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) to consider importing rice in order to bring down domestic prices.
According to the National Strategic Food Prices Information Centre (PIHPSN), the medium-quality rice is currently fetching IDR14,100 or US$1 per kg.
The rice prices vary among regions. West Papua reported the highest price of IDR14,250 per kg while the lowest price of just over IDR9,700 per kg was posted in West Nusa Tanggara.