Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Monday that the government had reaffirmed its plan to import 2 million tons of rice this year to assure the availability of the commodity in the market.
He said the decision to import 2 million tons of rice was made during a coordination meeting among relevant ministries and the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) in April.
Meanwhile, the Monday coordination meeting was decided to talk Bulog into carrying out market penetration to assurance a balance between supply and demand.
“If the supply declines, we see a price increase trend. If the stock decreases, we have to add the stock,” said Enggartiasto after the meeting as quoted by kontan.co.id.
According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia imported 844,164 tons of rice in 2014, 861,601 tons in 2015, 12 million tons in 2016 and 305,275 tons in 2017.
He said the release of more rice stock was to maintain the market price of the commodity below the ceiling price of Rp 9,450 (65 US cents) per kilogram in Java, Lampung and South Sumatra as well as Rp 10,250 per kg in Papua and Maluku.
According to food price website hargapangan.id, the rice price in many parts of the country has exceeded the ceiling prices.