International Agriculture News

Indonesia’s 2018 food wheat imports to rise 6 per cent despite cost hike

Indonesia’s imports of wheat for flour are expected to reach 8.5 million tonnes this year, an industry body said, up from 8 million tonnes in 2017, despite increasing prices of the grain.

Indonesian demand for noodles, biscuits and snacks like martabak, a local version of a pancake, has climbed steadily in recent years as a growing middle class adopts a more western diet.

The country is the world’s second-biggest wheat importer, behind Egypt, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

But a 9 per cent drop in the value of the rupiah against the US dollar this year has increased costs for importers and may slow consumption going forward, Indonesian Flour Mills Association chairman Franky Welirang said.