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Government to evaluate rice import ban
Asia Times
The Indonesian government will evaluate its rice import ban on a monthly basis, considering after each time whether the national rice stock matches domestic demand, Agriculture Minister Bungaran Saragih said on Thursday.

"The Industry and Trade Minister and I have decided that the rice import ban will from now on be evaluated on a monthly, instead of on [a] six-monthly basis, as we have been doing so far," Bungaran said before a workshop on food sufficiency.

Bungaran said monthly evaluations of the rice import ban would be more effective to determine if imports were necessary to supplement domestic production.

The policy was designed to anticipate possible damage to paddy fields or harvest failures due to drought or floods, Bungaran said, adding that the new policy would take effect after the end of the current six-month ban on rice imports.

According to the minister, the government will issue a flexible regulation on rice imports. "We want a flexible policy so that we can evaluate the need for imports once a month," he said.

The government would ban rice imports if domestic production was adequate and reopen the import pipeline when local production could not meet domestic demand.

Under Decree No 9/2004, issued on January 10 by the industry and trade minister, imported rice is not allowed to enter the Indonesian market one month before and two months after the harvest season.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the harvest season runs from February to May, meaning the six-month import ban is effective from January to July.

Bungaran said, the policy has effectively kept the rice price at a reasonable level and has prevented excessive supply.

The Agriculture Ministry will collect data on domestic rice production for the Industry and Trade Ministry to use when deciding whether or not to re-allow rice imports.
MGR Archive 31.5.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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