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Imported rice ban could be extended until 2005
The Kajarta Post
The current ban on imported rice could be extended to next year until the local harvest, Minister of Agriculture Bungaran Saragih said on Monday.
"We may extend the ban until February next year because we expect an abundant (local) harvest," he said.
"The ban extension is necessary to protect domestic prices from falling. If the price is too low, farmers may lose interest in growing rice, endangering our food supply," he added.
This year the Ministry of Industry and Trade applied a one-year rice import ban from Jan. 1 until Dec. 31 because of a bumper harvest.
Last year Indonesia harvested 51.1 million tons of unhusked rice, the highest in the republic's history. This year the harvest is expected to be even higher, at 53.7 million tons of unhusked rice, the Central Statistics Bureau (BPS) says.
Bungaran also expected Indonesia would not need to import rice starting this year.
"We had to import rice following the monetary crisis. Our harvest was also ruined by El Niño climate disturbance, meaning we had to import six million tons of rice in 1998," he said.
"Gradually, imports have been reduced and last year we only imported one ton of rice," he said. (***)
MGR Archive 7.9.2004
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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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