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Indonesia eyes rice counter-trade deal
Indonesia is considering buying 250,000 tonnes of rice through government-to-government deals with neighbouring countries because of fluctuations in the rupiah currency, state logistics agency Bulog says today.

Jakarta lifted a ban on rice imports last week and plans to issue permits to Bulog in October in a move to ensure sufficient national stocks in Indonesia, where rice is a staple food for its 220 million people.

The rupiah has been depressed recently as the country has been forced to sell rupiah for dollars to pay for oil imports, hurting the economy and the budget as world oil prices soared.

“Government-to-government deals are being discussed, whether a counter-trade (agreement) with Thailand or Vietnam could be implemented. An open tender is another option,” Bulog chairman Widjanarko Puspoyo told reporters.

The commodity is traded in US dollars, which increases the cost of imports for Indonesia when its currency weakens.

Puspoyo said Bulog planned to buy 15 per cent broken rice grade, and deliveries of the grain should arrive in stages between October to next January before the next rice harvest begins. The grain should be delivered to consuming areas in eastern part of Indonesia and Borneo, said Puspoyo.

In the past, Indonesia has supplied Thailand and Vietnam with commodities in exchange for rail wagons and fertiliser.

“We strongly support government-to-government deals rather than a commercial one because of the rupiah’s condition.
MGR Archive 18.9.2005
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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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