Indonesia Has No Plan to Import Rice Until Q1

Jumat, 28 September 2012 | 08:54

Indonesia, one of Asia’s major rice importers, has no plan to import rice for the rest of this year and will not need to buy until the end of the first quarter of next year, the state procurement body, Bulog, said on Thursday.“Up to now, we don’t have any program of imports. I think everything is fine until late in the first quarter of next year.
The wet season has come and the weather is fine and the crop is fine,” Sutarto Alimoeso, president of Bulog told Reuters.
He said the wet season had come on time, providing ample rainfall for farmers to start planting the 2012/13 crop.
Indonesia was expected to produce around 72 million tons of paddy in the next 2012/13 crop, up slightly from 68 million tons in the previous crop, he added.
Sutarto told Reuters early this month Bulog would prefer to buy rice from Vietnam and India if forced to import as those countries offer a better quality and cheaper prices.
Rice prices offered from India and Vietnam were between $395 and $430 per tonne, well below the same grade of Thai origin of $585 per tonne, due largely to the Thai government’s intervention that has pushed prices to uncompetitively high levels, traders said.
As a result, Bulog has extended its MOU of rice supply with Vietnam until the end of 2017, meaning Vietnam would supply up to 1.5 million tons of rice to Indonesia if needed.