Govt to auction 20 containers
of garlic

The government will auction off 20 containers of garlic with incomplete documentation, a senior official says.

Trade Ministry director general of foreign trade Bachrul Chairi said on Tuesday that 20 containers of garlic had not met the horticultural products importation requirements (RIPH).

“So we will be auctioning off those 20 containers,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Bachrul said the Trade Ministry had summoned 14 garlic importers and found that the three importers – PT Lika Dayatama, PT Pentabiz International and PT Citra Gemini – had imported garlic that exceeded the amount allocated per applicant.

Some other importers, Bachrul said, had not obtained RIPH documents when they conducted the importation. “They hoped they could obtain RIPH documents by the time the imported garlic had arrived in Indonesia. What they’ve done is try to anticipate the market,” he said.

Recently, around 500 containers could not be released from Tanjung Priok Port in Surabaya, East Java, due to incomplete importation documentation, including RIPH and import permit letters (SPI).

The Trade Ministry and Agriculture Ministry released 332 containers of garlic recently after the importation documents required were finally issued by the relevant institutions, partly to lower the price of garlic.

The price of garlic has skyrocketed in the last several months. In February, garlic was selling for Rp 25,964 (US$2.67) per kilogram in Kramat Jati market in Jakarta, up from Rp 19,306 in January. The price of garlic increased to Rp 60,000 per kilogram in March. (ebf)

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