Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has blamed "excessive" imports on the recent price drop of salt produced by local farmers for household needs.
“On the salt price drop, it is because of too many imports and the leak. That is the problem,” the minister said in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by kontan.co.id, referring to salt that was imported for industry needs but leaked to markets.
Susi said if the salt import was lower than 3 million tons, the price of salt produced by Indonesian farmers would not drop significantly.
She said under the normal supply, the price could be maintained at between Rp 1,500 (11 US cents) and Rp 2,000 per kilograms.
Currently, the salt price is Rp 600 per kg for top quality salt, Rp 500 per kilogram for second-tier salt and Rp 400 per kg for third-tier salt. Last year, the price was at around 1,000 per kg.
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry's maritime space management director general, Brahmantya Satyamurti Poerwadi, said the Industry Ministry needed to evaluate the industry's supply and demand for salt because his office had not been involved in salt imports.
“I hope there is a control mechanism on salt imports for industry,” the official said.
He called on the Industry Ministry to fulfill its promise made last year to facilitate the absorption of 1.2 million tons of salt produced by farmers from July 2018 to June 2019.
However, only 950,000 tons had been absorbed. (bbn)