The Jakarta Post
The State Logistics Agency (Bulog) is seeking the government’s approval to import 200,000 tons of sugar to stabilize prices during this year’s Ramadan, which will begin in late April.
The agency’s director for operations and public services, Tri Wahyudi, said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the sugar price, which had exceeded the government’s current price ceiling, was expected to further increase during the fasting month when food consumption is far higher than on normal days.
Imports, he said, were needed in order to increase the supply in the market because the sugarcane in the country could only be harvested after Idul Fitri, a celebration that comes after a full month of fasting.
"The sugarcane can be harvested after Idul Fitri. So we propose an import of 200,000 tons. It is sugar for consumption, not raw sugar for industries," Tri was quoted by Kompas as saying.
Tri acknowledged that the agency had received requests from various parties to import sugar because they feared the price increase would continue if Bulog did not increase the supply in the market.
"We have submitted our proposal to import sugar to the coordinating economic minister. We need to import to stabilize the price,” he added.
At present the sugar price has reached Rp 4,000 per kilogram, exceeding the government’s price ceiling of Rp 12,500 per kilogram.
In 2018, Bulog did not import sugar because it had around 400,000 tons of sugar stocks ahead of Ramadan. (hen)