"Recommendation will be issued based on the demand of the industry. We are now verifying which industries need (raw sugar), and we will see their supply," Dwiwahjono remarked when contacted here on Tuesday.
Dwiwahjono said, the demand of raw sugar for the food and beverage industry is expected to reach 3.6 million tons in 2019.
However, the government has decided to import 2.8 million tons, as the food and beverage industry has a supply of some 800 thousand tons of raw sugar for this year`s production.
He added that the ministry will issue a recommendation on the half-yearly import of raw sugar, so that imports can be conducted twice a year.
Dwiwahjono has forecast that the import of raw sugar will be higher in the first six months, with the incoming fasting month and Eid al-Fitr during which the demand will increase.
"Some 60 percent of the imports will be in the first six months, and 40 percent in the second semester," he added.
The ministry will ensure that the import volume of raw sugar will be adjusted in line with the industry demand.
"We will ensure that the imports are in line with the industry demand. Hence, we need to verify several data," he pointed out.
Imports of raw sugar are required to achieve the growth target of the food and beverage industry at eight percent by the end of 2019.
Reporting by Sella Panduarsa Gareta. Sri Haryati
Editing by Suharto