"We only have sugarcane harvest after Eid Al-Fitr. We have urged the government to task (Bulog) with importing sugar. We proposed 200 thousand tons of imports for consumption not in raw sugar," Bulog's Director for Operational and Public Services Tri Wahyudi Saleh stated here on Wednesday.
According to data of the National Information Center of Strategic Food Price (PIHPS), the average price of sugar, as of Wednesday, had jumped to Rp14,600 per kg, from its price reference of Rp12,500 per kg at the consumers’ level.
Saleh noted that the import is aimed at stabilizing the sugar price at the consumer level, especially ahead of the fasting month and Eid al-Fitr when there is a significant rise in consumption.
The sugarcane harvesting period will only be started concurrently with the fasting month and Eid al-Fitr during the April-May period. Hence, imports are deemed necessary as a precautionary measure against the increased demand, he remarked.
Bulog's proposal on sugar import was also conveyed during a coordination meeting held at the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs on Monday (Feb 17).
"Several parties have urged Bulog to build its stock. We conveyed this at the meeting that we need (the stock) to stabilize the price," Saleh stated.
Earlier, Director General of Plantation of the Agriculture Ministry Kasdi Subagyono stated that the demand for refined crystal white sugar in Indonesia had reached 2.8 tons, while the country's production was only recorded at 2.2 million to 2.3 million tons.
The government has approved sugar imports of 495 million tons to cover the gap that has reached 500 thousand to 600 thousand tons. Related news: Trade Ministry temporarily bans imports of China's animals
Related news: Steel import cause of trade balance deficit: Jokowi
EDITED BY INE