Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said domestic stocks of sugar are projected to increase in the months of May and June this year.

"Hopefully, stocks will increase in May and June," the minister said during a virtual press conference here on Tuesday.

About 25 thousand tons of sugar will enter the market from the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) and 140 thousand tons through reallocation from refineries and exporters, he informed.

The coordinating minister said he is optimistic that sugar stocks will continue to rise and prices will continue to fall.

In the meantime, Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, said the stocks of 11 commodities, namely rice, corn, shallots, garlic, large chili, cayenne pepper, beef, buffalo meat, chicken eggs, cooking oil, and granulated sugar are expected to be at a safe level until June.

"Our balance of food until June of 11 commodities (is sufficient, and), we believe, in safe condition and under government control. Hopefully, there would be no obstacle in the distribution nor ground dynamics that could make prices unstable," Minister Limpo noted.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had said some Indonesian provinces were facing a shortfall in certain basic necessities, with 30 provinces recording a shortage in sugar stocks and 31 provinces reporting a deficit in garlic stocks.

During a virtual meeting from the Bogor Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on April 28, 2020, the President said a deficit in rice stocks has been detected in seven provinces, corn deficit in 11 provinces, red chili in 23 provinces, chili pepper in 19 provinces, shallots in one province, and eggs in 22 provinces.

“The stocks of edible oil are adequate in 34 provinces, but a deficit in sugar stocks has been seen in 30 provinces and garlic in 31 provinces," Jokowi revealed.

The President has ordered ministries, agencies, and local governments to map the basic necessities needed by provinces.

Pointing out that provinces that record a surplus can supply commodities to other regions faced with a shortage, he said, the government, on its part, would ensure smooth distribution of essential goods, despite the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

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Translator: Rangga PAJ, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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