Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said about 78 thousand tons of imported garlic will enter the domestic markets this month to meet the demand and stabilize prices during Ramadhan and ahead of Idul Fitri.

"In May, around 78 thousand tons of garlic will arrive, hence (the stock) for Idul Fitri is relatively safe. Hopefully, other (imported commodities) will also enter (the domestic markets), so there will be sufficient stocks in the market," the minister said at a virtual press conference here on Tuesday.

He spoke to the press following a limited cabinet meeting held to discuss the anticipated impact of drought on the availability of staple food. The meeting was led by President Joko Widodo from the Merdeka Palace.

In April, 2020, 94 thousand tons of imported garlic entered Indonesia's markets, Hartarto noted.

The government had earlier relaxed import conditions, based on the Minister of Trade’s Regulation No. 27/2020 concerning the temporary elimination of SPI requirements for garlic and onions, valid until 31 May, 2020.

The domestic demand for garlic is around 50 thousand tons. In April, the country imported 94 thousand tons, and in May, around 78 thousand tons of garlic will be brought into the country, the minister said.

As for sugar, which has become scarce and expensive in domestic markets, he said, the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) will supply 25 thousand tons. In addition, about 140 thousand tons of sugar, initially reserved for industry, will be reallocated for the public. Also, 9 thousand tons of sugar, initially meant for exports, will be supplied to domestic markets.

"Hopefully, the sugar stocks will increase in April and May, and June, 2020," Airlangga Hartarto said.

Airlangga further claimed that the prices of 11 staple food commodities have been relatively under control this month. He cited the prices of medium and premium rice, which are currently pegged at Rp11,750 per kilogram and Rp12,700 per kilogram, respectively, to make his point.

He further informed the price of beef is Rp117,900 per kilogram, cayenne pepper is Rp34,700 per kilogram, and red chili is Rp30,600 per kilogram. Meanwhile, the price of onions is Rp48,000 per kilogram, garlic Rp38,700 per kilogram, and bulk oil Rp 12,200. The prices of commodities such as cooking oil, chicken meat, and eggs are relatively stable, the minister added.

There was a steep increase in sugar prices, but the prices have gradually dropped from Rp18,050 to Rp17,000 per kilogram, he said.

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Translator: Indra Areif P, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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