Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - Clove prices in Ambon City, Maluku, fluctuated to Rp90 thousand (around US$6.2) per kg at the end of August 2021, affected by demand vacillations in the main market in Surabaya, East Java.

Evi, a local clove merchant trading at the Setia Budi Road, Ambon, stated that clove price fluctuations in Surabaya were causal to the price change in Maluku. She informed that the current price of the commodity stood at Rp90 thousand, increasing from the earlier price of Rp87 thousand (around US$6) per kg.

She highlighted the discontent among fellow farmers over the changing price of the commodity in the last two months, yet they were helpless, as the price is entirely determined by the market mechanism in Surabaya’s markets.

"The price of cloves had increased in the last three days, up to Rp90 thousand, from Rp87 thousand. In mid-July, the price also hiked up to Rp105 thousand (around US$7.2) for one kg before continuously decreasing in August," Evi stated.

Maluku Regional Industry and Trade Agency Head Elvis Patiselano admitted that Maluku's clove price depended on the Surabaya market despite the region being a major clove producer.

He stated that the regional authority could not control the price, as it was fully determined by the market mechanism. The regional authority on price control is limited to basic and strategic commodities, such as rice and sugar, he added.

"The price of a commodity is determined by seller and buyer interactions. The government cannot set the commodities' sale price unilaterally, except for basic and strategic commodities for which we could set the highest retail price," Patiselano stated.

Apart from clove, he noted that several commodities were also affected by the recent price fluctuations. The price of copra was down to Rp11 thousand (around US$0.7) per kg, while the price of round nutmeg fluctuated in the price range of Rp85-95 thousand (around US$5.8-6.5) per kg.

Despite price fluctuations in several commodities, Patiselano also highlighted that the cost of nutmeg remained stable at Rp240 thousand (around US$16.5) per kg, while the cost of cacao beans stayed unchanged at Rp29 thousand (around US$2) per kg.

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Translator: John Soplanit, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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