"We will ensure that the stock is available and the price is affordable," he said after attending the National Coordination Meeting for Price Stabilization and Availability of Basic Needs in Bandung on Monday.
The director general of domestic trade has coordinated with 34 heads of industry and trade services to ensure several things related to basic needs availability ahead of Christmas and the New Year, he informed.
The prices of red chili ahead of Christmas and the New Year this year have been affected by climate change and the prices of commodities such as cooking oil and soybeans have been influenced by global conditions, he informed.
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"For example, cooking oil price has reached Rp16 thousand to Rp17 thousand caused by the price of CPO (crude palm oil)," Lutfi noted.
Other commodities whose prices have increased are broiler eggs and red chilis, he said. However, their price increase is still reasonable considering the cost of eggs sourced from farmers has already reached Rp19 thousand to Rp21 thousand, he added.
"So, the fair price for broiler eggs is Rp24 thousand. We need to understand that we have to protect these egg farmers as well," he emphasized.
The red chili price has increased by 15 percent during the rainy season ahead of Christmas and the New Year, Lutfi said.
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Weather changes automatically increase red chili prices, he pointed out. He said that in some regions, his ministry has received reports that stocks in one area are safe for up to 1.5 months for meeting Christmas and New Year demand.
Meanwhile, the director general of domestic trade at the Trade Ministry, Oka Nurwan, said that the highest increase in cooking oil prices has been seen in bulk oil, compared to packaged cooking oil, which can last for one year.
"Because the lifespan is very short, it depends on international CPO; the price depends on it," Nurwan added.
The distribution of 11 million liters of oil at a price of Rp14 thousand will be accompanied by public education about the increase in international CPO that affects the price of bulk oil, he said.
The monthly need for cooking oil in Indonesia has reached 410 thousand tons, which is absorbed for making packaged cooking oil and household and industrial bulk purposes, he added.
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