Jakarta (ANTARA) - The price of fermented food products made from soybean, namely tofu and tempe, will increase in Indonesia in the coming months due to soaring international soybean prices, the Trade Ministry has informed.

"The global soybean supply is currently disrupted. There is a decline in soybean production in Brazil, which was originally predicted to produce 140 million tons in January, but its production has fallen to 125 million tons," Director of Domestic Trade at the ministry Oke Nurwan said.

This decline in production has had an impact on increasing world soybean prices, he informed at a virtual press conference on Friday.

Another cause for the price rise has been inflation in the United States, which has reached 7 percent, he said. This has resulted in price increases in soybean product inputs, he explained.

In addition, labor reductions, increases in land rental costs, and weather-related uncertainties in soybean-producing countries have also led soybean farmers in the United States to raise prices, he informed.

"Based on data from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), soybean prices in the first week of February 2022 reached US$15.77 per bushel or around Rp11,240 per kilogram at the domestic importer level," he noted.

It is estimated that the prices will continue to increase until May 2022 to reach US$15.79 per bushel, he informed. Furthermore, there will be a decline in prices in July to US$15.74 per bushel at the importer level, he said.

Thus, the increase in global soybean prices would inflate soybean prices for domestic tofu and tempe producers, Nurwan added.

"The increase in soybean prices directly affects the prices of derivative products from soybeans, especially tofu and tempe," he said.

Based on data from the Association of Indonesian Tempe and Tofu Producers Cooperatives (Gakoptindo), the current price of soybeans is Rp10,800–Rp11,000 per kilogram, he noted.

Meanwhile, soybean stock at importers is currently around 140 thousand tons and additional stock of 160 thousand tons is expected to be added, he said.

Thus, the supply of soybeans is estimated to be sufficient to meet domestic demand for the next two months, he added.

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However, Nurwan emphasized, the government will maintain the availability of soybeans even though the prices are rising.

"We understand that tofu and tempe are some of the most consumed food products in Indonesia," he said.

At least 80 percent of Indonesia's soybean needs are currently supplied from abroad since domestic production is not sufficient, Nurwan explained.

As an initial estimate, the price of tempe would be around Rp10,300–Rp10,600 per kilogram, he said. Meanwhile, the price of tofu would range between Rp52,450–Rp 53,700 per board or Rp650–Rp700 per piece, he added.

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Translator: Sella Panduarsa G, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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