We expect that the price will not be lower than Rp2,500 (US$0.17).
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government strives to seek a middle ground to reduce the price of cooking oil and increase its supply in Indonesia, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated.

The minister highlighted the government's keenness to restructure the upstream and downstream sector of cooking oil in terms of the production and distribution in order to increase the state revenue and prevent future recurrence of the problem of fluctuating prices and supply of cooking oil.

"In the upstream sector, the government must be able to maintain the welfare of the palm oil farmers. In the downstream sector, the government must ensure that the public can buy cooking oil at a reasonable price," he remarked at an online press conference here on Sunday.

However, the government should also convince the cooking oil producers, distributors, and retailers that they can still earn appropriate profits from manufacturing and selling the commodity.

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"We also do not want any producer as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) losing their proper profit," the coordinating minister affirmed.

Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of opening crude palm oil and cooking oil raw material exports since international trade greatly affected the income of palm oil farmers.

"When the export (demand) increases, all (cooking oil) production and distribution chains can resume. Thus, we hope that the (palm oil) fresh fruit bunches (FFB) price would also rise," he stated.

Hence, various ministries and agencies had striven to encourage export activities of the commodity, he noted.

Pandjaitan remarked that the government had gradually opened export activities for more than one million tons of palm oil.

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He ensured that the government will continue to monitor the performance of export activity, especially regarding its impact on the price of palm oil FFB while being bought from the farmers.

"Various attempts aimed at accelerating the process (to increase the export performance) will be conducted if the FFB price at the farmer level is too low. We expect that the price will not be lower than Rp2,500 (US$0.17). We hope that the price can be higher in future,” he emphasized.

On the same occasion, he expected that the issue of fluctuating price and supply of cooking oil can be addressed within the next two or three weeks.

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Translator: Ade Junida, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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