Jakarta (ANTARA) - The price of medium-quality rice in the central market has started to decline following the distribution of rice from the government's reserves, according to an official from Indonesia's Ministry of Trade.

At the "Ramadan Preparation, Staple Food Price Conditions" event here on Monday, the ministry's director general of domestic trade, Isy Karim, said that the price easing has not been recorded in traditional markets, adding that it will take time.

As of Sunday (March 3, 2024), he said, there has been no decline in prices at the level of retailers.

"Nevertheless, the increase, as compared to the previous increase, has started to decrease," he informed.

He further said that in contrast to medium-quality rice, the price of premium-quality rice has not experienced a decline due to supply delays.

He explained that premium-quality rice generally comes from local producers. For that reason, its supply is influenced by shifts in the harvest season, he said.

Earlier, on February 29, president director of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), Bayu Krisnamurthi, said that 352 thousand tons of rice was distributed under the food supply and price stabilization (SPHP) program as of late February.

SPHP rice is rice sourced from government rice reserves that is being distributed to the community via a subsidy scheme, under which rice is being sold at a retail price ceiling of Rp10,900 (around US$0.69).

According to the Indonesian Rice Millers and Rice Entrepreneurs (Perpadi) of Jakarta, the per kilogram price of rice at Cipinang Central Market has declined by Rp2 thousand (US$0.13).

Jakarta Perpadi chairperson Nellys Soekidi said in Jakarta on Monday (March 4) that currently, the price of medium-quality rice in the central market has reached Rp12,300 (US$0.78) per kilogram, while the price of premium-quality rice has touched Rp14 thousand (US$0.89).

Based on data from the National Food Agency (Bapanas), as of Monday, the average price of medium-quality rice at retailers nationally was still at Rp14,360 (US$0.91), reflecting an increase of Rp60 compared to the previous week.

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Translator: Putu Indah, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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