Indonesia mulling 3 million tons of corn imports in 2016
JAKARTA - Indonesia may import 3 million tons of corn in 2016, an industry ministry official said, amid growing demand for the grain from food industries and millers, and following a disruption to the country's corn imports earlier this year. Sou...
JAKARTA - Indonesia may import 3 million tons of corn in 2016, an industry ministry official said, amid growing demand for the grain from food industries and millers, and following a disruption to the country's corn imports earlier this year.
Southeast Asia's largest economy, which imports corn mainly from Argentina and Brazil, stopped issuing corn import permits to feedmills in July, with the government making a broad push for food self-sufficiency and channelling imports through state procurement agency Bulog.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is pursuing self-sufficiency targets in various foodstuffs, with curbs on imports getting blamed for spiking rice, beef and sugar prices, and adding to the country's economic woes since he came into power in late 2014.
Indonesia's demand for corn has grown in recent years due to rising wealth and resultant higher demand for poultry, and the tightening of corn imports was expected to lead to increases in poultry and egg prices as farmers paid more for their feed.
Demand for corn from Indonesian feedmills and food industries is expected to grow 4 percent to 13.8 million tons in 2016 from 13.26 million tons this year, Panggah Susanto, Director General of Agricultural Industries at the Industry Ministry, said on Thursday.
An import of 3 million tons next year would be just above an estimate of less than 3 million tons in 2015 - and below the 3.1 million tons taken in 2014.
The issue of imports is still subject to government discussion, Susanto said, adding that floor and ceiling prices may be set for corn purchases.
Buyers across Asia expect corn prices to fall as a new government in the world's fourth biggest exporter, Argentina, plans to reduce taxes on farm product exports, encouraging farmers to liquidate stockpiles and boost output.