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Indonesia signs rice import deal with Thailand and Vietnam JAARTA - Indonesia has agreed to sign a preliminary agreement with Thailand and Vietnam to import some 400,000 tonnes of rice via government-to-government deals. This was reported by a senior trade ministry official on Friday. These agreements on rice imports are part of the governments prevously announced plans to buy up to 1.5 million tonnes of rice this year alone to bring stability to prices in Indonesia. “We will import 400,000 tonnes of rice via government-to-government deals and we have a Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam and Thailand,” said Diah Maulida, director general of foreign trade at the trade ministry.

“But we may still look at rice imports from other countries such as India, Pakistan and China because they (Thailand and Vietnam) may not have sufficient stocks,” she said. In December last year the government announced it would import some 500,000 tonnes of rice for 2007, but a week later it said that it would import 500.000 tonnes more, with an extra option for double this amount. Last Tuesday, state logistics agency Bulog said it was to hold a aucton on March 5 to buy 100,000 tonnes of rice. Prices of some staple foods have been rising for the 220 million Indonesians in recent months because of supply shortages before the March harvest period.

Rice imports are a sensitive issue and have triggered protests by farmers in the countryside in the past. They fear these imports will depress prices. The plans for additional imports came after government stockpiles were released by Bulog to ease rising prices and for the cheap programme for te poor as well.


Related blog entry (category 'General') Related blog entry (category 'General'):
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Posted in General @ 24 February 2007 03:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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