Indonesia to buy about 150,000 tonnes of Indian rice
November 14, 2012
Indonesia’s state procurement body Bulog is in talks to buy 100,000-150,000 tonnes of rice from India to boost stock levels, but may ship less than half of its total rice import permits issued for this year, a trade ministry official said on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Indonesia’s foreign trade Director-General Deddy Saleh said Bulog planned to import 100,000 tonnes of rice from India as it looked to create buffer stocks of about 2 million tonnes.
“Bulog is in talks with India to import 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of rice,” Saleh told reporters on Tuesday. He added that the government has issued Bulog with 1 million tonnes worth of rice import permits for this year. “However Bulog has said that they may only import 700,000 tonnes by the end of this year,” Saleh said. Bulog usually maintains rice stocks at between 1.5 million and 2 million tonnes by buying from domestic suppliers or exporters within the region, favouring the former.
Last month, Bulog’s CEO said its rice imports this year would be between 500,000-770,000 tonnes and that it was communicating with sellers in India and Vietnam because they are selling at cheaper prices than Thailand. Saleh added that Bulog was also in talks with Vietnam to import 300,000 tonnes of rice, confirming what traders said last week. Bulog already has a rice deal in place for 300,000 tonnes of the staple from Vietnam for delivery by December 2012. Indonesia was self-sufficient in rice in the early 1980s, but the crop gradually declined as farmland was turned into housing for a booming population.