Indonesia issues licenses to import garlic as prices jump sixfold

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The Indonesian Trade Ministry has issued permits to import 135,000 tons of garlic to cope with the acute shortage of the spice, which has caused a sharp increase in its price throughout the country.

The Trade Ministry's director general for foreign trade, Bachrul Chairi, said that shipments for one of Indonesia's basic cuisine ingredients would take place within two weeks.

"Import permits for around 90 percent of a total of 160,000 tons of import quota for the first half have been issued and importers seem to have verified their orders," he said in Jakarta on Friday.

The Agriculture Ministry, which is authorized to decide on imports, has set a quota of 320,000 tons for garlic imports this year.

Half of the figure will be realized in the first half of the year, while the remaining 160,000 tons will be shipped throughout the rest of the year. The statement came one day after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered related ministers on the issue to respond quickly to the rising prices of foodstuffs.

Disruptions in the spice supply in local markets, particularly due to seasonal factors, have markedly pushed up prices over the past few weeks. The prices of shallots, also a basic ingredient in Indonesian cooking rose by up to sixfold to 60,000 rupiah (US$6.30) this week.

The steep increase in spice prices has raised concerns over a further increase in the country's inflation rate.

The increase in prices including garlic, shallots and red chilli, helped push up the Consumers Price Index (CPI) by 0.75 percent in February, driving year-on-year inflation to a 20-month high of 5.31 percent during the month.

"So far the pressure [from the price of spices] still exists. Based on our survey last week, pressure from shallots and garlic is still too high," newly appointed Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Perry Warjiyo told reporters at this office.

In a move to pacify the market, the Trade Ministry also ordered the release of 332 containers of garlic retained at Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, Bachrul said. Hundreds of containers filled with horticulture products could not be released from the port due to licensing problems.

Bachrul said that the garlic from the containers would be gradually released to the market to help push down its price. In a normal situation, the containers without complete documents would have been returned to exporting countries.

"The prices have moved beyond the psychological limit, so we're taking concerted measures," he said.

The Dumai Customs and Excise Office in Riau province also foiled an attempt to smuggle 27 tons of shallots during an operation that took place on a highway in Pelintung subdistrict, Medang Kampai district, Dumai City last week.

Customs and excise officials seized the shallots that had been illegally imported from Thailand. The shallots were put inside 1,326 sacks, with each sack containing 20 kilograms of shallots.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesian executions: key questions and answers
    Indonesian executions: key questions and answers

    Indonesia is set soon to execute eight foreigners convicted of drug offences, despite international outrage and desperate appeals for mercy from relatives. Authorities on Saturday gave formal notice to the eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- that they would face a firing squad imminently. If the executions go ahead, the seven men and one woman will be led to a clearing on a prison island to be shot by police marksmen -- after authorities have placed a black mark on …

  • Pagasa: Drought may worsen
    Pagasa: Drought may worsen

    The drought in 12 already dry areas in the country is expected to worsen as the summer season peaks next month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. In an advisory, PAGASA said the provinces of Albay, Bataan, Batangas, Biliran, Cavite, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Leyte, Misamis Occidental, Pampanga, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur will continue to receive “way below” or “below normal” rainfall in May. PAGASA defines …

  • Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea
    Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea

    The military has advised its pilots conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea to exercise maximum restraint even if they are being bullied by Chinese troops. Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said all actions of the pilots should be consistent with the declaration of conduct signed by claimant countries. Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said the Philippines should remain on moral high ground when it comes to the territorial dispute. A …

  • MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami
    MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami

    The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday led the annual rescue march from Quezon City to Manila, giving rescue volunteers a glimpse of possible scenarios if the metropolis is hit by a strong quake or is inundated by a tsunami. Cora Jimenez, MMDA general manager, said 700 volunteer rescuers walked from the Quezon City memorial circle to the Bonifacio monument in front of the Manila city hall to simulate a response-exercise to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. Renato Solidum, …

  • Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean
    Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario bared yesterday before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reports of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threat to the Philippines through the Black Flag Movement in Mindanao. Speaking before ASEAN foreign ministers, Del Rosario said the ISIS threat to Philippine security is real rather than imagined because of the Black Flag Movement’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. …

  • ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’
    ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’

    China’s occupation and buildup of its military structures in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea is causing the country’s top energy official to get the jitters as the encroachment is seen as a huge dent on the Philippines’ efforts to achieve energy security. “It is a concern but if we don’t bring it to the United Nations, where will we bring it? We cannot bang heads with them,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla told The STAR in an interview over the weekend. The US Energy …

  • Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control
    Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control

    The Philippines yesterday urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to unite and stop China’s massive reclamation in disputed waters as it will give China “de facto control” over the area and cause $100 million in marine wealth losses annually. At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told his counterparts that the situation in West Philippine Sea had worsened just a year after the Philippines began to draw international …

  • Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip
    Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip

    The government has allotted about P11.8 million for President Aquino’s attendance at the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia from April 26 to 28. “President Aquino’s participation to the 26th ASEAN Summit is important as the region gears toward the creation of an ASEAN community, which is envisioned to provide new opportunities for the peoples of this region, including the Philippines,” Ochoa said in a statement. He was with …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options