Vietnam Chosen by Indonesia as Major Rice Supplier

Indonesia is taking steps to address rising rice prices by importing 1.5 million tons of the grain from Vietnam and Thailand.

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Indonesia’s selection of Vietnam as a major source for its rice purchases has further solidified the position and quality of Vietnamese rice, according to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Indonesia. An Indonesian official announced that Indonesia will import 1.5 million tonnes of rice from Vietnam and Thailand, as reported by VNA.

The Vietnamese Trade Office stated that Vietnamese rice is known for its reliability and has gained the trust of the Indonesian Government and consumers. This is particularly important as Indonesia is facing a shortfall in domestic food production due to the impact of the El Nino phenomenon.

Indonesia Selects Vietnam as Major Source for Rice
Illustrative image. Photo: AFP

To take advantage of this opportunity, Vietnamese rice exporters should closely follow the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s instructions regarding rice export to Indonesia. They should proactively monitor market conditions, thoroughly assess opportunities and risks, and develop trading plans.

The Indonesia Logistics Bureau Preum Bulog has issued all the necessary licenses for the import of 1.5 million tonnes of rice, and the import is set to begin at the end of October 2023.

Since Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic ties in 1955, their relations have significantly grown in all sectors. Two-way trade between the countries reached USD 14.1 billion in 2022, a threefold increase compared to 10 years ago.

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam exported a total of 884,177 tonnes of rice to Indonesia in the first nine months of this year, with a total value of USD 462 million. This marks a 17.7-fold increase in volume and a 19.2-fold increase in value compared to the previous year. Vietnam’s overall exports to Indonesia during this period reached USD 3.79 billion, up 11% from the same period last year.

In response to rising food prices, particularly for corn, sugar, and rice, President Joko Widodo announced that Indonesia will increase imports. Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan explained that the prices of sugar and corn have been increasing due to global conflicts and the El Nino phenomenon. Indonesia plans to import 250,000 tonnes of corn for the animal feed industry and will wait for sugar prices to decrease before deciding to import. Sugar importers have only registered to import about 30% of the total allocated sugar import quota, according to Hasan.

According to September data from Statistics Indonesia, the price of ready-to-mill dried unhusked rice reached 7,386 IDR, or 0.47 USD per kg, representing a 9.3% increase from the previous month. The government is also working with several countries to purchase rice if needed. Indonesia plans to import an additional 1.5 million tonnes to increase its national rice reserves, which currently stand at only 1.7 million tonnes as of October 6.

Hannah Nguyen