INDONESIA: Proposals to reduce wheat flour imports and relieve market glut
Today (19 October), the Indonesian Wheatflour Producers Association (Aptindo) urged the government to tighten control over inferior quality wheat flour, which they allege is illegally imported using false documents and currently forcing a glut on the domestic wheat flour market. Since 1998, when an agreement with the International Monetary Fund meant that the wheat flour market was liberalised, low-grade wheat flour has been imported and mixed with locally produced flour, reaching the Indonesian market labelled as a cheap, local product. Up to 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour and 3.2m tonnes of wheat are expected to imported to Indonesia throughout this year, with 50 tonnes of mixed wheat flour estimated to be hitting the market every day, deriving in part from China, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.During the first five months of this year, wheat flour imports had increased by 140,000 tonnes on the same period of the previous year, and vice chairman of Aptindo, Phillip S. Purnama, explained that this level of importation cannot continue: "We are calling on the government to conduct tighter physical examinations of imported wheat flour."
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