As per local sources, it has been indicated that the government of Indonesia is planning to import around 500,000 tons of rice from Pakistan to increase the buffer stocks and to arrest prices of rice from its increasing .According to the Trade Minister of the country, it has been informed that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum of the government is planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Pakistan in this regard. It was also revealed that after reaching an agreement with Pakistan, a Bulog team would verify Pakistan’s rice supply and the rice would enter Indonesia in early 2016.
Further, though the government of Indonesia has stated that imports of one million tons from Vietnam are secured and while plans for 500,000 tons from Thailand are in the pipeline .In addition, a huge volume of rice imports, of around 1.5 million tons, by the Philippines from Vietnam and Thailand are understood to have become a cause of concern. Thus, the government is concerned if two exporting nations would be able to supply rice in the stipulated time and therefore, it is to secure that about 500,000 tons of rice is to be procured from Pakistan.
Further, in this context, the Vice-President told the APEC forum that rice imports are inevitable for Indonesia as the domestic production is severely impacted by the drought-inducing El Nino weather phenomenon. It was also expressed a hope that the nation may not require to import rice in the year 2016, if the weather conditions improve .As per the data on rice stock is concerned, it has been reported that the government rice stocks stood between 1.3 and 1.4 million tons as of October 25, 2015, which is enough to meet only half of the country’s monthly demand that is around 2.5 million tons.