Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The government will in 2009 cut refined and raw sugar imports by 50 percent and 20 percent each of their 2008 import quotas in a move to protect local production.
"The government is expected to cut its import quotas next year as sugar stocks begin to increase now," Bayu Khrisnamurti, an assistant for agricultural, marine and fishery affairs to the chief economic minister, said at a breakfast meeting here on Thursday.
Also present at the meeting were Industry Minister Fahmi Idris, State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Djalil, and Chief of the Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) M Lufti.
The meeting was aimed at seeking a solution to problems faced by the national sugar industry, ranging from sugar production, imports, investment in sugar mills, to the possibility of the country exporting sugar.
Data from the Industry Ministry show the 2008 sugar import quotas consist of 1,3750,000 tons of raw sugar and 500,000 tons of refined sugar.
Based on the data, raw sugar imports will fall by 300,000 tons and refined sugar imports by 200,000 tons next year.
In 2008, national sugar supplies are estimated at 5.88 million tons consisting of 4.53 million tons from domestic production and 1.35 million tons from intial stocks.(*)