JAKARTA Jan 30 Indonesia has cut its estimate
for 2013 raw sugar imports by 13 percent to 2.265 million
tonnes, a government official said on Wednesday, although this
may increase later in the year depending on appetite from the
food and drinks industry.
Indonesia, set to displace China as the world's top raw
sugar importer, estimates imports stood at 2.5 million tonnes in
In December, an industry ministry official said raw sugar
imports would total 2.6 million tonnes in 2013.
"The government has determined raw sugar import quotas for
2013 at 2.265 million tonnes, with around 60 percent awarded to
eight refineries to be realised in the first half of this year,"
Faiz Achmad, director of food industry and fisheries at the
industrial ministry, told Reuters.
Southeast Asia's largest economy limits imports of raw
sugar, which it usually gets from Thailand, Brazil or Australia,
to protect local farmers and aid domestic sugarcane mills.
"We will then audit and evaluate the current quota and it is
possible that there will be additional import quotas after the
first half if the current quota is not enough to fulfil domestic
demand," Achmad said.
Raw sugar consumption in Indonesia's food and beverage
industries climbed by 9 percent last year and similar annual
gains are forecast over the next five years, as the country's
booming population boosts domestic demand.
The archipelago was the world's second-largest sugar
exporter in the 1930s. But ageing sugar mills, a vast network of
smallholders and an influx of cheaper imported sugar put
pressure on local production.
In September last year, the world's fourth most populous
country abandoned its goal of being self-sufficient in the
production of white sugar by 2014 after struggling to boost
sugar output due to land license red-tape, competition for land
(Reporting by Yayat Supriatna; Writing by Michael Taylor;
Editing by Joseph Radford)