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JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Indonesia’s rice imports are expected to reach 2 million tonnes in 2017-18 due to low stock levels and increased competition from corn plantings, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Increased corn production and a weakening rupiah have slowed wheat imports, though demand from both the food and feed sectors are expected to increase in 2018-19,” the report said. 

Drier weather at the beginning of 2017-18’s second crop cycle has pushed Indonesian producers in low land rain-feed areas to switch to planting corn over other food crops. 

The switch to grow other crops such as corn resulted in a slight decline of 12.2 million hectares of harvested rice 2017-18. 

“Production for 2017-18 is estimated to remain at 37 million tonnes of milled rice equivalent as a result of better yields due to fewer incidents of pest and disease and increased use of higher yielding varieties,” the report said. 

To replenish stocks, the Indonesian government is expected to continue issuing authorizations for importing rice. Imports for 2017-18 are expected to increase to 2 million tonnes compared to 350,000 tonnes imported during 2016-17.