JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Lowered demand and coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions decrease Indonesia’s wheat and rice imports, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in March, Indonesia implemented social distancing measures. It affected restaurants, hotels and the foodservice sector across the country, slowing overall consumption, including wheat flour.

The USDA estimates Indonesia’s 2019-20 marketing year wheat imports to fall to 10.6 million tonnes and wheat for feed use to decrease to 1.8 million tonnes. Imports are expected to recover in the 2020-21 marketing year.

A prolonged dry season delayed Indonesia from planting rice but the dryness has led to less pest and disease issues boosting production. Rice production for the country is projected to jump to 34 million tonnes in the 2019-20 marketing year while imports lowered due to increased domestic corn production.

Indonesian corn yields are rebounding after recovering from the Fall Army Worm. The USDA forecasts 2019-20 marketing year corn production to increase to 12 million tonnes. The country’s corn production has almost doubled since 2010 as feed mills raise demand and better pest and disease management has improved yields.

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