JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Indonesia is now expected to import more wheat in 2022-23 as millers attempt to secure more stock amid market uncertainty, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Imports for 2022-23 are estimated at 11.5 million tonnes, up from an earlier estimate of 11.2 million tonnes. Estimates also were increased for 2021-22 to 11.2 million tonnes, up from an original estimate of 11 million tonnes.

The Indonesian wheat flour industry is continuing to grow. As more mills open and expand, competition in the market is expected to increase price sensitivities, the USDA said.

The higher use of hybrid seed is estimated to increase 2021-22 and 2022-23 corn production to 12.8 million tonnes and 13 million tonnes, respectively. Despite higher prices for corn in international markets and higher local production, imports in 2022-23 are expected to increase further to 1.3 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 1.2 million tonnes due to increased wet milling capacity.

With rising prices for corn, wheat and other imported feed ingredients on the international market, feed mills are using more local corn as the primary energy source in feed, the USDA said.

Corn usage in feed formulation in 2022 is expected to rebound to levels prior to the feed corn import restrictions enacted in 2015. Before the restrictions, corn usage made up 50% to 60% of feed formulation, in 2021 it decreased to 45%. The remaining gap in demand for feed corn will still be filled with wheat purchased from local mills and other local feed ingredients.