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April 12, 2008

Govt to regulate rice exports

Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Trade, will issue a decree to regulate rice exports, allowing no other party but the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) to ship out the commodity.

"I am preparing a rice export regulation and hope it can be issued within the next few days," Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu was quoted by national news agency Antara as saying after a coordinative meeting on economic affairs in Jakarta Friday.

"It is only Bulog that will be authorised to carry out rice exports but before it does so it should first get the green light from the government through the Food Stability Team," she said.

The minister added Bulog could carry out rice exports only if there was a surplus in rice production. "So, there will be no export if there is no rice surplus."

The government is planning to export rice as the country is expected to have a rice production surplus of over 1.30 million tons. The production in 2008 was estimated to reach 58.26 million tons of dry unhusked rice or equivalent to about 33 million tons of rice.

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