The ministry’s statement came in response to the Association of Tempeh and Tofu Producers Cooperatives (Gakoptindo), which will go on strike from January 1-3 due to the high imported soybeans prices.
The ministry’s secretary general Suhanto said the ministry had coordinated with Gakoptindo, prompting the producers to adjust the prices of tofu and tempeh after the increase in imported soybeans.
Suhanto further added that based on the discussion the prices of imported soybeans at the tofu and tempeh producer level have been adjusted from 9,000 rupiahs ($0.63) per kilogram in November 2020 to 9,300 rupiahs ($0.65) - 9,500 rupiahs ($0.67) per kilogram in December 2020, or up 3.33 percent - 5.56 percent.
“The Ministry of Trade continues to support the Indonesian tofu and tempeh industry. With the price adjustment, it is hoped that people will still be able to consume tofu and tempeh made by the tofu and tempeh producers,” said Suhanto in a statement on Friday, January 1.
Suhanto said that according to the Indonesian Soybean Association (Akindo), the importers always have about 450,000 tons of soybean ready in stock at the warehouses.
Meanwhile, the Gakoptindo members need about 150,000-160,000 tons of soybean per month.
“The supplies of soybean should still be sufficient for the next two to three months,” he said.
Suhanto said in December last year, the world price of soybeans stood at $12.95 per bushel or up nine percent from $11.92 per bushel in the previous month.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that the average price of soybeans in December reached $461 per ton or up six percent from $435 per ton in the previous month.
The secretary general said that the main factor of the increase in soybean prices was the high demand for soybeans from China, the world’s largest exporter of soybeans.
In December, China’s demand for soybeans has doubled from 15 million tons to 30 million tons. This has caused a shortage of containers at several US ports, such as in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Savannah, leading to supply constraints for other soybean importing countries, including Indonesia.
“For this reason, it is necessary to anticipate the supply of soybeans by importers because the current supplies cannot be increased immediately due to the global price and limited shipping conditions,” said Suhanto.
“The price adjustment is expected to have a psychological impact on prices at the importer level until the next few months,” he added.
Suhanto also hopes that importers who still have soybean can continue to supply tofu and tempeh to the members of Gakoptindo without increasing the prices.
“We appreciate Gakoptindo members who maintain the production and have helped the community by supplying tofu and tempeh for affordable nutritional needs during this pandemic,” he said.
(Writer: Yohana Artha Uly | Editor: Ambaranie Nadia Kemala Movanita)
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