20 May 1998
Food shortage fears in Indonesia . . .

WIDESPREAD rioting and upheaval throughout Indonesia have severely disrupted shipments of grain and other foodstuffs, raising fears of shortages.

Indonesia has a large rural economy and is traditionally a major rice producer. But drought and population pressures have made it increasingly reliant on imports.

One diplomat said Indonesia was looking to import several million tons of rice this year. It also needed soya beans, grain, beef and animal feed.

Indonesias National Logistics Board said the country had sufficient supplies of food stocks for the peoples basic needs – with 2.4 million tonnes of rice, 475,000t of sugar and 443,000t of wheat currently in storage.

Prices of meat, rice and vegetables in Jakarta have risen by 10% since last weeks riots.

  • Financial Times 20/05/98 page 4