Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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JAKARTA (May 16): Indonesia has set a target to increase 2024 sugar output to 2.59 million metric tonnes, driven by a bigger planting area after last year's weak sugarcane harvest, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

White sugar output fell 4% last year to 2.3 million tonnes due to a longer-than-usual dry season, according to data from the Indonesian Sugar Association (AGI).

At consumer level, sugar prices have jumped nearly 30% from a year earlier to 18,920 rupiah (US$1.19) a kilogramme amid low stocks, which the sugar mills group also attributed to a 14% drop in imports last year due to high global prices.

At the beginning of this year, white sugar stocks for household consumption stood at 1.14 million tonnes, equivalent to less than five months of consumption.

The agriculture ministry said the target reflects the country's aspiration to become self-sufficient by 2028 for household consumption and by 2030 for industrial use.

Indonesia is currently the world's biggest sugar importer, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

“One of the key aspects in sugar self-sufficiency is provision of new land. We have mapped and conducted ground checking for potential sugarcane plantation,” Agriculture Ministry official Muhammad Rizal Ismail said in a statement.

Harvested area this year is seen at 512,813 hectares (1.27 million acres), slightly up from 504,756 hectares harvested in 2023, the AGI said.

The ministry said the sugar milling season started from the second week of May, which means stocks should be replenished soon.

Indonesia has set this year’s sugar import quota at 708,609 tonnes for household use.

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