TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said the novel coronavirus that originated from China’s province of Wuhan has started to affect Indonesia’s domestic agricultural trade in the form of garlic price hike.
“This is mainly driven by panic buying I guess, there is a sense of panic among members of the public. Distributors are reducing their supplies in the market. Due to fears of coronavirus, no imports have come in,” said Syahrul in a hearing with House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission IV on Monday, February 17.
This panic purchase, according to him, has also loomed over the industries that process garlic as its staple ingredient and caused factories to purchase in bulk.
Syahrul assured that the Agricultural Ministry still had 120 thousand tons of garlic, excluding the supplies that in the hands of importers. This supplies are even predicted to grow as Indonesia is expecting garlic harvest from March to April that will produce an expected 30,000 tons.
“The monthly consumption has exceeded 47,000 due to the demands. We will issue it due to the panic, hopefully, everything will run smoothly,” he said.
In a separate location, Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Head Suhariyanto said the effects from coronavirus on Indonesia’s trade balance had not been too significant in January 2020. He said that the actual effects would be visible in the February report.