TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Police's Criminal Investigation Department is investigating allegations of soybean stockpiling and price-fixing by speculators. The two crimes are suspected of being the reason behind the current scarcity of soybeans in Indonesia.
The department chief, Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo, instructed the Food Task Force to inspect several warehouses belonging to importers' and soybean distributors in the Cikupa, Cengkareng, and Bekasi areas.
"The district-level task forces are also instructed to check prices, availability, as well as inspect processing places — especially MSMEs that produce tempeh and tofu," Listyo said in a written statement on Tuesday, January 5.
According to the police's Food Task Force chief Brig. Gen. Helmy Santika, they have obtained the necessary data and analysis results regarding the national availability and demand for soybeans. He has also coordinated with the Trade Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, as well as relevant parties, to investigate allegations of stockpiling and price rigging.
Helmy also said that the Covid-19 pandemic also affected soybean prices in world markets.
"Based on FAO data, in December 2020 there was a 6 percent increase in soybean price in the global market from its initial price of US$435 to US$461 per ton," Helmy said.
At the start of this year, soybean prices soared, which prompted a number of tofu and tempeh craftsmen to hold a three-day strike. This resulted in the disappearance of tofu and tempeh in markets from January 1 to 3.