TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Refined Sugar Association (AGRI) asked the government to allow them to import 3.2 million tons of raw sugar. The association claims the industry is having difficulties in obtaining raw materials, which could threaten factory operation.
"Four of 11 national refined sugar factories have stopped working due to difficulties in finding raw materials," AGRI chairman Wisnu Hendraningrat said in Cilegon, yesterday.
Wisnu said a lot of refined sugar factories couldn't get enough raw materials and are threatened to stop operating in the next 10-15 days. According to Wisnu, one day of production halt could cost a company Rp600 million to Rp700 million in fixed costs like interest expenses and land lease.
"We fear that the lack of raw materials will limit next year's availability of goods for the food and beverage industry."
Industry Minister Saleh Husin said he would look into producers' complaint. He said the government is reviewing the amount of refined sugar for domestic needs, and a discussion will be held by the Industry Ministry, the Trade Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry.