TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The government plans to cut salt imports by 50 percent this year to ensure the prices of salt from farmers would not tumble in the grand harvest, which is predicted to take place in July.
Riyanto Basuki, the director for Public Development and Business Empowerment of Marine, Coastal areas and Islets of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, said the cut was aimed at stabilizing salt prices.
"If the government really cuts salt imports by 50 percent, salt prices will be jacked up because manufacturers will seek salt from farmers,” he said on Monday, May 25, 2015.
According to the data from the Trade Ministry, salt imports last year reached two million tons.
Salt prices presently stand at Rp700-750 per kg for KW1 (first quality) salt, Rp540 per kg for KW2 (second quality) salt, and Rp450 per kg for KW3 salt.
Salt prices have been predicted to drop by Rp5-100 per kg in the grand harvest should industries refuse to absorb the commodity.
Riyanto said the government would boost the quality of local salt through intensification programs involving 10,000 hectares of salt farms in Madura and a number of locations in the Java’s northern coastal areas, known as Pantura.