December 7, 2017
Indonesia's wheat imports forecast for 2016-17 revised higher
Indonesia's wheat imports for marketing year 2016-17 are estimated at 10.291 million tonnes, slightly higher than the previous estimate of 10.176 million tonnes, according to the latest forecast of the US Department of Agriculture.
USDA said the change is due to a slightly greater than expected increase in use of wheat for feed, as the 2016-17 feed wheat use is increased to 1.8 million tonnes. US wheat exports increased to 1.2 million tonnes in 2016-17, compared with 728,000 tonnes in the previous year.
Furthermore, for 2017-18, US commitments (exports and outstanding sales) are up again about 50%.
As part of the country's self-sufficiency programme, Indonesia has refused to allow the importation of corn, and yet won't issue import recommendations for corn substitutes including feed-grade wheat, barley and sorghum.
These import restrictions have resulted in high local corn prices, which climbed even higher during the final quarter of 2017, the lean production period.
With import restrictions on corn and feed-grade wheat, feed mills have been buying imported
wheat from flour mills, the USDA has noted.
In October, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture signaled it would allow 200,000 tonnes of feed wheat imports as a "complementary" ingredient for feed production. Local feed millers purchased the full quantity of the allowed imported wheat, which arrived in late October through early November.
However, alarmed about the potential for more imported wheat to enter feed channels, which would be counter to the country's corn self-sufficiency drive, MOA reportedly is seeking measures to further clamp down on feed wheat imports next year, USDA said.
"Therefore, the 2017-18 wheat import forecast remains unchanged at 10.5 million tonnes", USDA added.
Australia was the biggest wheat exporter to Indonesia in 2016-17 accounting for 48% of Indonesia's total wheat imports, followed by Canada (17%), Ukraine (16%), and the US (11%).