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Indonesia Plans To Export 200,000 Tonnes Of Rice Next Month

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Indonesia plans to export 200,000 tonnes of rice to China and several other countries next month, President Joko Widodo said, a move that underscores the country's confidence in its ability to cope with the global recession and soaring inflation. Over the past few months, Indonesia has been grappling with rising cooking oil prices and the need to increase subsidy spending to contain the impact of soaring global energy prices. Despite this, the Indonesian government remains confident that the additional pressure will not come from rice. Rice is the staple food for Indonesia's 271 million people.

Far from being a recession-hit country, Indonesia is in fact planning to export rice, said Airlangga Hartarto, the country's coordinating minister for economic affairs. Surya Paloh, chairman of Indonesia's National Democratic Party (Nasdem), expressed surprise at Indonesia's plans to export precious rice at a time when global prices of key foodstuffs are rising. He said he did not expect Indonesia to be able to export rice. Data from Statistics Indonesia shows that Indonesia has had a surplus of rice production for the past three years, with exports totalling four million tonnes over the same period. Between January and April this year Indonesia produced 14.6 million tonnes of rice, up 7.7% from 13.6 million tonnes in the same period last year. Rice exports in the first four months of the year were 440,000 tonnes.

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