In April 2013, Indonesia's inflation rate eased 0.10 percent month-on-month, or 5.57 percent year-on-year. According to Statistics Indonesia (Badan Pusat Statistik, abbreviated BPS) April's deflation was triggered by easing food and clothes prices. Food items that became cheaper last month included garlic, chili, and chicken meat. Particularly rice contributed to the country's deflation as the harvesting season in Indonesia has set in. Core inflation is 4.12 percent (YoY).
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Shares of food manufacturer Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food fell almost 25 percent on Friday (21/07) after one of its subsidiaries is suspected of fraud. Allegedly, subsidiary Indo Beras Unggul (a rice trader) sold rice under the premium label, while it actually was the cheaper government-subsidized rice that was sold to consumers. Police raided a warehouse of Indo Beras Unggul in Bekasi (West Java) on Thursday evening (20/07), confiscating more than 1,000 tons of rice.
Indonesian rice distributor Buyung Poetra Sembada targets to see a 25 percent year-on-year (y/y) growth of sales and net profit in 2017, supported by rising sales of its own brands as well as private labels. The company also targets to collect up to IDR 280 billion (approx. USD $21 million) through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in June 2017. Buyung Poetra Sembada will offer 700 million new shares, equivalent to nearly 30 percent of its enlarged capital, to the public.
After having experienced two consecutive months of deflation in September and October, Indonesia is expected to see inflation again in November, primarily on higher food prices (chicken meat and rice). Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, expects an inflation rate of 0.2 percent (month-on-month) in November. This would mean that inflation in full-year 2015 is likely to reach 3 percent (y/y), in line with earlier estimates and within - or perhaps slightly below - Bank Indonesia's target range of 3 - 5 percent (y/y) of inflation in 2015.
Although most Indonesians still prefer to eat rice and noodles as part of their daily diet, an increasing number of Indonesians (particularly those who live in the urban environments and have adjusted to an ‘urban lifestyle’) have started to consume cereals and bread. In fact, Indonesia has become the world’s second-largest wheat importer and ranks among East Asia’s largest cereal importers. The country is dependent on these imports as domestic production of grains is close to zero (the climate doesn’t suit cultivation).
Inflation in Indonesia is expected to accelerate to 6.80 percent year-on-year (y/y) in April 2015, from 6.38 percent y/y in the previous month, according to the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). As global oil prices have somewhat recovered from their recent lows, they add inflationary pressures in Indonesia (higher transportation costs). On a month-on-month (m/m) basis, Indonesian inflation is expected to be around 0.35 percent in April. This figure would be in sharp contrast to ‘normal’ April inflation.
According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia recorded monthly inflation of 0.17 percent in March 2015. It was the first month this year in which Indonesia recorded inflation. In January and February Indonesia experienced deflation of 0.24 percent (m/m) and 0.36 (m/m), respectively. March inflation was primarily the result of administered price adjustments: higher prices of (low-octane) gasoline, diesel and 12-kg LPG canisters. These adjustments were necessary amid rising oil prices and rupiah depreciation.
Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry estimates that Indonesia’s rice harvest will not be severely affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon this year. The Ministry expects to see a rice production of at least 70 million tons of unmilled rice in 2014, just 1.9 percent down from the 71.3 million tons of rice that was produced last year. Meanwhile, Indonesia may see a record coffee harvest in 2015 as recent rainfall in the important coffee-producing regions have supported the development of cherries.