Indonesia has moved to block imports of corn for feed mills – a move that is opposed by the country’s poultry industry, which fears that it will create a short supply of corn and subsequently a shortage of feed and higher prices for poultry.

The Indonesian government stopped issuing import permits for corn in July in an effort to make the country’s agriculture sector more self-sufficient, but the Indonesian Poultry Farmers Association (IPFA) warns that halting imports of corn will likely hurt the poultry industry, which relies on the corn for feed.

“This policy has good intentions, but it was too sudden, without any preparation,” IPFA Chairman Hartano said.

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According to an AgWeek report, projections from the Indonesian Feedmill Association called for the import of about 430,000 metric tons of corn from July to August, but shipments are now being held up at ports.

Hartano stated that Indonesian poultry rates are currently around IDR22,000 (US$1.63) per kilogram, but stressed that the prices would increase as a result of the halting of corn imports. The added that there is room for gains, given an expected growth in demand.

Prior to the Indonesian government’s decision to half the import of corn for feed use, the majority of corn shipments to Indonesia came from Brazil and Argentina.