Outbreak impact: Scarcity makes garlic price skyrocket in North Sumatra

 

Outbreak impact: Scarcity makes garlic price skyrocket in North Sumatra

first_img"The lack of stock makes [the garlic] so expensive,” said M. Siddik, 40, a merchant at Medan Petisah Market on Friday, adding that the garlic supply mostly came from China.Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which was first detected in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province in China, the markets in the province have seen a decline in supply.Siddik said that the high prices had caused his sales to decline. However, he had to continue selling the garlic at the current price as he had to pay similar high prices to his distributors.Read also: Jokowi asks aides to assess coronavirus impact on economy, Indonesia-China trade Over the past week North Sumatra residents have seen a skyrocketing rise in the price of garlic, a staple ingredient in Indonesia, as supplies run short with some believing the shortage is a result of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.The price currently stands at Rp 52,000 (US$3.81) per kilogram, more than double the usual Rp 25,000 per kg.Looking at the trend, merchants in the province have expressed their concerns over possible higher prices, if the scarcity continues. Jakson, a garlic seller in the Medan Metropolitan Trade Center, said the price was getting higher every day. He said he was concerned the price would hit Rp 70,000 per kg within the next few days if the supply remained limited."If the supply is still disrupted, the price could reach between Rp 60,000 and Rp 70,000 per kg, and maybe even higher,” he told The Jakarta Post.Garlic distributor Utari said she decided to double her supply to 2 tons per day as a strategy to maintain the price."The same thing is done by merchants. They stock up on garlic from us because they think tomorrow the price will go up again," Utari said.According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), North Sumatra’s garlic imports declined by 58.4 percent to 29.24 million tons last year from 70.41 million tons in 2018. Of the 2018 imports, 70.18 million tons were imported from China, while the rest came from India.The Trade Ministry’s price monitoring team head for North Sumatra, Gunawan Benjamin, the continuous news about the coronavirus had shaken up domestic food prices – especially imported ingredients.He urged the government to open imports of garlic from other countries to maintain the domestic stock at an affordable price. (eyc)Topics :last_img

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