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Indonesia to import up to 350,000 tonnes of soybeans -trade minister

JAKARTA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Indonesia will import up to 350,000 tonnes of soybeans to ensure affordable supplies for the country's domestic tofu makers amid rising food prices, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said on Monday.

Soybean products are an important source of protein for many Indonesian households and local producers have voiced concerns over rising prices.

The government has tasked state food procurement agency Bulog to bring in the imports, Zulkifli said.

"There will be subsidies. Bulog will buy the soybeans at 11,000 rupiah to 12,000 rupiah per kilogramme, but it will be sold at 10,000 rupiah (domestically)," he said.

Trade Ministry data showed that local prices of imported soybeans stood at 14,800 rupiah per kilogramme as of Nov. 4, an 18% increase compared to the average prices at the end of 2021.

"For the first stage, we are currently negotiating purchase of 50,000 tonnes of soybeans," said Awaludin Iqbal, corporate secretary of Bulog, told Reuters.

He declined to disclose the sources from where Bulog would be buying the commodity. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe Writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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