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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Indonesian turmoil stalls feed consumption growth

JAKARTA, July 5 (Reuters) - Indonesia's lingering economic and politicalcrisis has dimmed hopes of a strong rebound in the country's commercialfeed consumption to pre-crisis levels, a senior industry official said.Budiarto Subijanto, chairman of the Indonesian Feedmillers Association,said the crumbling rupiah had especially tempered earlier optimism.Imported feed ingredients constitute 50 to 60 percent of the formulationof animal feed."For the year 2001, compound feed consumption is expected to be... at thesame level as 2000, due to the rupiah exchange rate and uncertain domestic(political) conditions," Subijanto told a parliamentary hearing onWednesday.In March he predicted domestic commercial feed output, virtually a mirrorof consumption, would climb to pre-crisis levels of 6.5 million tonnesthis year from 5 million tonnes in 2000.All of Indonesia's commercial feed is produced for domestic consumption,with the poultry industry the biggest consumer.He said annual per capita consumption of poultry would remain flat ataround 2.3 kg this year, still a far cry from 3.7 kg in pre crisis 1996."Poultry consumption is seen flat this year. The people's purchasing(power) hasn't recovered yet, especially with the recent hike inelectricity and fuel tariffs," he said.Fuel prices were raised by an average 30 percent last month andelectricity prices by around 17.5 percent from Sunday.Poultry is one of the country's cheapest forms of meat protein yet its percapita consumption still fell to 1.7 kg at the peak of the crisis in 1998.Subijanto said Indonesia's per capita consumption of poultry was alsolagging way behind its Southeast Asian counterparts.In Malaysia, consumption reached 25.8 kg in 2001, while in Thailand andthe Philippines it hit 12.3 and 8.2 kg respectively.Indonesia has struggled to recover from the economic chaos of 1998, whichhelped bring down former president Suharto.The rupiah has lost around 35 percent of its value against the dollarsince President Abdurrahman Wahid came to power in October 1999.The near-blind leader faces an impeachment hearing by the top legislaturefrom August 1 over his erratic rule and two financial scandals.



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