Minister Zulhas Could Learn to North Sumatera to Solve Palm Cooking Oil Price

Special Doc/illustration of bulk palm cooking oil distribution
Minister Zulhas Could Learn to North Sumatera to Solve Palm Cooking Oil Price

InfoSAWIT, MEDAN – Minister of Trade, Zulkifli Hasan (Zulhas) told that he is doing his best to do what President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) instructed to muffle palm cooking oil price both in bulk, simple packaged, and premium packaged.

To make it maximal, the economist, and academy in some campuses in Medan, Gunawan Benjamin suggested Minister Zulhas to directly see and learn how palm cooking oil gets cheaper in the past months in North Sumatera.

“If Minister Zulhas wants to stabilize palm cooking oil price in the past two months, he could learn to North Sumatera to see how it happened,” he said to InfoSAWIT, Tuesday (21/6/2022).

Gunawan told, the people of North Sumatera had much response about palm cooking oil price but if it is traced based on many technical regulations, in two months, Minister Zulhas would be able to stabilize the price. It is enough and rational.

“What would be the barometer? Keep in mind, bulk palm cooking oil in North Sumatera is at Rp 14.500 per kg. In Pemataingsiantar, for instance, based on Pusat Informasi Harga Pangan Strategis (PIHPS), it is Rp 14.500 per kg. It means, it is less than the highest retail price (HRP) that the government regulated, which is at Rp 15.500/kg," he said. In Medan it is Rp 16.000/kg, according to PIHPS.

Though it is more than HRP, he continued, if it is tracked to the sellers, Rp 16.000/kg comes up because of the integration access by the sellers themselves.

The integration price, he continued, happened for the bulk palm cooking oil sellers have no enough coins (to return the buyers’ cash). But there are other factors that influenced it, such as, the distribution and transport costs.

“Out of the secondary data, if someone needs to see the field, it would reveal that the sellers who sold Rp 16.000/kg could sell at Rp 15.000. It depends on his negotiation and quality or stocks to buy,” he said.

He also knew, bulk palm cooking oil which is more than HRP at Rp 15.500/kg is mostly sold by the sellers who have no permanent store. By knowing what happens in North Sumatera, he believed, Minister Zulhas would have a barometer of success to control palm cooking oil price.

"Copy and paste what happens in North Sumatera, then make it perfect and implement in national scale. It could be implemented in many regions. If seeing bulk palm cooking oil out of North Sumatera, it is various. Some even sold it at Rp 19.000,” he said. He also suggested that if one area is in distance from palm cooking oil distribution, it would be more expensive. Palm cooking oil price in North Sumatera is in control because the province is the base of palm cooking oil industries and has abundant fresh fruit bunch production.

“It is normal if its price is in control, refers to HRP. The next technical policy should be more perfect – how to allocate bulk palm cooking oil subsidy and how would the distribution be,” he said.

It means, Minister Zulhas can focus to the price, the procurement, and the distribution. He also urged Minister Zulhas not to stay on the secondary data of palm cooking oil only.

“Data would not inform detail explanation about how it happened. It needs deeper study to get or publish policy which could be right on target,” he said. (T5)