Indonesia is planning to ramp up the use of soyabeans in animal feed due to the high corn prices stemming from the country’s ban on corn imports.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) has raised Indonesia’s estimated soyabean use in feed for 2016/17 to 150,000 tonnes, and to 160,000 tonnes for 2017/18, reported World Grain on 19 February.

Due to high domestic corn prices, feed producers were using more low-grade feed wheat and balancing the overall fat content with full fat soyabeans.

The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), however, was also considering restricting the import of soyabeans as part of the country’s food self-sufficiency campaign, according to the FAS.

The MOA was looking to lower imports when domestic supply was considered sufficient, to establish the Indonesian Bureau of Logistics (BULOG) as the sole importer, to ban soyabean imports during harvest, and to raise soya import tariffs as high as 19.1%.

But the ministry would need support from other government branches to enact such legislation and it was aware that a decision to limit soyabean imports could negatively impact the country’s small and medium sized tempeh and tofu producers, wrote World Grain.

The overall Indonesian soya production was not expected to change, despite the MOA’s plan to double planting area by the end of 2017.

The ministry’s initial plan was to distribute seeds at the beginning of the wet season from October to December but, according to the FAS, soyabeans were not generally planted until the dry season due to more profitable rice taking preference around the end of the year.