Wheat’s the fuss? Indomie boss plays down minister’s instant noodle price hike forecast

Packs of Indomie instant noodles. Photo: Coconuts Media
Packs of Indomie instant noodles. Photo: Coconuts Media

After an Indonesian minister predicted that instant noodle prices may soon triple due to complications with wheat imports, the boss of the company that produces the country’s most popular brand of noodles said there is little to worry about.

Franciscus “Franky” Welirang, the CEO of food industry giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, which produces the globally popular Indomie brand, today said that wheat shortages won’t have that much of an impact on instant noodle prices.

“Up to August and into September, Indonesia imported its most expensive wheat, but the impact on [instant noodle] prices was small. There won’t be much impact,” Franky said.

The boss was confident that instant noodle prices would remain stable because wheat flour is not as essential to its production as people may think.

“Those who know the production costs of instant noodles know that flour isn’t the only component, and flour only makes up not that big of a portion,” he said, without elaborating in detail.

Related — Oh Mie God: Instant noodle prices may soon triple, minister says

On Monday, Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo warned of an imminent instant noodle price hike as wheat imports have gotten more expensive.

“Not only do we have to deal with climate change, but we are also facing the Ukraine-Russia war, wherein 180 million tons of wheat is unable to be transported out [of Ukraine],” Syahrul said.

There have been concerns for months that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would lead to an instant noodle shortage and price hike, since Indonesia is one of Ukraine’s biggest wheat buyers.

However, instant noodle prices have mostly remained stable since the war began in February, with producers saying they had enough wheat in stock to prevent price hikes for this year, at least.

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