Indonesia has allocated an additional quota of 1.6 million metric tons of rice for import for this year on top of 2 million tons previously approved, an official said on Monday, anticipating lower domestic output in the January-March harvest.

The trade ministry is working to issue the import permits for the additional allocation, ministry official Arif Sulistiyo said during a weekly government meeting streamed live.

Indonesia imported 3.06 million tons of the grain in 2023, close to a record.

Southeast Asia's biggest economy is expected to produce 32 million tons of rice this year, up from 30.9 million tons in 2023, but production in the early months is expected to be disrupted by the impact of last year's drought.

January-March rice output is expected to be 2.82 million tons lower compared to the same month last year, Arif said.

Meanwhile, at retail level, rice has sold with prices above the government-set cap due to concerns of supply.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe, additional reporting Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Martin Petty)