Indonesia boosts seafood exports to US, Europe in Q1

Published on
April 23, 2020

Restrictions in trade relations with China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus have prompted Indonesia to increase exports of its seafood products to other major markets, including the United States and European countries, Antara News reported 18 April, citing comments from Director General of Competitiveness Strengthening at Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Nilanto Perbowo.

Those markets include the United States and Europe, which Perwobo called ideal destinations for shrimp and tuna from Indonesia, especially processed, ready-to-serve, and canned seafood products, which have been in demand at the retail level during the pandemic.

According to data from Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency, the country exported seafood worth USD 427.7 million (EUR 394 million) in March, rising 6.34 percent from February.

Indonesia’s export volumes of seafood in the first quarter increased 10.96 percent year-on-year to 295,130 metric tons (MT), which was worth USD 1.24 billion (EUR 1.14 billion), up 9.8 percent from a year earlier.

The U.S. was the biggest buyer of seafood products from Indonesia, purchasing volumes worth USD 508.7 million (EUR 469 million), followed by China with USD 173.2 million (EUR 160 million).

"In addition to diverting exports from China to the U.S. and Europe, Indonesia also took advantage by grabbing the market share of China's exports, which declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Perbowo said.

Of the total export value in the first three months, sales of shrimp accounted for USD 466.2 million (EUR 430 million) or 37.6 percent of the total. The export value of tuna in the period stood at USD 176.6 million (EUR 163 million) or 14.2 percent of the total.

Indonesia earned USD 131.9 million (EUR 121.6 million) from exports of squid and octopus in the first quarter, followed by USD 105.3 million (EUR 97 million) from crab exports and USD 53.75 million (EUR 49.6 million) from seaweed exports.

As of 21 April, Indonesia had over 7,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 600 deaths, data from The Jakarta Post showed.

Photo courtesy of Frans Delian/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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