Krisna Pratama Astawa, Deputy Chairman of marketing at the Indonesian Handicrafts and Furniture Association (Himki), said Balinese furniture and handicraft producers are highly affected by suddenly plunging exports to Europe as around 70 percent of all Balinese furniture and handicraft exporters ship their products to Europe.

Astawa said European demand for Balinese furniture and handicraft products has now fallen 50 percent (compared to "normal months"). While he did not mention a reason for this sharp decline, he emphasized that the sudden plunge is not related to the quality of Balinese furniture and handicraft products.

However, weakening demand from Europe means that Balinese furniture and handicraft exporters need to seek new export markets. Astawa said this will require a different mindset because exporters have been focused on Europe for so long. The United States would be a great export market but, problematically, most Balinese furniture and handicraft lack knowledge about this market (currently relatively few furniture and handicraft shipments are made from Indonesia to the USA).

Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), exports of various Balinese handicrafts made from wood and home furnishings (to overseas markets) fell 7.31 percent (y/y) and 11.49 percent (y/y), respectively, in October 2017 (from the same month one year earlier).

Another problem is that the government of Indonesia is not planning to organize furniture and handicraft exhibitions in the USA and Europe in the 2017-2018 period due to budget constraints. Hence it remains a mystery what exactly is believed to cause the (desired) sharp (30 percent) increase in Balinese furniture and handicraft exports to the USA.