Exports of Indonesian fruit rose 6.13 percent year-on-year (y/y) to 325,236 tons in the first quarter of 2018 amid strengthening global demand for tropical fruit, specifically growing demand for mangosteen, bananas and pineapples. Largest demand for Indonesian fruit stems from China, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United States (USA).
Sarwo Edhy, Director of Fruits at the Directorate General for Horticulture in Indonesia's Agriculture Ministry, is optimistic that foreign demand for Indonesian fruit will remain high in the next couple of quarters. He added that the government has been busy to improve the data collection and monitoring process for the production and export of fruit. Hence, the full-year 2018 data will be much more accurate.
Besides rising demand from abroad, Edhy also detected rising domestic demand for local fruit. This must be related to central government policy that curtails imports of foreign fruit. Since 2012, the Indonesian government has been trying to limit imports of foreign fruit. In 2012 the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration ordered that all imported fruit products must be inspected in a registered laboratory (contrary to the method of random sampling that was common before the implementation of the new regulation). A side-effect of this regulation was that foreign fruit became less competitive on the Indonesian market. As each batch of fruit products must be inspected before being allowed to enter the Indonesian market, there occurred additional costs that had to be borne by the (foreign) product owner.
Tuti Prahastuti, Director for Exports of Agricultural and Forestry Products at Indonesia's Trade Ministry, said the government has been focusing on opening new export markets for Indonesian fruit. One of the strategies to accomplish this is by enhancing cooperation with foreign quarantine agencies. According to Prahastuti this strategy has already "borne fruit" as a number of Indonesian fruits managed to enter countries that have high standards, including Europe and Oman. Meanwhile, Prahastuti sees plenty of opportunities for rising fruit exports to markets in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), West Asia, and Africa.
Eddy Simon, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Importers and Exporters (Aseibssindo), said Indonesian fruit exports are currently being undermined by logistic bottlenecks. These logistics issues have a direct - and negative - impact on the quality of the fruits. Hence, he urges the government to overcome logistics problems.
In an article published two years ago, Indonesia Investments determined three interrelated issues that block higher export volumes and earnings for Indonesian fruit. Firstly, the quality of Indonesia's fruit is generally low because nearly all of Indonesian fruit farmers are smallholders who lack the financial resources to invest in higher-quality machinery, pesticides and fertilizers, and who also lack mastery of higher-quality farming techniques. This low quality fruit is not suitable for export purposes.
Secondly, Indonesia does not have big fruit plantations or estates. Lastly, despite being rich in tropical fruit, Indonesia lacks a well developed cold storage & transport industry. Adequate handling of freshly picked fruit is crucial for long storage and shelf lives of fruit and vegetables.
Most Popular Export Fruits of Indonesia: