The US has become a large potential market for Indonesia’s fisheries products, especially frozen prawns. As of October, Indonesia had exported 87.33 million kilograms of the product worth US$827.26 million to the country, an official has said.
“Frozen prawns are one of the important foreign exchange sources for Indonesia,” the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s fishery product safety and certification center head, Widodo Sumiyanto, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
He added that frozen prawns accounted for 62 percent of Indonesian fisheries products exported to the US in 2016. “Tuna ranks second,” said Widodo.
Citing data, he stated that 166 of 592 medium and large fish processing units in Indonesia processed frozen prawns, with the biggest units located in East Java, Jakarta, Lampung and Serang in Banten.
Separately, Indonesian Fisheries Product Processing and Marketing Association (AP5I) head Budhi Wibowo said annual exports of prawns by Indonesia to the US amounted to 115,000 tons — 20 percent of total US prawn imports, which reached 550,000 tons.
“This makes Indonesia rank second among the biggest prawn exporters to the US. It is also probable that this year, Indonesia will rank first,” Budhi told the Post.
“We have always produced and exported fisheries products that fulfill food safety standards adopted internationally,” he said.
Budhi added that based on his association’s data, the percentage of Indonesian prawns rejected by the US had continued to decline from year to year, reaching only around 0.05 percent of a total 115,000 tons of prawns exported to the country.
“Of a total 10,000 containers shipped to the US, only four containers were rejected, on average,” said Budhi. (ebf)