According to experts, Indonesia’s exports of horticultural products such as fruit, vegetables and spices to Japan remain uncompetitive because of high prices.
Japanese food products importer Nanyang Trading Co.’s president Katsunari Kasugai on Tuesday said that Indonesian frozen horticultural product prices were 40 percent higher than those from neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam. The reasons behind this are high production costs and a small production scale.
President Kasugai: “I believe Indonesian exports [of frozen fruit and vegetables] could increase if we could push down the production costs, as [Indonesian products] are more reliable and are of better quality than products from Thailand and Vietnam.”
Indonesia exported US$30 million worth of horticultural products to Japan in 2019, accounting for only 0.46 percent of Japan’s $5.79 billion horticultural product imports, according to Indonesia’s Trade Ministry data.
The largest supplier of horticultural products to Japan is China with 27.2 percent of the import market share, or around $1.58 billion worth of products, followed by the Philippines with $920 million and the US with $680 million.
Overall, Indonesia has been struggling to capture a larger horticultural market share in Japan despite having a bilateral trade deal in the form of the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA), which exempts fruit products including bananas and pineapples from tariffs, within determined quotas.