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Indonesian agriculture exports grow - fruits and vegetables in high demand

Indonesia is seeing a rise in agriculture exports as its fruits and vegetables (and coffee) are in great demand overseas, despite a currently declining global trade.

According to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), agro exports reached US$410 million in September, up 16.22 percent from the same month last year. Indonesia’s overall exports, meanwhile, were down just 0.5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) at $14.01 billion. “[The agriculture exports] started to pick up in September,” Trade Ministry’s national exports development director general, Kasan Muhri, said in a statement. “This is a very good record.”

According to an article on¸ the government is trying to keep Indonesia’s trade afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic that is estimated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to shrink global trade by between 13 and 32 percent this year.

Indonesia has created a $13.51 billion trade surplus so far this year as of September, because imports fell more than exports, BPS data show. The net export anchored the country’s economy in the second quarter, when all other gross domestic product (GDP) components shrank. Indonesia’s GDP contracted 5.32 percent y-o-y in the second quarter as household spending and investment plunged due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The agriculture sector, meanwhile, managed to record growth as other sectors shrank. While contributing only 2.4 percent to the country’s total exports in the January-September period, agriculture shipments booked annual growth of 9.7 percent in value at $2.82 billion, BPS data show. Coffee, vegetables, betel nuts, coconuts, guavas, mangos, mangosteens, clove and pepper were the main agricultural goods the country exported in the January-August period, Kasan said.

Nearly one-fifth of Indonesia’s agricultural exports in the January-August period went to China, which was followed by the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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