Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Seaweed Association (ARLI) estimated that the countrys exports of seaweed shrank 30 percent in value from US$205.4 million in 2015.

ARLI general chairman Safari Azis attributed the decline to weak demand amid the global economic crisis and U.S. policy in organic products.

"In 2016, (seaweed exports) dropped around 30 percent . There was issue in 2016 that the United States would exclude processed seaweed from its list of organic products," Safari said in a discussion here on Tuesday.

Based on statistic data at the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, the countrys production of seaweed totaled 1.12 million tons in 2015. Around 21 percent or 236,900 tons of the production were exported to various countries including 97 percent in raw material and 3 percent in processed products.

The exports of raw seaweed were valued at US$160.4 million and exports of finish products of seaweed was worth US$45 million or 22 percent of the total value.

In 2016 , in the first 8 months , exports of raw seaweed totaled 121,500 tons valued at US$80 million ; and exports of processed products of seaweed totaled 4,000 tons valued at US$25.4 million.

Apart from the report that the United States would exclude processed products of seaweed from its list of organic products, there are many factors hampering exports of that commodity, such as export restriction and plan to slap export tax on seaweed.

"The government plans to impose an export tax of 20-40 percent on raw seaweed . The plan, however, has been shelved. The export tax was planned without consultation with the business players," Safari said.

The government is expected to offer incentives for the business players especially investors in seaweed cultivation and industry, he said.

ARLI predicted that in 2017, exports of seaweed would increase both in raw material and processed products.

ARLI also hopes more support from the government to develop and boost business in seaweed in the upstream as well downstream asn integrated industry.


Editor: Suryanto
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