Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s fishery exports in the first quarter of 2020 increased as trade restrictions with China amid coronavirus concerns pushed businesses to find new markets, according to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP).

"The increase in the value of Indonesian fishery exports during the January-March, 2020 period was affected by the closure and restrictions on imports by China since the beginning of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak," director general of Competitiveness Strengthening at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Nilanto Perbowo, said on Friday in Jakarta.

According to Perbowo, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted exporter countries such as Indonesia to divert shipments to the US and European markets, the largest markets for shrimp and tuna products.

Not only that, he said, the increase in exports was mainly noted for processed raw materials, retail supply, ready-to-serve, and durable fish, such as canned fish.

Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the value of Indonesian fishery exports in March, 2020 reached US$427.71 million, an increase of 6.34 percent compared with February, 2020.

Cumulatively, the value of Indonesia's exports during January-March, 2020 reached US$1.24 billion, an increase of 9.82 percent compared with the year-ago period.

The export volume in January-March, 2020 reached 295.13 thousand tons, an increase of 10.96 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

The United States ranked first among the five main export destination countries in January-March, 2020. During the period, exports to the US reached US$508.67 million (40.97 percent). Exports to China, which came next, were valued at US$173.22 million (13.95 percent).

In terms of commodities, shrimp dominated exports with shipments valued at US$466.24 million (37.56 percent), followed by tuna exports, which were valued at US$176.63 million (14.23 percent).

Next came squid-octopus exports, which were valued at US$131.94 million (10.63 percent), as well as crab exports, valued at US$105.32 million (8.48 percent), and seaweed exports, valued at US$53.75 million dollars (4.33 percent).

"In addition to diverting exports from China to the US and Europe, Indonesia also took advantage by grabbing the market share of China's exports, which declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Perbowo said. (INE)

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Translator: Razi Rahman, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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