Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fruit IMPORTS from CHINA increasingly alarming


In the first quarter-2011, imports of fruits, especially for the type of mandarin oranges and pears from China, the more rampant. Data from Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows mandarin orange imports in January-March 2011 amounting to 85,352,866 U.S. dollars. In fact, in the same period last year, import value of mandarin orange is still amounted 68,103,952 U.S. dollar. That means imports of mandarin orange in the first quarter 2011 jumped by about 25.32 percent compared with first quarter of 2010.

The same condition occurs in imported of pears. In fact, the increase in pears import value is much higher than mandarin oranges. Still referring to BPS data, pear imports in January-March 2011 amounting to 30,392,987 U.S. dollars. This value soared 168.56 percent compared with January-March 2010, valued at 11,317,116 U.S. dollars.

Chairman of Vegetables and Fruits Exporters Association of Indonesia (AESBI) Hasan Widjaja pleaded not too surprised with the increase in value of fruit imports from China. According to him, the fruits of China does have many advantages, such as lower prices and the availability of abundant supplies. Mandarin oranges from China, for example, can be sold to consumers at a price of IDR 17,000 per kilogram. Compare this with the Medan orange or Pontianak orange sold more expensive, which is IDR 20,000 per kilogram. "The traders automated choose orange imports," he told.

The availability of supply of fruit imports from China also became the cause of another. China already has a production area of ​​fruits and vegetables that are adequate, both in terms of area and planting technology. In effect, they can produce fruits and vegetables continuously throughout the year without having hampered the weather.

The opposite happened to the fruits of Indonesia. Production of fruits in some areas often stuck due to bad weather. Indonesia also did not have a special area which is used as barns fruit production. As a result, every year the production of local fruits continue to fluctuate throughout the year."Traders obviously do not want to if its supply is uncertain," said Hasan.

Even so, Hasan acknowledged that there is some kind of fruit that had to be imported because Indonesia does not have it, like a pear. On the other hand, the demand for pears from the community continue to rise. Impact, to meet those needs, the import is the only way. "Pear did not exist in Indonesia. Can not help it, the import should be done," he said.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said must be wise in view of fruit imports from China. According to her, Indonesia has not yet entered the scale of dependence on imported fruits from China. However, imports are mostly for certain species that do not exist in Indonesia. "If there is demand, while supply does not exist, import is not anything wrong," said Mari in the press release.