Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The prices of Indonesian shrimps almost doubled in August in the country to follow the trend in the world market and the falling value of rupiah.
The prices of that commodity has increased in the world market on shortfall in supply as a result of harvest failure in a number of major shrimp producing countries, the Shrimp Club Indonesia (SCI) said.
Chairman of the eastern Indonesia SCI H. Hasanuddin Atjo said the price of the farmed shrimps of the Windu and Vaname types in East Java reached Rp75,000 to Rp90,000 per kilogram depending on the size.
The prices from the farms are Rp75,000 per kg for smaller ones (70 shrimps per kg) and Rp86,000 per kg for medium size (50 shrimps per kg) and Rp49,000 for bigger one (40 shrimps per kg).
"The prices are almost twice higher than an average of Rp48,000 per kg last year," Atjo, who is head of the Central Sulawesi maritime and fishery service, said here on Sunday.
Atjo has a shrimp breeding farm with a production of 153 tons in a harvest per hectare in the regency of Baru, South Sulawesi.
He said the prices of shrimps climbed as world`s major shrimp producers like China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico suffered harvest failure as a result of the outbreak of EMS (early mortality syndromes) pest.
The attacks of the pest resulted in dwindling world stocks while major world consumers like the United States , the European Union and Japan restricted imports of shrimps from the countries known to have been hit by the disease.
The falling value of rupiah against the US dollar now weakening to the level of 11,000 per dollar also contributed to the rise in the prices of shrimp in the country.
Shrimp producers in the country should take advantage of the condition in the world market as Indonesia is one of a number of major shrimp producers still free from the disease, Atjo said.
In 2012,Indonesia produced 405,000 tons of shrimp and this year the production is forecast to rise to 500 million tons.
Atjo predicted the world`s shrimp breeding industry would recover only in two to three years.
He said in a bid to protect the country from the EMS attacks, the maritime and fishery ministry and SCI have cooperated in tightening control of entry of facilities and infrastructure for fish breeding from countries infested by the EMS and improve the quality of breeder shrimps and socialization of modern and sustainable breeding system among the farmers.
Pilot projects have been opened for modern farming in a number of production centers like East Java, West Java, Banten, North Sumatra, Lampung and South Sulawesi.
Opportunity in Central Sulawesi
Atjo said Central Sulawesi is one of a number of areas having comparative advantages making it potential to become a leading shrimp producer in the country.
The condition of the sea in the Makassar Strait , Tomini bay and Tolo bay and surrounding areas are favorable, he said.
In addition the city of Palu and Bitung have been listed as areas to be developed as special economic zones that will certainly increase the competitiveness of commodities form the region,he said.
In 2013, Central Sulawesi already has surplus of energy reserve which will contribute to faster industrial growth including shrimp breeding industry in the region, he said.
The problem of the region is inadequate infrastructure including roads and clean water, and investment security, he said.
"If conducive climate could be created, Central Sulawesi could grow to become one of the country`s leading shrimp producing regions with production of at least 200,000 tons of shrimps a year," he said.
Editor: Jafar M Sidik