Indonesia - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-09


Indonesia agricultural imports reached over $19 billion in 2020.  Wheat, soybeans, rice, beef, fresh fruits, dairy and various feed ingredients were leading import categories. The U.S., China, Brazil, Australia and Argentina are the top five suppliers of agricultural products to the market, representing 57 percent of the total imports by value.

Indonesia is the 10th largest export destination for U.S. agricultural products. In 2020, the United States was the largest agricultural exporter to Indonesia, accounting for $2.9 billion or about 15 percent of the total value of imports. U.S. agricultural exports to Indonesia saw strong demand across bulk, intermediate and consumer-oriented goods. The top U.S. agricultural exports are soybeans, cotton, feeds and fodders, wheat, dairy, distillers’ grains, prepared food, fresh fruit, beef and beef products.

According to Trade Data Monitor, in 2020, Indonesian imported nearly 2.9 million metric tons of soybeans. United States soybeans account for the vast majority of all soybeans consumed. Soybean consumption in Indonesia is predominantly for human food, with most imported soybeans going to tempeh and tofu production. Indonesia’s livestock feed industry relies on imported soybean meal and corn. In 2020, Indonesia imported over 4.9 million metric tons of soybean meal. Argentina and Brazil were the primary suppliers.

As one of the world’s largest cotton importers, Indonesia imported more than 163,188 tons of cotton from the United States in 2020. The United States and Brazil are the largest cotton suppliers to Indonesia. The United States exported over $1.3 billion of genetically engineered (GE) products to Indonesia in 2020, including Bt cotton, herbicide tolerant soybeans and meal, Bt corn, and a variety of food products derived from GE crops and processed with genetically modified microbes (GMM).

Leading Sub-Sectors

Beef & Dairy Products: Due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, Indonesia imports of beef declined by 15 percent to 226,600 tons, valued at $718 million. As the economy recovers, consumer demand is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, creating an opportunity for imports.   In line with the overall decline in beef imports, U.S. beef exports declined 14 percent to $74 million in 2020.  U.S. beef continues to see growth in the traditional dishes such as soto (meat soup in coconut milk), and bakso (meatball) as well as retail sales.  Meanwhile, high-end hotel, restaurant & institution (HRI) sales have been negatively impacted since the onset of the pandemic.  Over the past five years demand for imported dairy products has increased by around 6 percent annually, triggered by low local milk production, healthy lifestyle trends, increasing income among middle class consumers and new product launches. In 2020, Indonesia imported 628,548 tons, worth US$1.6 billion with major categories including powdered milk, lactose, whey protein, butter and fresh cheese.

Fresh Fruits: Although Indonesia produces a diverse range of tropical fruits, demand for imported fresh fruits continues to increase. In 2020 Indonesia imported $1.2 billion of fresh fruits including pears, apples, grapes and oranges/ mandarins, which together accounted for 90 percent of total fresh fruit import volume. Other popular imported fruits include dates, raisins, blueberries and cherries.


Snack Foods: Modern retailers report strong demand for snack foods at locations across the country. Sales of imported packaged food products are mostly sold though supermarkets or hypermarkets. Although registration requirements for retail packaged products can be burdensome, exporters who find the right importing partner are often rewarded with limited competition from similar product categories.

Food Preparation, Processing and Foodservice Sectors: Indonesia imports a variety of food preparation products such as baking inputs (corn starch, malt extract, baking powders, yeasts etc.), ingredients for beverage bases, thickeners, and protein concentrate. In 2020, the retail sales value of packaged food came to a total of $34 billion. Indofood, Mayora Indah, Garuda Food Group, Wings Group are a few of the largest food processors in Indonesia, producing a variety of products such as snack foods, noodles, dairy, and beverages. Many food processors source their raw materials from overseas such as wheat, milk powder, chipping potatoes, onion/ garlic powder, cheese, raisins, and corn starch. International brands have expanded their stores steadily to meet demand from an increasing middle class, young and urban consumers, and shifting consumption trends toward a healthy on- the-go lifestyle. Many now incorporate higher-quality imported ingredients.


  • USDA Indonesia Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Reports
  • USDA Indonesia Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Country Report
  • USDA Retail Foods Report
  • USDA Indonesia Food Processing Ingredients Report
  • USDA Indonesia Exporter Guide
  • USDA Indonesia Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Report
  • USDA Foreign Agricultural Service