Indonesia - Country Commercial Guide

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

Last published date: 2020-10-11


Indonesia agricultural imports reached over $19 billion in 2019, a six percent increase over the previous year. Wheat, soybeans, rice, beef, fresh fruits, dairy and various feed ingredients were leading import categories. The U.S., China, Thailand, 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 2019, the United States was the largest agricultural exporter to Indonesia, accounting for $3.2 billion or 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 2019, Indonesian imported nearly 2.7 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 2019, Indonesia imported over 4.4 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 242,403 tons of cotton from the United States in 2019. The United States and Brazil are the largest cotton suppliers to Indonesia. The United States exported over $3.4 billion of genetically engineered (GE) products to Indonesia in 2019, 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: In 2019, Indonesia imports of beef rose by 26 percent to 266,459 tons, valued at $851 million. Rising consumer demand and efforts from GOI to stabilize prices in the local market have created an opportunity for imports. U.S. beef exports, which reached over $85 million in 2019, serve both traditional dishes such as soto (meat soup in coconut milk), and bakso (meatball) as well as high-end hotel, restaurant & institution (HRI) and retail sales. Over the past five years demand for imported dairy products has increased by around 5 percent annually, triggered by low local milk production, healthy lifestyle trends, increasing income among middle class consumers and new product launches. In 2019, Indonesia imported 531,366 tons, worth US$1.3 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 2019 Indonesia imported $1.3 billion of fresh fruits including pears, apples, grapes and oranges/ mandarins, which together accounted for 82 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: In 2019, imports of food preparation products such as baking inputs (corn starch, malt extract, baking powders, yeasts etc.), ingredients for beverage bases, thickener and protein concentrate increased 1.2 percent. In 2019, the retail sales value of packaged food came to a total of $31 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.


U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service Agricultural Biotechnology Annual