food and fish meal. Exports of prepared and preserved fish have shown a large increase from 58,913 in 2008 to 106,161 tonnes in 2014, after which exports decreased until 2017. The European Union is the most important market, whose imports increased with 5,000 tonnes between 2016-2017. Italy was the largest importer in 2017, having replaced the United Kingdom whose imports have been decreasing gradually since 2013. Western European countries predominantly import canned skipjack tuna, of which the United Kingdom is the primary buyer. South European countries, like Italy and Spain, have shown a substantial increase in imports and import a lot of pre-cooked yellowfin tuna loins to serve as input material for their canning industry.
In 2017, Indonesia was the second main exporter of canned tuna to Saudi-Arabia after Thailand, which is becoming a rising market for Halal preserved fish products. Exports to Japan have increased a bit recently, making Indonesia the second largest supplier of canned tuna products in 2017. For the United States, Indonesia ranks as 6th largest supplier of canned tuna products in 2017. Export to Thailand increased slightly. Main export markets that fall under ‘other’ sections are Australia, Ghana, Papua New Guinea and the Middle East.
In July 2016 the European Council has given permission to start the negotiations for a EU-Indonesian FTA. If these negotiations are completed successfully, the competitive position of Indonesian seafood in the European Union will improve significantly compared to e.g. Ecuador who already enjoys an FTA.