As reported by Radar Bali, the hopes of many Bali farmers to export fruit products remain unfulfilled. Despite an international market for exported fruit from Bali, local exporters’ inability to present prices attractive to overseas customers has resulted in a marketing impasse.
PT Bali Organik Subak (BOS) has a proven ability to export fruit abroad by the ton. Due to the current pandemic and high shipping costs, the amount of fruit shipped overseas from Bali remains minimal.
In a recent week, BOS managed to send 700 kilograms of fruit to Europe. 450 kilograms was in the form of dragon fruit produced by farmers in the Balinese Village of Bulian. A further 200 kilograms comprised mangoes from the Village of Tembok, and 50 kilograms of Salak grown in the Village of Sibetan.
The CEO of PT BOS, A.A. Gede Agung Wedhhatama, complains that shipping fruit abroad remains very expensive. Currently, the cost of shipping one kilogram of fruit is Rp. 60,000 or Rp. Sixty million to ship one ton of fruit to an overseas destination.
Shipping fruit items by sea to Europe would require a minimum of 21 days, a period of time that is not viable for perishable fruit products.
Based on production costs and the purchase prices paid by European fruit importers, Wedhatama says the maximum shipping cost viable for shipping fruit is between Rp. 12,000 and Rp. 15,000 – less than 25% of the current actual cost of Rp. 60,000 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, Bali fruit exporters are competing with fruit producers from other locales from Uganda to Thailand. In Thailand, for instance, the Thai Government subsidizes cargo costs for fruit exports. What’s more, the number of flights operating internationally from Bangkok is far superior to the number of international flights out of Bali at the moment.
Wedhatama remains optimistic that Bali will eventually prove able to penetrate the export market to Europe and the Middle East due to the high demand from these markets and the upcoming Winter season, which typically sees Europeans stockpile fruits for the coming Winter.