TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The value of the global spice trade is expected to reach US$85.73 billion in 2015, jumping 44.37 percent from 2010's $59.38 billion.
"The prospects of herbs, both in the domestic and international markets, still show a fairly large market opportunities," said Minister of Agriculture Suswono, in the opening of the 2013 Agro and Food Expo at the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta, yesterday.
Suswono said that Indonesia's spice export only accounts for nine percent of the total value of global spice trade. Indonesia mainly exports spices to the United States, with an export value amounting to $121.17 million, accounting for 57.3 percent of the total Indonesian value of $211.41 million.
The global spice market is expected to keep growing along with the heavy use of spices for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and tobacco industry.
Earlier, Chairman of the Indonesian Health Supplements Employers Association (APSKI), Ferdinand Boedi Poerwoko, said that herbal drinks and herbal medicines from Indonesia are "on the rise". He projected that this year's herbal drinks and medicines production will increase by 20 to 25 percent.
The estimation, he said, is based on the rising food and health supplements industry in ASEAN countries by 10 percent annually. "Exports also rose by 10 to 20 percent," he said.
APSKI member Patrick A. Kalona said that herbal drinks and medicines have great potential in the domestic and international markets. This, he said, is supported by the huge potential of Indonesia's natural resources. Last year, profits from the sale of herbal products in the Southeast Asian market reached US$1.4 million.
"That amount puts Indonesia as the world's third largest producer of herbal products after Vietnam and Thailand," he said.
BERNADETTE CHRISTINA | AMRI MAHBUB