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Saudi Explosive Market Growth Benefits Indonesian Canners

Saudi Arabia’s tuna imports jumped a huge 46 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to Trade Map Data, remarkably increasing its presence in the world tuna market. The West Asian country climbed to first position as the main destination for tuna exports from Indonesia, the fourth largest tuna exporting nation across the globe. Other Middle Eastern countries are expected to follow suit.


Rocketing from 28,429 tons in 2011 to 41,554 tons in 2012, Saudi Arabia is increasingly becoming an even more important canned tuna importer in the global market. In size they are now slightly bigger than the Canadian imports market. In relation to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia has expanded its business to the level where it has come to buying more Indonesian canned tuna than major markets like Japan and the USA, and stands now as the main destination for Indonesian tuna products. Its imports from Indonesia have witnessed continuous growth since 2008.

Indonesia’s canned tuna products have begun to dominate the shelves of the country’s retailers, capturing around 50 percent of this market in Saudi Arabia. Indonesian canned tuna and pre-cooked loins exported to the West Asian country were a huge 129 percent higher in 2012 than the volume shipped in 2008.

Last year, Saudi Arabia’s imports of canned tuna and pre-cooked loins from Indonesia, at 10,273 tons, made up a considerable 14 percent of Indonesia’s total tuna exports.

Tuna products from Indonesia are expected to be exported to other countries in the Middle East soon, and have already penetrated a large hypermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates, with more than 60 outlets in the country and another 120 in other Middle Eastern countries.

Saudi Arabia has also become a growing market for Thailand, importing 10 percent more Thai tuna products in 2011 than in 2010, at a total volume of 21,037 tons.