Cirebon (ANTARA News) - Crab exports from Cirebon, West Java, to the US have been declining drastically since September due to low demand following current financial crisis in that country.
"The drop is very drastic up to 50 percent. We used to export two containers weighing 15 to 16 tons a month to the US but now the two containers are from two companies," the operations head of crab-canning company PT PAN Samudra, Mujahid, said here on Saturday.
He said his company had a production capacity of more than two tons a day but now it produced only two days maximally a day.
He said his company`s crab exports had so far only gone to the US and the company had never tried other export markets.
"We are now only surviving. Several canning companies in Cirebon and Pemalang have shut down," he said.
He said the drop in crab exports to the US had made the price of crabs at a fisherman level also declined.
"Before the fuel price hike and current financial crisis we bought crabs from fishermen at Rp180,000 per kilogram but now as demand is dropping we could buy them at Rp100,000 to Rp110,000 per kilogram," Mujahid said.
The company`s operations supervisor, Agustinus, meanwhile said the company needed one to two tons of crabs a day. "We usually collect crabs from fishermen in Cirebon, Pemalang, Merak, Lampung and Batam," he said.
He admitted that the company`s workers had been worried over the situation considering that several similar companies in Cirebon had stopped production. (*)