Among Indonesia's fishery products, shrimps contribute the largest foreign exchange earnings. The total value of shrimp exports in 2002, for example, was US$840 million, accounting for about 50% of the total value of fishery exports. However, shrimp exports have been declining during 2000–3. In 2000, Indonesia exported 144,035 tons (US$1,003 million) of shrimp, but this declined to 127,334 tons in 2001 and 122,050 tons in 2002, or around US$940 million and US$840 million, respectively (Central Bureau of Statistics 2003). As an archipelagic country, Indonesia has 17,508 islands and 81,000 km of coastline which provide an excellent resource for brackish-water shrimp farming to support the growth of shrimp exports.
Japan is the largest export market for Indonesian shrimp, followed by the European Union (EU) and the United States. From the total export amount (122,050 tons) in 2002, 60% was shipped to Japan, 16.5% to the United States and 11.5% to the EU. Indonesia's shrimp exports to Japan were, on average, 53,000 tons per year, or about 30% of Japan's total shrimp imports. Meanwhile, Indonesia's share of (frozen) shrimp exports to the United States is only 5 - 6%,which is much lower than that of Thailand (31%), Ecuador (20%) and Mexico (13%). Other export competing countries are Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines, Taiwan and some Latin American countries.