Cirebon is a city in the West Java Province in Indonesia. The city is located on the north coast of Java Island or what is known as the Pantura (Pantai Utara), a route that connects Jakarta–Cirebon– Semarang–Surabaya. The total population of Cirebon city in 2018 was recorded 316,277 people.
Cirebon is well-known for their fishermen. Other than the many varieties of fish, a popular shrimp species called rebon (acetes or small shrimp) are also found along the coast of Cirebon. Additionally, there are also byproducts of seafood such as shrimp paste, petis (a common condiment in Indonesian dishes, which is a byproduct made of fish, prawn, and shell stocks), and salt.
Semantically, the name of the city derives from the Cirebon language, Belendrang, the word wadbevolved to the Sundanese language, Cai-rebon (translates to Indonesian as ‘air rebon’), meaning the residue water in the process of making rebon shrimp paste. As the time goes by, it has been simplified to ‘Cirebon’.
Based on data from the Fish Quarantine Station, Quality Control and Safety of Fishery Products (SKIPM) Cirebon in 2020, the export volume of Cirebon fishery products keep increasing and so far, the number of fishery product exports from Cirebon has reached up to 10 containers per day.
Fishery products are exported to several countries in Asia, Europe, and America through two ports, namely Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta and Tanjung Mas Semarang in Central Java. Some of the excellent processed fishery products are canned crab, squid, salted fish, mackerel, processed shrimp, fish crackers, rebon shrimp flour, and other types of products.
In 2019, Cirebon began to export a new land product, that is thr rebon shrimp flour. One of the producers are PT Sumber Inti Pangan, whose center of operation is located in Kuningan Regency, West Java. Today, this new product kind is only exported to Thailand.
In 2019, only exports were carried out and there were four shipments to Thailand recorded. The flour product has been planned to be exported to Pakistan however is currently under observation. The price for exported shrimp flour is also quite expensive, reaching up to IDR 1 million per kilogram.
The same as fish meal. This product is believed to have a very bright business potential and could potentially contribute a significant amount of significantly revenue towards Cirebon City.
Other products that also has a promising business potential are rattan handicrafts and furniture which also have a very favourable market share. Up to 85% of the world’s rattan raw material is produced in Indonesia and to date, the industry and trade continues to satisfy international market standards.
Therefore, it is no surprise that products made of Indonesian rattan are high in demand by various countries. Rattan handicrafts from Cirebon have been exported worldwide to this date. Products offered include baskets, a variety of chairs, bags, vases and several other products.
The Cirebon Rattan Industry Development Service Unit is currently a place to receive home products and businessmen who want to be exported to various countries also it is where various rattan products are received and finished, then sent to various countries buyers per buyers’ request.
Within a month, Cirebon City has the ability to export as many as 20 containers (5 containers per week). However, in 2019, there was a decline and only 2 containers were exported a month. It was recorded that even until March 2020, there had been no exports of rattan products.
The demand for rattan usually starts to increase in April and May every year. However, there has been no information regarding these developments to this day. The Cirebon government believes that apart from fishery products, the rattan industry is an fascinating trade and has the potention to be a source of renewable economic growth due to the attention it has attracted from the international market.
Aside the impact of the emergence of COVID-19, the lack of promotion has also been one of the causes of the decline in demand over the past few years. This is a challenge for the Cirebon government to make the flagship products from the city to reach as much demands as they used to.
Apart from fishery and rattan products, Cirebon is also famous for its batik crafts (traditional Indonesian patterned fabrics of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth), which are regarded as full of uniqueness. One of them being the batik of Mega Mendung, which is popular for a typical Cirebon batik motif. The history of the emergence of the Mega Mendung design, based on existing books and literature, it was led from the history of
the arrival of the Chinese to the Cirebon region. As perceived by the Chinese, Mega Mendung represents great luck and is able rid inauspicious things.
The batik lovers in Indonesia appreciate the harmony in the batik of Mega Mendung represents, as it merges the Cirebon and Chinese culture. To improve its performance, the Cirebon city government has planned to open an export market for its batik products. With a motif that has a historical and cultural value between Indonesia and China, Cirebon batik has the potential to become one of Indonesia’s most unique products that is able to be exported to China.
Aside from China, Russia has also expressed their interests in Indonesian batik, essentiall, making them the next of Cirebon’s export potential target.