After weeks of inactivity Australia’s northern live export trade to Indonesia is set to swing back into action this week after the country's director general of trade signed off on import permits for the current quarter yesterday.
The trade has known for some weeks that April to June permits would be issued for around 125,000 head of cattle, but have had to wait for the Government to officially sign the permits before entering into commercial agreements with importers.
Exporters who have been unable to divert ships to other markets have had to hold them offshore at significant cost for several weeks and will now be looking to get export permits approved as quickly as possible so vessels can be loaded and sent to Indonesia within the next week.
The second quarter is a peak period of demand for cattle to fill Indonesian feedlots as the country prepares for the Ramadan and Eid religious festivals in the middle of the year.
The second quarter permits take the total level of permits issued for the year to 185,000 head.
The Indonesian Government has set total import quotas for the year at 283,000 head, leaving permits for less than 100,000 head to be allocated for the remaining two quarters, provided the Government does not change its position.
Large numbers of light northern cattle bred for the market will have to find new markets away from Indonesia this year.
At least one large scale lot feeder was in Darwin at last week’s Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association conference canvassing interest from northern producers to send cattle south.