Indonesian beef retailers say they are struggling to source enough beef to meet the nation’s demand.
The Indonesian Government capped beef import quotas at 34,000 tonnes for 2012, almost a third of the 90,000t quota import set last year, and cattle import quotas at 283,000 head, down from 500,000 head last year.
In making the cuts the Government stated that Indonesia had enough local cattle to meet demand.
However, representatives of the country's retailers and beef processors have spoken out over the weekend about what they have described as a growing beef crisis in the market.
“We now have to fight each other for imported meats,” Satria Hamid, the deputy secretary general of the Indonesian Retail Merchants Association told the Jakarta Globe yesterday.
Mr Hamid said demand from major retailers such as supermarket chains Giant and Carrefour had driven beef prices about 15pc higher in Indonesia this year
The chairman of the National Meat Processors Association (Nampa), Ishana Mahisa said processors had not been able to find adequate supplies of local cattle in the provinces recommended by Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture.
“It turned out that there were no cattle, and the slaughterhouse was way below standard. It is not a solution at all,” Ishana told the newspaper.
Sarman Simanjorang, chairman of the Jakarta Meat Committee, has called upon the Indonesian government to give a special import quota to Jakarta because most meat-processing plants were located in the area.
“The beef shortage has now reached a worrying level,” he said. “This could fuel potential social unrest, in light of the plan to increase the subsidized fuel price in April.”
The Jakarta Post is also highlighting the beef shortage concerns in an article today.
Sarman Simanjorang told that paper that prices had reached Rp 75,000-80,0000 per kilogram (US $8.80/kg) this year, up by about Rp 10,000 from last year.
“Sings of scarcity are worrying,” he said.
Jakarta alone required between 50,000-60,0000 tonnes a meat a year, and relied upon imports to supply about 90pc of those requirements, he said.
Tens of thousands of people involved in the industry and businesses would be hard hit by the crisis.
“From the beef industry, to meat vendors, bakso [meatball] sellers, caterers, hotels and restaurants will bear the burden,” Sarman said.
Indonesia’s ministry of agriculture announced that domestic cattle growers produced 14.7 million head of livestock last year, more than the nation’s target of 14.5 million for 2014.
The Jakarta Post said the ministry had indicated that meat imports would be reduced further in coming years, to 13pc of total demand in 2013 and 10pc of total demand in 2014.
Meat import reduction would be further expanded in the following year, targeting 13 percent of total demand in 2013 and 10 percent in 2014.