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Breeder cattle exports to Indonesia on the rise

James Nason, 28/05/2012

Official export data shows that Australian shipments of breeding cattle to Indonesia are on the rise in response to reductions in feeder cattle import permits, however volumes remain relatively small.

After cutting feeder cattle import quotas almost in half this year in support of its push for self-sufficiency in beef production by 2014, the Indonesian Government has encouraged Australia to ship more breeding cattle in place of feeder stock.

The Indonesian Government has also changed the way it allocates import permits from this quarter to encourage importers and lot feeders to use more local cattle and to import more breeding cattle.

Importers receive import credits for undertaking activities that are deemed to support Indonesia’s goal of achieving beef self-sufficiency, and in return are awarded a larger share of existing feeder cattle import quotas.

Latest export figures provided to Beef Central by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry show that 4690 breeding cattle have been exported to Indonesia since January 1 this year.

That is well up on the 960 head of breeder cattle exported during the corresponding period of last year.

Exports of breeding cattle increased significantly in the second half of 2011, pushing the total volume for the year to 8735 head.

That compares to a total of 4718 breeding cattle exports to Indonesia in 2010.

With breeding cattle exports on the rise, industry leaders in Australia are currently working to develop new import protocols for breeder cattle with Indonesian importers and the Australian Government.

Feeder cattle exports for January to April totalled 110,740 head, with 51,215 feeder cattle shipped to Indonesia during April. 

Meanwhile, reports of problems caused by a shortage of beef in Indonesia continue to emerge, with a meat processing industry representative telling ABC’s Radio Australia that the country is running out of beef.

National Meat Processing president Ishana Mahisa said the gap left between import quota cutbacks and Indonesian demand for beef had not been made up by locally produced beef supply.

Mr Mahisa said many meat processors had already started to lay off workers, and predicted some would be forced to close by mid-2012 due to the scarcity of beef supply.

However the Indonesian Department of Agriculture’s director general of husbandry, Syukur Iswanto, told the program that the Government had developed a number of breeding programs two years ago in anticipation of the supply shortage, and believed Indonesia had sufficient cattle population.


  • Beef Central’s James Nason is in Indonesia this week reporting on market conditions in the approach to Ramadan and on the progress of the Export Supply Chain Assurance System implemented in August last year.  Subject to internet access, he will be filing reports this week as he travels through the Indonesian beef supply chain.


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