Indonesia’s ministry of trade releases Q4 import permits overnight

James Nason, 29/09/2015
Australian cattle on feed in Indonesia.

Australian cattle on feed in Indonesia.


AFTER weeks of speculation about fourth quarter cattle import volumes by Indonesia, confirmation was received last night when the country’s Ministry of Trade began releasing permits to importers.

Several trade sources have told Beef Central this morning that the total figure for October to December will be 200,000 head of feeder cattle, plus 2000 productive females.

Competition for feeder weight cattle in northern Australia will now intensify as exporters vie to secure the numbers they need to satisfy their customers’ orders.

Anticipation of the impending permit issue has seen prices for feeder steers ex Darwin climb in recent weeks.

Prices for quality, large volume lines of feeder steers are now being quoted at 305c/kg ex Darwin according to a number of sources contacted by Beef Central. One buyer wanted to make the distinction that prices of up to 305c/kg would be accurate for the bigger corporate lines of feeder steers, while individual producers with a smaller number of average quality cattle might still see prices quoted at 290c/kg on today’s market.

The fourth quarter allocation of permits for 200,000 cattle is lower than the corresponding period last year, when permits were issued for 264,000 cattle, but it is still one of the largest allocations that has ever been issued by Indonesia for the final quarter of the year.

Some exporters would have gambled on Indonesia issuing a reasonably large number of permits and bought cattle in advance at prices lower than now being reported.

However it is also likely that many would have been edgy about committing to contracting too many cattle on a forward basis, in light of what happened in the third quarter when the Indonesian Government released permits for just 50,000 cattle, well below the 200,000 plus allocation expected.

The fourth quarter permit allocation now gives an indication as to how many cattle Australia will export to Indonesia for the 2015 calendar year.

Permit allocations so far this year have totalled:

Q1: 98,000

Q2: 250,000 + 28,000

Q3: 50,000 + 50,000

Q4: 200,000

That suggests a total number for 2015 of around 676,000 cattle. (This assumes that actual shipments have matched permit allocations and also that the second allocation in the third-quarter for 50,000 slaughter cattle will be filled by the year’s end – so far only about 8000 head from the permits given to BULOG have been filled).

In 2014 Indonesia imported a record 728,404 cattle from Australia.


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  1. Ferdinand Rondong, 03/10/2015

    To satisfy the demand of Indonesia in 2015, the import of feeder steers must be 1.1 million of live cattle. If this will not be happened the prize of beef will getting increased and the productive female breeders will be killed.

  2. Tim McHugh, 29/09/2015

    What a joke , market manipulation once again ! I must say that the cattlemen of Australia are their own worst enemy 🙁

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