Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed the news that the Indonesian Government has recommended up to 200,000 head of cattle be imported from Australia in the first four months of 2016, with an indicative annual quota of 600,000 head for 2016, as reported by Beef Central on January 1.
“After our recent trip to Indonesia it is a very welcome sign to see the overall level of quota being maintained and movement towards an annual quota,” Minister Joyce said.
“This really is great news for both the people of Indonesia and cattle producers in Australia. For some time we have said that the certainty of an annual quota would benefit not only Australian producers, but also consumers and processors in Indonesia. This news is certainly a step in the right direction.
“Our live cattle trade is a big contributor to the economies of both nations, as well as the livelihoods and wellbeing of Indonesians and Australians.
“Australia’s relationship with Indonesia in the live cattle export industry is becoming stronger by the day. This is a win-win situation for both those in Indonesia who value add and for farmers in Australia who it supports.
“While we respect Indonesia’s right to make decisions with regards to their imports, a periodic quota system makes for an uncertain trading environment.
“Indonesia is our closest trading partner and our economic futures are closely linked. It’s a relationship that we place a great deal of importance on, and it’s built on mutual trust and respect.
“The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the Indonesian Government to ensure the trade in live cattle is meeting both our countries’ needs and policies. That is why we continue to highlight what we think are the benefits of an annual system to both our nations.
“Good inter-governmental relations between Indonesia and ourselves make this job so much easier.
“We will continue to strive to be a reliable exporter of quality and safe agrifood products, and this government will continue to support the livestock export trade and the returns this trade brings to many farmgates.”
Import permits are now being issued and will be valid for four months.
Exporters happy with extended permit periods
The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) has also welcomed confirmation that the Indonesian Government has commenced issuing import permits for 200,000 feeder cattle for the first four months of 2016.
ALEC chief executive officer Alison Penfold said Indonesia had also confirmed it would be allocating cattle permits every four months (or three times a year), rather than every three months (four times a year) as has previously been the case.
“Once exporters receive the permits from their importers, work can commence to organise live cattle orders for the coming months. This is an important trimester for the trade to Indonesia as it includes cattle for the peak demand period of Ramadan which falls in June this year,” Ms Penfold said.
“It is important for exporters and others in the supply chain for allocations to be announced as early as possible, ideally before the start of the permit period, to give all stakeholders enough time to plan the significant logistics involved with exporting hundreds of thousands of live cattle to Indonesia.
“Australian exporters will therefore continue to work with Indonesia for annual permit allocations. The move to triannual allocations certainly represents progress on that front which is encouraging.
“Today’s confirmation is good news for all stakeholders in the live cattle supply chain and will provide greater short-term certainty for businesses in our industry, both here in Australia as well as in Indonesia,” Mr Penfold said.
Source: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources/Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council