Jun 27, 2011


Australian cattle industry not expecting renewal of export permits to Indonesia



Indonesia is not expected to renew import permits for Australian live cattle until October, where the current permits, which are issued quarterly, are due to expire this week, on June 30.


Luke Bowen, from the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, says that it is unlikely any new permits will be issued to Australia while the Indonesians source alternate markets.


"The word I've heard is that there won't be any permits until October this year for Australian cattle," he said. "And the word on the street is that instructions have been given to importers to find beef to replace the Australian imports of beef.


"So not only have we potentially completely lost the live export trade, but it looks like it will be fairly difficult in actually continuing to export beef in any quantity to Indonesia," he said.


Dr. Chris Back, a WA Liberal Senator and veterinarian, says that Indonesia is deeply offended by Australia's actions and the issue is now as much a diplomatic one as it is one of cattle supply.


He says Indonesia is signing cattle contracts with other countries and he doubts that contracts with Australia will be re-signed at the end of this month.


"The import licences for cattle to be transported to Indonesia all expire on June 30, the end of the financial year. Once they expire, there is no compulsion on the Indonesian Government to write new licences," he said.


"If the government determines that it now wishes to reopen the trade to those feedlots and those abattoirs that meet the standards, unfortunately we are totally at the behest of the Indonesian Government."

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