July 14, 2015


Indonesia issues just a quarter of expected import permits for Australian cattle



Australia's cattle industry has been told by the Indonesian government that it will be issuing just 50,000 cattle import permits for the current third quarter, down from the expected 200,000, ABC News reports.


The permits have yet to be issued, but news of the low allocation has been circulating since last Friday evening.


The allocation for the July to September quarter is well below the 200,000 head which exporters and importers had been lobbying for, and is also down from the 250,000 allocated the quarter before.


Tracey Hayes, from the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, said that if only 50,000 permits were issued, it would create logistical challenges for the entire supply chain and was further proof of the need to have permits issued yearly, not quarterly.


Haydn Sale from Yougawalla Station in the Kimberley region of Western Australia added that the reduction of permits would particularly impact the exporters.


"They've got ships that are on time-charter and they may have pre-bought quite big numbers of cattle for the quarter. They've already incurred significant cost because the release of these permits has been late, so they've had to pay demurrage and feeding costs on cattle, so it's a really big headache," Sale said.


"The other thing is it's our peak supply time in northern Australia, so if they do run short of cattle later in the year they'll be trying to get them in the hardest time of year."


This week is the last week of Ramadan, with beef demand across Indonesia expected to peak ahead of the Idul Fitri holiday on July 17, making the impending decision to reduce import permits ever more perplexing.

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