November 28, 2008


Indonesia considers beef imports from Brazil


Indonesia is considering imports of beef products from Brazil to help reduce dependence from some exporting countries, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said on Thursday (Nov 27, 2008).


Last year, Indonesia consumed a total of 396,500 tonnes of beef and beef products, 30 percent of the total was imported from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Apriyantono said that beef imports from Brazil can be opened up but with strict requirements.


Brazil is the world's largest exporter of beef with estimated foreign sales of US$4.2 billion in 2007.


Among the import requirements, beef products must come from states which are free of foot-and-mouth disease such as Santa Catarina state, he said. As the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia also requires imported beef products pass Islamic halal standards for food consumption.


Under the halal certification rules, suppliers must print halal labels in both English and Indonesian. On top of these requirements, Indonesia is also seeking counter trade with Brazil, the minister said.


The minister added that under such arrangement, Brazil should also import commodities from Indonesia though its uncertain if they export crude palm oil in the Brazilian market.


Indonesia, the world's largest palm oil producer, is likely to increase output by 2 million tonnes to 19.33 million this year, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World has forecast.


It also estimates Indonesian palm oil exports will rise to 14.55 million tonnes in 2008, from 12.65 million tonnes in 2007.

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