Indonesia prepares to increase cattle permits amid soaring beef prices

Indonesia is preparing to significantly increase permits for live cattle imports, with a meeting of key officials at the presidential palace expected to determine a new, higher quota until the end of the year. We propose a follow up story on this assessing to which extent the move will help ease soaring beef prices in the country with comments from industry experts. It comes as some Indonesian butchers in Jakarta and Banding walked off the job in protest at soaring beef prices. High beef prices are also angering consumers and food hawkers, providing political difficulties for the Indonesian government. Indonesia announced a dramatic cut in live cattle import permits last month to 50,000 animals for the three months to September, down from 250,000 in the previous quarter. The decision shocked the Australian government and the country’s producers, which supply much of Indonesia’s live cattle market. They had expected a quota of about 200,000 animals. Karyanto Suprih, the acting director-general for international trade at Indonesia’s trade ministry has said the officials were due to meet to finalise the permit quota.”Trade ministry, agriculture ministry and the coordinating ministry for economic affairs are calculating the figure [for] how many we will import for the last bits of third quarter and how many for fourth quarter [ending in December],” he said.”Our priority is slaughter cattle.” However, Australian farmers typically export feeder cattle, animals that require six to nine months in Indonesian feedlots before they can be taken to an abattoir.