Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Indonesian Beef Price Rises Cause Dissent

Food prices, notably that of beef, are rising in Indonesia, and quite sharply in recent months.

This is not a surprising outcome as Australian live cattle imports have dropped very sharply, with numbers unlikely to exceed around 280000, a sharp drop from two years ago when numbers were more than double that number.  Boxed beef is also down, with 30000 cartons expected to be imported in 2012, a lot less than the 140000 in 2011.

And today, the dissent was registered by Indonesians themselves, in front of Indonesian Agriculture offices in Jakarta.

While the rent a crowd issue is a well known story regarding Indonesian demonstrations, this one is solidly based on consumers annoyance over recent beef price rises impacting on the cost of living.  It is well understood that the presence of adequate numbers of Australian live cattle, fattened and finished locally in Indonesia was contributing to a adequate supply of beef at a reasonable price.

While Indonesia has claimed that local supply could replace imported Australian imported livestock, it might not be doing so as readily as they surmised it might.

No one would support poor animal slaughter practices, but it seems that meat supply is now restricted quite significantly..........and the locals are very unhappy.  And yes, slaughter practices are improving, in general terms, and most if not all in the industry want to see that continue.

BUT........the locals want a cost effective, adequate and decent supply of meat, and Australia was, and can continue to supply, those cattle that are well suited for local finishing and slaughter.  It has been a win - win situation in the past, maybe there is further hope it might be slowly moving back that way.

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