Saturday, August 17, 2013

Indonesia to Run Out of Cattle ??

Indonesia is still struggling with policy settings to address the demand for beef, now that the live cattle trade with north Australia has been truncated.

The import restrictions which they have imposed have certainly been a cause of the big spike in beef prices in major cities.  Australia is not without some blame, over the instant curtailment of the trade on animal welfare grounds too.

Both countries have a range of groups to deal with in developing new policy parameters.

But there are some worrying news snippets coming out of Indonesia and recently reported on by Tempo magazine.

See -



all from this week.  There are some others as well.

Which ever way one appraises the situation, Indonesia needs more beef and they are not in a position to produce what they need, not anytime soon, and that was the understood situation by many in the cattle industry in north Australia anyway.  When a minister announces that a country will run out of cattle in 4 years though - it is serious!

Both countries have election complications, but the Australian side is probably far less complicated than Indonesia where beef prices are likely to be a significant issue unless moderated before the 2014 Presidential elections.  And Indonesian political machinations are notoriously complex and often somewhat twisted!

There seem to be some broad easing of restrictions on live cattle exports to Indonesia announced recently, but the factors around the cattle numbers to be sent are relatively short term.  If a longer term perspective was announced for a year or several, then a bit of planning and some logic might allow better scheduling of animal movements, and local fattening in feed lots in Indonesia prior to slaughter.

Beef is in demand - with China now increasing [mostly] boxed beef imports, but some live cattle will go as well.

Could Indonesia be squeezed over prices such as they could not afford to buy cattle?  Possibly not immediately but could it happen...........maybe, if demand continues to surge from other countries in Asia.


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