Indonesia may potentially be lifting its cattle import quota volumes with the potential removal of current Agriculture Minister Suswono by President Susilo Bambang.
Speculation was fuelled by an article in the Jakarta Post according to The Land, stating that the president was preparing for a reshuffle of ministers amidst corruption allegations throughout the cabinet.
Suswono has been a main force for Indonesia’s push towards self sufficiency in beef production which had seen Australian imports drastically reduced over the last two years.
The drive for self sufficiency has proven to be highly unsustainable according to industry sources as beef demand has increased - forcing up beef prices, and production constraints such as land availability are scarce.
Sources suggest that a departure from the self-sufficiency drive could increase cattle permit numbers in the second half of 2013, creating hope for struggling Northern Australian beef-cattle producers.
The Australian government’s 2011 suspension of live exports has been said to have contributed to the 50 per cent decrease in beef exports to Indonesia. The decrease in demand for Aussie beef imports is believed to be a direct reaction to snap suspension of the live cattle trade.
Craig Emerson, the Federal Trade Minister has dismissed claims of a trade fall-out from Australia’s suspension on live export to Indonesia.
Emerson believes that in order for Indonesia to maintain it’s increased in beef consumption from 2kgs to 20kgs per year, the Australian trade market is imperative.
photo credit: Eduardo Amorim via flickr