THE religious holiday of Ramadan in Indonesia starts this month and Australia has missed the opportunity to supply a large amount of beef for the festival with much of it due to the live cattle export ban.
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual intimacy with their partners during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.
The holiday moves backwards every year by about 11 days making it hard to get a gauge on exactly how many Australian cattle would normally be consumed during Ramadan.
But Meat and Livestock Australia information and analysis manager Tim McRae said there was no doubt Australia would have sent cattle over for the festival.
"WA and Australia certainly missed out on some opportunities to get some Australian cattle over there for Ramadan," Mr McRae said.
He said it makes it very difficult to measure exactly how many cattle Australia could have sent or compared it to previous years because the time of Ramadan was always changing and was obviously different for different pastoral seasons.
"If you look at the seasonality of it particularly when you want to talk live cattle it is the seasonality of actually being able to get cattle moving," he said.
"Because you need to have them in the feedlots often three, four or five months ahead to get them ready for Ramadan.
"So it does make it difficult to find out what sort of an impact not sending cattle over for Ramadan would have."
Mr McRae said in his recent cattle industry projections mid-year update that Australia would send 120,000 head less cattle than last year to Indonesia as a result of the ban.
"We estimate that about 300,000 cattle will be sent to Indonesia this year instead of 520,000," he said.