Industry waits for Indo quota

30 Aug, 2013 02:00 AM
 Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Mark Lewis (left) with Roebuck Export Depot manager Paul Heil and Agriuclture and Food Minister Ken Baston.
Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Mark Lewis (left) with Roebuck Export Depot manager Paul Heil and Agriuclture and Food Minister Ken Baston.

THE wait has begun for the next allocation of import permits from Indonesia.

On the back of 10,000 cattle heading to Australia's largest live cattle export market last week, exporters now must wait for the country to issue its next round of import permits.

Last week International Livestock Exports had two shipments of 5000 and 3000 head of cattle, while South East Asian Livestock Services had a shipment of 2000 destined for Indonesia.

Those shipments mean not much is left of the 267,000 head quota for the year which enters its last quarter in October.

At the beginning of the year 56,000 head was allocated, along with 120,000 head in the second quarter.

Another 46,000 head was planned for the third and fourth quarter but 25,000 head of that was brought forward last month without weight restrictions.

Roebuck Export Depot manager Paul Heil said it was good that three boats had left for Indonesia but admitted they weren't big shipments.

"It is a good sign and the signs are there but we are definitely not moving the numbers like we used to," Mr Heil said.

"There are no quotas left after this so now we just sit on our hands and see what happens."

It is unclear when or at what level Indonesia will announce import quotas with four months remaining in 2013.

Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston inspected the Roebuck Export Depot last week and said the bringing forward of the 25,000 head of cattle without the 350kg weight restrictions was a huge advantage.

"Particularly given the sufferance the Pilbara and the Kimberley and northern Australia had when the live trade was stopped in 2011," Mr Baston said.

"I was in Indonesia recently and I met with the Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Minister for Trade and there is no doubt that the price of beef has gone through the roof up there because of the stopping of the trade.

"The Indonesian President wants that price brought down and has certainly given that advice to his Agriculture Minister. The only way they can do that is by increasing the beef going into there.

"It is a very sensitive issue given what happened and they said to me that they want a reliable supply of beef.

"They only eat about 2kg per person per year at the moment and they want to take that up to 4kg and there are 250 million people so you don't have to do the math to work that out."



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