WITH the Indonesian Government showing no signs of lifting the 350kg live weight limit, exporters have turned their attention to other markets.
WA Live Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said the Indonesian Government and the Director General of Agriculture were focused on becoming self sufficient, a reason why the live export market to Indonesia took a hit.
"The profile of shipments included large numbers of ready-to-slaughter cattle and that was detracting from the self-sufficiency program which includes feeder-type cattle that make up a large percentage of shipments from Australia," Mr Edwards said.
"One of the local large feedlot operators has expressed some sentiment that the government said they were aiming for a self sufficiency program to be effective as of 2014.
"The signals are that we believe there will not be dramatic changes in the volumes of cattle going to Indonesia in the near future and we are hoping some more consistent permit arrangement will allow better structured shipping programs to occur."
But with no clear messages about Indonesia's future plans of increasing import permits or the live weight limit, exporters were focusing on alternative markets.
Mr Edwards said Egypt was a re-emerging market for the heavier cattle while beef producers in southern Australia had the emergence of the Turkish market for bos Taurus cattle.
Mr Edwards also said there were still beef feeder and beef breeder shipments going to Russia, which was emerging as a potential new market for WA beef producers.
He said the number of animals that had gone to Turkey was very encouraging and it may also open the doors for bos Indicus cattle.
Wellard Rural Exports managing director Steve Meerwald said the 350kg limit was unlikely to change and exporters were working around that.
Mr Meerwald said with the bos Taurus cattle going to Turkey, there was every chance that bos Indicus cattle could also be exported there in the future.
"It could open further opportunities for the north which could be part of the long term and year round supply," Mr Meerwald said.
"The number of alternative markets will develop further, which will include domestic and export markets."
Mr Meerwald said the new Director General in Indonesia could have an influence on import permits but nothing was clear yet.
He said because some of next year's permit allocation was used to increase this year's allocation, next year's quota may be reduced.