This article is from a special feature on Indonesian live export.
BEEF prices in Indonesia are on the rise.
In a typical supply and demand principle, less beef from Australia has meant a shortage in beef in the local market, which has led to a sharp rise in price in the last month.
Beef prices usually stand at about IDR 70,000 a kilogram but in the last month have risen 20 per cent to IDR85,000/kg.
The price rise may not seem like much but when compared to the average wage in Indonesia of IDR90,000 per day, the cost of living is tight.
Locals believe the dramatic price rise is in direct relation to the live cattle import quota which was almost halved from 410,000 head of cattle last year to just 283,000 in 2012.
When Farm Weekly travelled to a wet market in Lampung and spoke to some locals they admitted they could buy frozen beef cheaper (IDR60,000/kg) but frozen beef was not a crowd favourite.
Most locals bought meat which they could buy and eat that day, or in the case of Ramadan, that night.
The typical Indonesian does not own a refrigerator and the meat comes straight from the abattoir after it has been killed the night before or that morning. Beef was also priced much higher than other meats such as chicken which was selling for IDR38,000/kg or ‘Simba’ fish (a standard fish in Indonesia) which was IDR25,000/kg.
Locals said about 70pc of the beef which was purchased in Indonesia would be made into bakso beef balls.
Bakso is a traditional meat dish in Indonesia but locals said beef prices were getting too expensive to even make the balls.
Some locals had already turned to buying some chicken and beef and using chicken in the middle of the ball and wrapping it in beef for a similar flavour, in an attempt to reduce costs.
Some industry sources in Indonesia believed beef prices could rise even more if the 98,000 head of cattle import permits are filled quickly, as the beef supply becomes scarcer.
Santori feedlot manager Zamzam Qodarrudin said the import quota was beginning to have a major effect on the market.
“We cut our import quota and now it is just 283,000,” Mr Qodarrudin said.
“The effect of that is only now starting to be realised because the price of beef has increased in the last month.
“They are increasing the price of meat because of the supply issues.”
He said bakso balls could only be made using fresh meat and not frozen.