Aussie cattle industry concerned over Indonesia rift

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cattleThe head of Australia’s biggest live cattle exporter is urging a swift diplomatic resolution to the growing rift between the Australian government and Indonesia over the phonetapping of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, Australian paper The Land reported.

Malcolm Jackman, CEO of Elders Limited, is hoping the rhetoric between Jakarta and Canberra doesn’t boil over to action on live exports, warning it would have devastating consequences for the Australian industry and Indonesian beef consumers.

As the fallout from the spying scandal continues, Indonesia has threatened to freeze its live cattle trade with Australia, which is worth $174 million a year. Jackman said if that happened it would not only steer up the price of beef in Indonesia but also take Australian cattle producers and exporters back to the days of a live export ban in 2011.

Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan asked the parliament late to immediately revise animal health laws to allow the import of live cattle from countries other than Australia, in particular Brazil.

Shipping an animal from Darwin to Jakarta costs $100 to $150 on top of the price of the animal. The cost rises to about $800 if the animal is shipped from Brazil.

”That would have a dramatic impact on the price of beef in Indonesia and particularly Jakarta, which is not going to be great for the Indonesian population, particularly with an election coming up,” Jackman said. ”I suspect that would have some influence on it as well.”

Elders’ live export division is already under pressure, with a major Indonesian customer considering going elsewhere. Victoria’s Supreme Court heard earlier this month that Elders had been ”hampered by the sudden and unexpected loss of its entire [live cattle] trading team”, which defected to rival Ruralco in October.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The head of Australia’s biggest live cattle exporter is urging a swift diplomatic resolution to the growing rift between the Australian government and Indonesia over the phonetapping of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, Australian paper The Land reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

cattleThe head of Australia’s biggest live cattle exporter is urging a swift diplomatic resolution to the growing rift between the Australian government and Indonesia over the phonetapping of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, Australian paper The Land reported.

Malcolm Jackman, CEO of Elders Limited, is hoping the rhetoric between Jakarta and Canberra doesn’t boil over to action on live exports, warning it would have devastating consequences for the Australian industry and Indonesian beef consumers.

As the fallout from the spying scandal continues, Indonesia has threatened to freeze its live cattle trade with Australia, which is worth $174 million a year. Jackman said if that happened it would not only steer up the price of beef in Indonesia but also take Australian cattle producers and exporters back to the days of a live export ban in 2011.

Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan asked the parliament late to immediately revise animal health laws to allow the import of live cattle from countries other than Australia, in particular Brazil.

Shipping an animal from Darwin to Jakarta costs $100 to $150 on top of the price of the animal. The cost rises to about $800 if the animal is shipped from Brazil.

”That would have a dramatic impact on the price of beef in Indonesia and particularly Jakarta, which is not going to be great for the Indonesian population, particularly with an election coming up,” Jackman said. ”I suspect that would have some influence on it as well.”

Elders’ live export division is already under pressure, with a major Indonesian customer considering going elsewhere. Victoria’s Supreme Court heard earlier this month that Elders had been ”hampered by the sudden and unexpected loss of its entire [live cattle] trading team”, which defected to rival Ruralco in October.

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