In­done­sia takes axe to ex­ports

Shock at cat­tle cut

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - LEANNE OLIVERI

AUS­TRALIA’S live cat­tle ex­port in­dus­try is in shock af­ter In­done­sia slashed its live im­ports to 50,000 head for this quar­ter – well be­low the 250,000 per­mits ex­pected.

Aus­tralian Live­stock Ex­porters Coun­cil CEO Ali­son Pen­fold said she was sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion, but did not be­lieve it had been made for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

Other in­dus­try fig­ures had mixed re­ac­tions about the ef­fect it would have on Queens­land’s soar­ing cat­tle prices.

Townsville live­stock agent Tim McHugh said Aus­tralia’s do­mes­tic mar­ket was so strong that he doubted the In­done­sian de­ci­sion would have any real im­pact.

“The fat mar­ket is on the rise do­mes­ti­cally in the south and it will come north as the days go on.

“The in­dus­try needs to be con­fi­dent be­cause the sup­ply and de­mand sit­u­a­tion is in its favour.”

Kevin Cur­rie of Ray White Ru­ral Townsville said the scarcity of cat­tle would en­sure prices stayed high.

“It’s very hard to source cat- tle for that feeder or­der at the mo­ment and there are plenty of gra­ziers in south­ern Queens­land, north­ern New South Wales and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory who are look­ing to buy the sort of cat­tle that In­done­sia im­ports so I think that’ll soak up the sur­plus ini­tially.

“In any case, I think In­done­sia will have to in­crease its or­ders some time be­fore the end of this quar­ter.”

In­done­sian- based com­modi­ties ex­pert Michael Sheehy, the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of PT Nat­u­ral Re­sources Indo- ne­sia, said the re­duced quota was due partly to com­mer­cial con­sid­er­a­tions.

“Cat­tle prices in Aus­tralia are very high. The re­duc­tion in quota should have an im­pact on these prices and this will be watched closely from In­done­sia.”

A live ex­port com­pany source said the In­done­sian de­ci­sion would have some im­pact on beef prices.

“It’s got to have a down­ward pres­sure be­cause, all of a sud­den, there’s 200,000 head of cat­tle we used to have a mar­ket for that we now don’t. And In­done­sia is Aus­tralia’s main live ex­port mar­ket.”

In­done­sia pri­mar­ily im­ports feeder steers up to 350kg which are fat­tened at feed­lots be­fore go­ing to mar­ket.

Rabobank se­nior an­a­lyst An­gus Gi­d­ley- Baird said farm­ers in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory would be hit hard­est by the de­ci­sion.

“The north­ern part of Aus­tralia is more heav­ily geared to­wards live ex­port, and par­tic­u­larly the North­ern Ter­ri­tory,” Mr Gi­d­ley- Baird told Sky Busi­ness.

“Queens­land has a few more op­tions with more pro­cess­ing clients.”

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