With the cost of a kilogram of beef up about 40%, local butchers have gone on strike because their customers can not afford it.
The Indonesian government’s apparent attempt to boost food self-sufficiency by cutting down cattle imports from Australia by 80 percent may be backfiring, as prices have spiked and sellers in Jakarta are going on strike in protest.
The industry warned that quota – 70% smaller than the same period last year – would create the problems which are now presenting themselves.
It is unclear whether Indonesia will seek to increase imports from Australia, and whether it will take live cattle or boxed meat.
“Despite talking big about the potential for Northern Australia and agricultural exports Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have been found wanting when it comes to fighting for Australia”, he said.
“While Tony Abbott is stuck in the past, other jurisdictions are getting on with the job”.
Cattle trade has long been a sensitive issue between the neighbors.
“And in the last 11 months – September 2014 to August 2015 – we have exported 674,509 head; a 119pc increase on the 307,320 head of cattle exported in Labor’s final year in office”.
The Australian government is concerned about the uncertainty the current system creates for Australian exporters, the spokesman for Joyce said.
There have been concerns that importers have manipulated supply to keep beef expensive weeks after Ramadan, when it’s traditionally high.
“The government is saying that they want to stabilise prices but the manner in which the permits are being issued has an inflationary effect”, she said.
He suggested to Indonesian officials that annual quotas would bring greater certainty for both sides.
In addition to moving on imports, Jakarta will order feedlot managers to release their stock, and Bulog will release its stock where product is scarce, the cabinet secretary said following the meeting.
“We are however yet to receive any confirmation of the volume and type of cattle from the Indonesian Government”, the spokesperson said.