INDONESIA - Indonesia is gearing up preparation to start importing cattle from Mexico as negotiation on a similar deal with its neighbor and largest cattle supplier Australia remains in limbo.
Australia is demanding that Indonesia loosen an import restriction that requires imported cattle to weigh at least 350 kilogram and be 30 months old when it arrives in the archipelago.
The requirement limits cattle options that Australia can supply to Indonesia. Indonesia has asked in return that Australia cut the price of its cattle by one Australian dollar (70 US cents) per kilogram.
"Adjusting the requirement would make it easier to import from Australia. If Australia can commit [to the price cut], we will relax the requirement," I Ketut Diarmita, the director general of husbandry and animal health at Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday (9 January).
Trade Minister Eggartiasto Lukita had said earlier that he has been in intense communication with his Australian counterpart to close the deal.
Mexico offers another option
In the meantime, the ministry is also communicating with Mexico to realize an import of 4,000 cattle from the Central American country as soon as next month.
"We have issued a recommendation for the deal a while ago and the Ministry of Trade seems to be on board with the plan. This will secure supply of beef at least until Idul Fitri," Mr Ketut said.
Indonesia will have to rely on imports to meet 40 per cent of its demand for beef this year, which is estimated to top out at 720,225 metric tons, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
TheCattleSite News Desk