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Indonesia's appetite for beef a 'relief' for Aust producers
08/06/2012 - Indonesia's appetite for beef continues to rise and should lead to a recovery in live imports from Australian producers, a leading agribusiness firm says.
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Australian live exports to Indonesia were suspended for a month last year, after footage of cattle being treated inhumanely at local slaughter houses was aired on ABC television.
The live trade resumed after stronger auditing requirements were put in place, but exports to Indonesia have since dropped as the country pushed towards self-sufficiency in the beef market.
But Rabobank says Indonesia's rising beef consumption may force it to import more livestock if domestic production can't keep up.
"This may provide an opportunity for live cattle quotas to recover over time," Rabobank general manager of food and agribusiness research Luke Chandler said on Thursday.
"The northern Australian cattle industry is well positioned to capture additional demand and supply low-cost disease-free beef to the Indonesian market."
But Chandler doesn't foresee a pick-up in export trade in the next 12 to 18 months, even though the longer-term outlook is positive.
In the meantime, he said, there was no clear alternative markets for excess Australian cattle.
"With all live export markets undergoing the same regulatory change from the Australian government, it is unclear what the market potential in other live export markets will be going forward," he said.
Rabobank on Thursday released a new report on the Australia-Indonesia live cattle trade.
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