Relations with Australia worsen as Indonesia slashes live cattle export licences

Live cattle exporters have been taken by surprise by Indonesia’s decision

Australia’s cattle industry has taken a sudden hit after Indonesia slashed its live cattle imports from Australia. Indonesia, Australia’s biggest live cattle market, has told the market it would issue 50,000 import permits between July and September. That compares with an expected 200,000 permits for that quarter and is well below the usual third quarter figure. The Australian Livestock Exporters Council said the decision was both a surprise and a disappointment.

However, Council Chief Executive Officer Alison Penfold rejected local media suggestions it was linked to the uneasy relationship between the two countries.

“Absolutely not. I know there have been some suggestions in the media today and I am disappointed [some people] have decided to play politics,” Ms Penfold told the BBC. The import cut comes amid political tensions between the two countries over asylum seekers departing Indonesia by boat for Australia.