Policy Change Helps U.S. Beef Exports to Indonesia Rebound

Policy Change Helps U.S. Beef Exports to Indonesia Rebound

Just a few years ago, Indonesia was a top 10 market for U.S. beef. At its 2011 peak, the United States exported nearly 18,000 metric tons of beef and beef variety meat to Indonesia, valued at more than $28 million.

But in an effort to bolster its domestic beef industry, Indonesia imposed tight quotas on beef and live cattle imports in 2012 and for much of last year. These restrictions applied not only to the United States, but to other beef suppliers as well. This led to tight beef supplies and skyrocketing beef prices in Indonesia, prompting a change in policy that allowed buyers to have much greater access to imported beef.

Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, provides more details

Haggard: "They have a political level commitment to try to obtain self-sufficiency in beef production but last fall they issued an interesting change to their regulation which basically abolishes the quota and allows importers to apply for beef in whatever quantities they can sell. Although this program is just getting off the ground, I think we saw a bump in trade that last quarter of the year and hopefully that will continue this year."

He explains that while importers are pleased to have greater access to U.S. beef, they remain wary of Indonesia's volatile political climate – especially with legislative elections approaching in April.


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