By Peter Hobson
CANBERRA (Reuters) – The Australian government said on Friday that delays in the issuance of import permits by Indonesia for a range of agricultural goods was impacting shipments from Australia and other countries.
It said the delays were affecting goods including fruit and vegetables, meat and . Australia exports around $700 million worth of such goods to Indonesia each year, its trade data show.
Australia is Indonesia’s biggest supplier of live cattle, sending around 400,000 animals worth around $400 million to the country each year in recent years.
“The Australian Government is working to resolve delays in issuance by Indonesia of import permits for a range of agricultural commodities including horticulture, meat and live cattle,” a government spokesperson said.
Reuters could not immediately ascertain the reason for the delays.
“These delays are impacting imports from Australia as well as from other countries that import goods to Indonesia,” the spokesperson said.
“Resolving this issue is a key focus of the government and we have been engaging with Indonesia, through various channels, on this issue since November 2023.”
Indonesia’s trade and agriculture ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.
The delayed import permits are for the year of 2024, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said.
It said no cattle had been shipped from Darwin, a livestock export hub in northern Australia, in January – the first full month that no cattle had been shipped from the port since March 1990.
An Indonesian agriculture ministry official said on Monday the country would import 676,000 head of cattle this year as well as 320,352 metric tons of frozen meat to meet domestic demand.
Indonesia’s National Food Agency, meanwhile, said last month it had appointed two state procurement firms to import 120,000 tons of beef from Brazil and India this year.