Swift response from exporters as Indonesia finally issues live cattle import permits for Australia

Olivia FordCountryman
Australia’s live export trade to Indonesia is back on track.
Camera IconAustralia’s live export trade to Indonesia is back on track. Credit: West Regional

Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade has issued live cattle import permits to Australia after a stressful start to the year for exporters facing uncertainty.

The permits were signed on Friday and by Saturday shipments of live cattle had finally begun to leave Australian shores for Jakarta.

There were also delays for Australia’s fruit and vegetable export trade, but many permits for horticultural products began to trickle in at the start of February.

While it is not unusual for the Indonesian Government to take days or even weeks after New Year’s Day to issue permits, this year marked the latest the live cattle import permits had ever come, with many Australian exporters dealt financial blows from the mounting costs to keep cattle on feed and ships at anchor.

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WA Livestock Exporters’ Association chair John Cunnington said the issued permits were good news for exporters across the country whose operations were held up by the permit delay.

“It’s great that (the permits) have finally now been released and we’re able to get back to business,” he said.

“It was a longer than expected time period to receive permits and a bit of a costly exercise for parties involved, but we look forward to being able to get shipping again. “

WA Livestock Exporters Association chairman John Cunnington.
Camera IconWA Livestock Exporters Association chairman John Cunnington. Credit: Josh Fernandes/Josh Fernandes

Mr Cunnington, who is also the business development manager at Halleen Australasian Livestock Traders, said the exporter’s first shipment of live cattle was sent off immediately the day after permits were released and other vessels were currently being loaded.

Despite the hold-up, Mr Cunnington said the export industry was kicking back into gear and “reacting swiftly” to the good news.

The Darwin Port, which experienced its first month of no cattle exports since 1990, also resumed operations the day after permits were issued, with livestock vessel Nine Eagle already on its way to Jakarta.

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