9 Jun 2011

Indonesia may ease beef import restrictions - MIA

2:02 pm on 9 June 2011

New Zealand beef exporters may be able to start sending product to Indonesia again.

Indonesia imposed tight import restrictions in January this year, in a bid to boost its self-sufficiency, bringing imports of New Zealand beef to a near standstill.

It was New Zealand's second biggest beef export market by volume last year, receiving more than 110,000 tonnes of beef product, including offal and beef and bone meal, worth more than $225 million.

Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie says trade is just 10% of what it was this time last year.

He says there are reports that Indonesia may start issuing new import permits.

Mr Ritchie says a ban on live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia, because of mistreatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, may also increase demand there for New Zealand beef.

New Zealand does not export live cattle because of animal welfare concerns there, he says,