TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Meat Importers Association (Aspidi) executive director Thomas Sembiring said the prices of imported beef would rise up to 30 percent in the near future due to high demands for Australian beef. “Consumer countries are now competing to obtain supplies from Australia,” Thomas told Tempo.
He said China and the United States were importing a large amount of Australian beef, causing beef supplyies to diminish and sending consumers in the hunt for it despite its high prices. “Beef suppliers in Australia won’t serve buyers if they are not the regular customers,” he said.
The competition to obtain Australian beef began in 2013, when the US and China had abundant supplies of beef that drove farmers in both countries to cut production and secure supplies by raising local cattle. This condition changed following worsening climate in both countries, with many famers failing to restore their produce and ended up importing. “The demands for imported beef in China rose by five-fold Imported beef needs in China rose up by five-fold,” said Thomas.
Aspidi data show the quota of Australian beef export reached 1,099,483 tons in 2014, with 70 percent going to the US, Japan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong. Indonesia and some other countries only obtain 30 percent.
Under the circumstances, Thomas said it was understandable that beef prices would climb. He added the earnings of importers would likely to dwindle as they had to order beef at high prices. “Only the strong can survive,” he said.