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Beef import permit's late issuance causes price to soar over low stock

Tempo - March 11, 2024

Desty Luthfiani, Jakarta – Suhandri, secretary-general of the Indonesian Meat Importers Association (Aspidi), confirmed that beef prices were currently soaring due to the Trade Ministry's late issuance of import permits.

"One of the causes was due to the late issuance of import permits. The time between the issuance of the permit and the start of Ramadan is very short, only two weeks. So the available stock is very low," said Suhandri when contacted by Tempo on Monday, March 11.

Data from the National Food Agency (Bapanas) cited on March 11 showed that the price of beef from producers or whole cattle was Rp52,220 per kilogram. Meanwhile, the national average retail price is Rp135,740. Suhandri said that for the stock, the components calculated were local beef stock ready for slaughter, meat stock at distributors, and meat stock at importers.

"For the stock of local cattle, I don't know how many there are," he said. "For the stock of meat distributors, my estimate is 30 to 40 percent of the stock of importers," he said.

According to Suhandri, there is currently about 7,000 tons of available stock of imported meat. Meanwhile, the stock in transit is about 15,000 tons. Meanwhile, Suhandri admitted that he did not know how much beef stock was available from imported feeder cattle.

"If the cattle arrive in large numbers, you can't slaughter them immediately, you have to keep them for 120 days," he said.

Suhandri estimated that the imported meat will arrive in Indonesian ports around March 15 at the earliest. There will be around 20 to 50 containers. "Or about 500 to 1,000 tons."

The government had only issued the 2023 import licenses for feeder cattle and beef on February 16 and 22, 2024. Beef imports are currently limited to a quota of 145,251 tons as approved by the National Food Agency (Bapanas). Meanwhile, the Trade Ministry has issued an import permit (PI) for 141,142 tons of beef.

The government has also set a beef import quota of 120,000 tons for government meat reserves, while the beef import quota for the private sector is set at 50,000 tons.

Despite the late issuance of import permits, Bapanas claims that beef stocks are safe ahead of Ramadan. The agency's director of food supply and price stability, Maino Dwi Hartono, said the purchasing power of beef ahead of Ramadan is high, but the supply is still sufficient at the moment.

"In terms of availability, it is safe. Even with the delays (in imports), there is no problem with the price nationwide," Maino said when met at the KPPU office on Wednesday, February 28.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1843492/beef-import-permits-late-issuance-causes-price-to-soar-over-low-stoc