Indonesian cattle market opens – light at end of long battle

05 September 2013: Indonesia’s scrapping of its live cattle import quotas means our northern cattle industry now has “every chance of exceeding” the live export figures prior to the Australian Government’s devastating temporary ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia in mid-2011, says KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter.

“On top of the 63 per cent quarterly increase since our cattle crisis summit in North West Qld and meetings with the Indonesian Ambassador began in earnest, we welcome the announcement that all quota restrictions will be removed – but there will be a ceiling price,” said Mr Katter.

“In recent discussions with the biggest lot feeder operation in Indonesia, they told us they’re confident of getting reasonably-priced product on to the market and meeting reasonable ceiling prices, and the live exporter’s association say they too are confident they can meet the ceiling price. So there is every chance this year that we may reach or even exceed the pre-ban figures.”

Mr Katter added that whilst no-one should ever attempt to predict cattle prices, it was reasonable to expect that another 60,000-90,000 ox being sold between now and the year’s end would put significant upward pressure on prices.

Mr Katter congratulated “a lot of people” for their work towards restoring the live cattle trade between Australia and Indonesia – “but particularly Barry Hughes and his Cattle Crisis Council”.

“I can say absolutely that without their Richmond meeting and the formation and efficacy of this group, the re-opening of the market would not have occurred and the restoration of a good relationship with our nearest neighbours would not have progressed.”

Mr Katter said he also had to thank Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd – “both who had a tenacious commitment to restoring the very damaged relationship”.

“But probably most of all, we thank the very gifted and enlightened Indonesian Ambassador, His Excellency Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, whose close relationship with the President has helped immeasurably”.

Mr Katter said whilst discussions with the Chinese Embassy has been scheduled the week the election was called, this would be immediately pursued if he was re-elected.

“One-third of the world’s population lives in China and Europe, and I had three neighbours near our station that could produce 20,000 tonne a year by themselves. Little Japan takes nearly 400,000 tonne a year.

“So if the ALP or LNP can’t or won’t do it, we have proved ourselves that we can – and we will.”

Meanwhile, Mr Katter said it was “extraordinary that we’ve also been able to play a small but significant role in the decision by the Reserve Bank to seriously address the Australian dollar and reduce interest rates – at the heart of the base problems not only in our cattle industry but all agriculture”.

“It’s no thanks to the pollies, who in the LNP and ALP governments drove our dollar up and up and up, but a big debt of gratitude to the Reserve Bank for finally acting,” he said.