Current Impacts of COVID-19 on the Indonesia-Australia Feeder Cattle Trad

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Indonesia, in collaboration with the Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector, hosted webinar to over 80 Indonesian and Australian government and industry stakeholders on May 6, 2020. The webinar provided an update on short-term COVID-19 impacts on the live cattle / beef industry in Indonesia and northern Australia.

MLA’s Indonesia Country Manager, Ms Valeska, facilitated a panel discussion with LiveCorp Chairman/Australian Partnership Member, Mr Troy Setter; Indonesian Partnership Member Mr Dicky Adiwoso; and Partnership-ASG Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Mr David Goodwins to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on producers, importers and exporters. 

The panellists asserted that whilst the situation is uncertain at the moment, there are signs that businesses are adjusting and responding accordingly.

Mr Goodwins presented survey results from  a number of feed-lotters in Indonesia which highlighted slower demand for cattle and beef. Some parts of the archipelago had experienced a 30% to 50% decline in demand in the lead up to Ramadan compared to previous years. Demand for trim and offals used in bakso and soups had also declined significantly as street food vendors were unable to trade.  

Mr Adiwoso suggested that the temporary drop in supply of India buffalo meat presented to re-claim and better protect the fresh beef and feeder trades in Indonesia. Mr Adiwoso stated that it was essential for all stakeholders to think about the longer term sustainability of the joint supply chain, rather than a sole concentration on short term profit margins.

Mr Setter provided an overview of the Australian cattle herd situation and the broader impact of COVID-19 to the red meat and livestock sector in Australia. He highlighted the fact that on the whole, Australia’s beef and live cattle exports were holding up well through the early stages of the pandemic. Mr Setter added that the restocking phase occurring across much of Australia was likely to keep cattle prices relatively high in the coming year.

The panel suggested that, as the situation remains unpredictable, margins will continue to be tight. This is the time for Indonesia and Australia to work closely together to strengthen the supply chain in both countries.

This was the first of a series of Indonesia-Australia webinars on the red meat and cattle sector. MLA and the Partnership are looking to convene another webinar in early June. 

The webinar slides can be viewed at