JAKARTA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has planned to start importing live cattle from Brazil to meet the rising domestic market demand and stabilize beef prices, Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan said Thursday.
"It will be good for us to add the options of sources to buy live cattle and to not just rely on one country. If we keep only importing cattle from Australia, that will put us in trouble. Importing from Brazil is fine," Hasan told reporters in Jakarta.
According to the minister, Indonesia still needs to import live cattle as market demand for beef in the Southeast Asian country is very high.
Latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that the country's average growth of beef consumption was around 8.1 percent per year, while the growth of beef supply was only 5 percent.
"We lack domestic supply, thus importing is a rational option," Hasan said.
Indonesia is one of Australia's biggest markets for live cattle. Earlier in August the Indonesian government decided to suspend importing cattle from four areas in Australia hit by the lumpy skin disease, a viral disease that affects cattle. ■