Indonesia is pushing ahead with plans to cut cattle imports from Australia, revealing a quota for 2012 far worse for exporters than first feared in the wake of the Gillard government's suspension of the live trade last year.
The development comes as Trade Minister Craig Emerson and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig hold talks with Indonesian ministerial counterparts in Jakarta in relation to market access for Australian exporters.
Indonesia flagged a dramatic drop in imports of cattle from Australia last year following the Gillard government's decision to suspend the live trade after video footage of abuse of animals in Indonesian abattoirs was aired on TV.
Before the suspension implemented by Senator Ludwig in June last year, Australia commonly exported more than 500,000 head of cattle a year in trade worth more than $300 million.However, the latest projection is worse for Australian exporters than previous predictions had suggested.
The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry has confirmed it will push ahead with a massive cut in imports of live cattle from Australia, revealing a projected quota for the year ahead of just 283,000 head.
The quota for the current quarter, from April to June, will be 125,000 head of cattle, a spokesman for the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry said.
Senator Ludwig said on Tuesday that his trade mission to Jakarta this week would focus on market access, particularly for agricultural industries.
''The growing demand for Australian agricultural products in Indonesia presents a significant opportunity for our farmers,'' Senator Ludwig said in a statement.
The talks were aimed at strengthening the trade relationship, combating illegal logging, the live animal export trade and market access for horticulture imports and meat products, he said.
Indonesia previously relied on Australia for 25 per cent of its beef supply, both from live cattle and boxed-beef, but began sourcing more products from other countries in the wake of the diplomatic row last year that followed the trade suspension.
The Indonesian government maintains the cut in imports from Australia is also in keeping with its plan to be self sufficient in terms of beef supply by 2014.