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Ban Risks Australia's Wheat Export Trade

23 June 2011

AUSTRALIA - The decision to suspend live cattle exports to Indonesia could jeopardise Australia's biggest bulk wheat export trade, according to the New South Wales Farmers Association.

Indonesia received 32 per cent of Australia's bulk wheat exports last financial year, making the country the largest importer of local grain, NSW Farmers said in a press release this morning.

NSW Farmers' grains committee chair Mark Hoskinson said he was concerned the recent decision to ban live cattle exports would strain bilateral trade relations.

"Indonesia is a valuable market for grain growers and imports almost a third of Australia's wheat exports â€" compared to our next biggest markets Japan and South Korea, which import 11 per cent and 10 per cent respectively," Mr Hoskinson said.

"Indonesia is one of the most rapidly expanding and lucrative wheat export markets with the potential to continue growing.

"It is the fourth most populous country in the world with an increasing appetite for Australia's prime agricultural produce."

NSW Farmers has repeated its call to the Federal Government to immediately reopen the live cattle export trade to accredited abattoirs.

"Adopting a thorough process of inspection and accreditation will allow trade to resume and ensure no more Australian cattle are subject to cruelty in Indonesia," Mr Hoskinson said.

"If we don't immediately reopen the trade to Indonesia we can unfortunately expect a flow-on effect in other agricultural export commodity markets, which could be devastating for Australian wheat exports," he said.

TheCropSite News Desk

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