Indonesia self-sufficiency push will drive up beef prices -industry

miércoles 4 de marzo de 2015 05:18 GYT

* President wants to curb beef imports, boost farming at home

* Indonesia beef price could rise 50 pct ahead of Ramadan in June

* Climbing food prices could push up inflation

By Michael Taylor

JAKARTA, March 4 (Reuters) - Plans by Indonesia's new president to make the nation self-sufficient in foods such as beef are showing signs of backfiring, with a major industry group warning prices for the meat could soar 50 percent in the next few months.

Climbing meat prices as the government clamps down on imports could exacerbate a rise in inflation that would likely come if oil prices make a strong recovery from their recent lows, hitting efforts to boost Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Reduced imports would also hurt shipments from world No.3 beef exporter Australia, whose farmers last year supplied around 40 percent of the beef consumed in Indonesia.

"The government is too obsessed about self-sufficiency," Thomas Sembiring, executive director at the Indonesian Meat Importers Association (ASPIDI) told Reuters.

Indonesia's agriculture ministry said it was unable to make immediate comment on the self-sufficiency drive.   Continuación...