Reports from Indonesia suggest the government is about to make sweeping changes to its rules on importing beef and live cattle.

The country's director general for trade, Bachrul Chairi, says the current quota system will be changed to a price-based system, meaning imports will be based on whether the domestic beef price goes above or below a parity price of $7.80 (Rp76,500) a kilogram.

"If the price increases by 15 per cent, we will import. If the price decreases by 5 per cent, we will stop the import," he said.

According to Bachrul Chairi, the government will also be issuing an immediate 60,000 extra permits for live cattle from Australia.

Bernie Brosnan, from the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters' Association, says an additional 60,000 permits this year would be great news for the industry, and the proposed price-based system for imports would certainly help Australia's live export trade in the short term.

"Initially, we see this as a step forward on the previous quota policy ... beef is trading up there at the moment at around 100,000 rupiah (a kilogram) and they're trying to drop it down to 76,500 rupiah (a kilogram) which is the parity mark," he said.

"So there's a lot of supply which has to go in there to get a change in that price."

The Australian Livestock Exporters Council says it's seeking information on how the price-based system will work.


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