Indonesia sees 2021 beef, water buffalo meat imports down 13%

JAKARTA, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Indonesia's imports of beef and water buffalo meat are expected to fall 13% this year as the coronavirus pandemic hampers demand and as the country's domestic production climbs, an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday.

Imports of beef and water buffalo meat are expected to drop to 281,867 tonnes in 2021, compared with 324,019 tonnes last year, Nasrullah, director general of livestock and animal health at the country's agriculture ministry, told parliament.

"This is probably due to increasing domestic production and lower demand due to the pandemic," said Nasrullah, who uses one name.

Neighbouring Australia and New Zealand are key exporters of beef to Indonesia, while India supplies water buffalo meat.

Indonesian poultry demand in 2020 was lower than expected at 2.7 million tonnes, compared to an initial estimate of 3.4 million tonnes.

Poultry demand this year, however, is expected to recover to 3.1 million tonnes, he said. Though with production estimates of 4 million tonnes this year, oversupply is expected.

To control oversupply, Indonesia plans to control day-old chick production by limiting egg hatching and bringing in early culling of parental stock of chickens.

Indonesia's farming ministry ordered breeders in September last year to cull millions of chicken and reduce the number of hatching eggs to control a slump in poultry prices. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe Writing by Fathin Ungku Editing by Ed Davies)

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