Indonesia’s meat industry stifled by Covid-19 

March 26, 2020

As of March 23, the pandemic had killed 49 Indonesians and positive cases had reached 579. Responding to this situation, the central and local governments are instituting social distancing and work from home. Controls on transportation and distribution in some areas are also tightened. MELIYANA spoke to meat industry players on how the pandemic and its control measures have impacted their business.

Prices of imported frozen beef, buffalo meat increasing
Prices of imported frozen beef and buffalo meat have increased , according to Ishana Mahisa, Chairman of the National Meat Processors Association. “Frozen beef from Australia is now USD 5.21/kg from USD 4.45. Frozen buffalo meat from India is up to USD 4.58 from USD 3.56/kg,” he said. Every month, Nampa members need around 2000 tons of red meat.

Delivery of sausage casing, food ingredients disrupted
Indonesia’s meat processing industry has started to feel the impact of Covid-19 in China as supply of sausage casings, especially cellulose, and food ingredients from the country is limited. “It is impacting the availability of those products in Indonesia,” said Mr Mahisa. “Delivery has been delayed, but we expect it will arrive in late March.”

Native chicken in high demand
Native chicken producer Sumber Unggas Indonesia said demand for native chicken carcass from supermarkets in Greater Jakarta is increasing due to the pandemic. “Demand has increased by 150% since the third week of March. We normally sell 800-1000 carcasses/day, now demand is for 2000-2500 carcasses/day,” said Febroni Purba, Marketing Manager. However, this has not raised prices. A 600g carcass retails for USD 2.44-2.50 while the 700g is around USD 2.68-2.74.

… demand from Padang restaurants slides
The government’s recommendation on social distancing and remote work has caused sales at many Padang restaurants in Greater Jakarta to decline. Since native chicken meat is their main menu, producers like Sumber Unggas Indonesia are also impacted. “Restaurant owbers can do nothing as people are afraid to eat outside and are opting for home-cooked meals,” said Mr Purba.

Demand for pork contracts further
The pandemic has also affected demand for pork in Surabaya, East Java, according to Andrew Djuana, Managing Director of Sumber Pakis, a pig producer. He admitted the demand decline has impacted its revenue from sales of fresh and frozen pork and RTE and RTC pork products. “ASF has made people afraid to eat pork. Covid-19 has made it worse,” he said.