Agribusiness to Indonesia

Export snapshot

  • Agricultural products are among Australia's key merchandise exports to Indonesia. Indonesia was Australia's largest market for wheat ($950 million) and live animals ($575 million) in 2017-18.  (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,August 2020
  • Agriculture is vital to the Indonesian economy, accounting for 29 per cent of total employment in 2019  ( Source: World Bank, Employment in Agriculture 2020, August 2020)  and contributing 12.7 per cent to the country’s GDP in 2019. (Source: World Bank, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, value added (% GDP) 2020 
  • In 2018 Indonesia was Australia’s sixth highest value agricultural export market and Australia’s largest export market for wheat and live cattle. Other key agricultural export commodities include beef, sugar, skim milk powder, offal, meat meal for animal feed, waste paper for recycling and starches.

The market

Indonesia and Australia's agricultural trade relationship is complementary. Australian exports to Indonesia tend to comprise of raw materials and semi-processed commodities, while Indonesia predominantly exports more highly processed products to Australia, such as wood-based building materials, processed food and beverage products and textiles and clothing.

In 2018 Indonesia was Australia’s sixth highest value agricultural export market and Australia’s largest export market for wheat and live cattle. Other key agricultural export commodities include beef, sugar, skim milk powder, offal, among others. These commodities are processed in Indonesia or used as inputs in industry. These imports from Australia create jobs and develop Indonesia’s value-adding food industries. Australia’s food commodity exports, such as wine, meat and dairy products, are also used in hotels and restaurants in Indonesia’s developing tourism and hospitality industries.

Indonesia’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports to Australia, rather than being mostly raw product, are predominantly processed and value added in Indonesia prior to export to Australia. Australia mainly imports from Indonesia wood-based building materials (such as mouldings, joinery wood and plywood), paper products, tobacco products, cocoa and chocolate, tuna, coffee, baked goods and noodles. One classic and long-standing trading partnership is the transformation of imported Australian wheat into flour then into Indomie noodles, which Indonesia exports to the world.

Australian technology is being utilised in Indonesian agribusinesses, improving productivity and safety and assisting Indonesia in developing world-class agricultural and food products. Australian investments are diversifying Indonesia’s manufacturing industries into food processing.

Agriculture is vital to the Indonesian economy, accounting for 29 per cent of total employment in 2019 (Source: World Bank, Employment in Agriculture 2020, August 2020)  and contributing nearly 13 per cent to the country’s GDP (Source: World Bank, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, value added (% GDP) 2020. Agriculture is an important pathway out of poverty for millions of rural Indonesians. The challenge for Indonesia is how to expand economic growth in the agriculture sector in ways that are both sustainable and equitable for all Indonesians. Australia has provided long-term support to develop Indonesia’s agricultural sector, including by boosting smallholder farmers’ productivity and incomes, developing export opportunities for forestry, seafood and horticulture sectors and increasing skills through research collaboration, scholarships and training programs. We aim to work together with Indonesia to address fundamental constraints to Indonesia’s economic growth and poverty reduction.

Indonesia’s economic planning follows a 20-year development plan from 2005 to 2025, segmented into a number of five-year medium-term plans (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional – RPJMN). RPJMN 2015-19 has been aimed at accelerating productivity, competitiveness and inclusive growth and development, reducing poverty and addressing regional disparity between the east and west by focusing on eastern Indonesia. The next RPJMN (2020-24) is reported to include strengthening economic resilience for quality growth, developing regions to reduce equity gaps and realizing quality human development to increase competitiveness. (Source: The Ministry of Nationa Development Planning Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia National Long-term Development Plan 2020-2024, August 2020)

The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture’s medium-term plans also focus on Indonesia’s development. The Ministry of Agriculture’s 2015-19 Strategic Plan for Agriculture focused on increasing: food security through achieving self-sufficiency in a number of commodities; food diversification; competitiveness of certain commodities, value-added processing and export; availability of raw materials for bioenergy; and farmers’ welfare. Priorities the Ministry is expected to add to its plan for the next five years (2020-24) are reported to include boosting agricultural productivity, developing exports and increasing agriculture-related education and training.(Source: The Ministry of Agriculture Republic of Indonesia, Strategic Planning Ministry of Agriculture 2020-2024, May 2020. Indonesian language only).


Meat and livestock

Meat protein consumption in Indonesia is currently around 14.8 kilograms per capita per annum, with poultry making up the largest proportion. In 2018, Indonesia imported 510,937 head of live cattle from Australia, which was down 14 per cent compared to the previous year (Source: Meat and Livestock Australia, Indonesia Market Snapshot 2018, August 2020).

Part of the decline in live exports relates to competition. In August 2016, the Indonesian Government allowed 10 Indian meat establishments to export frozen buffalo meat to Indonesia. The Government also recently approved Mexico as a potential supplier of live cattle.

Regardless, Australian boxed beef exports grew 50.6 per cent in 2017 on the previous year to 61,676 tonnes. However it is an erratic market, and in 2018, slipped to less than 60,000 tonnes, likely a result of cheap Indian buffalo meat in the market ( Source: Meat and Livestock Australia, Indonesia Market Snapshots 2017 & 2018, August 2020). India has become Australia’s major competitor in the Indonesian boxed beef market, followed by New Zealand and then the US. (Source: Meat and Livestock Australia, Indonesia Market Snapshot 2018, August 2020).

Market access

The Indonesian Government closely manages the import quantity of boxed beef and live cattle through import permits, and slaughter-to-breeder ratios respectively. Current regulations require 20 per cent of cattle imported by private companies to be breeding cattle and for the same companies to operate an in-country breeding program.  


Indonesian consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is growing, reflecting proportionate growth in the middle class. Consumers are increasingly recognising the health benefits of fresh produce, particularly among upper-middle class consumers, who are seeking higher quality produce.

Indonesia imports fresh fruits and vegetables to balance an inadequate domestic supply. In 2019, Indonesia’s total fruit and vegetable imports were valued at just over A$2.1 million, and A$1.1 million respectively. Australia is positioned third, after China and Thailand, in terms of value of fruit and vegetable exports to Indonesia (Source: ITC Calculation COMTRADE Statistics, List of supplying market for a product imported by Indonesia: Edible fruits and Edible vegetables, accessed August 2020).

Market access

There are often restrictions or outright bans on produce that the government perceives can be grown domestically. Exporters need to check the regulations and consult with both the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Austrade.
Concerning quarantine, fresh fruits and vegetables must have a Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of origin and transit country. Indonesian Government requires cold treatment for produce coming to Indonesia originating from areas in Australia that are not free from fruit fly before and during shipment.


The grains sector represents a major component of the Australia – Indonesia commercial relationship. The sector represents the largest trade of goods to Indonesia. It has also generated investment into Indonesia’s milling and food processing sectors which has created jobs and contributed to the export goals of both countries.

Indonesia is Australia’s biggest single wheat customer. Each year, on average, Indonesia buys 4.2 million tonnes of Australian wheat, worth A$1.2 billion dollars (Source: GRDC, Indonesia Market 2020, August 2020). That’s nearly one quarter of all Australian wheat exports. In 2019, Indonesia imported 10,692,978 tonnes of wheat, with a total value of more than A$4 billion (Source: Trade Map, List of supplying market for a product imported by Indonesia: wheat, accessed August 2020). Indonesia is home to at least 28 flour mills with a total installed capacity of 11.8 million Metric Tonnes (MT) per year (Source: APTINDO, Indonesian Wheat Flour Industry Overview, February 2020).

Indonesia remains dependent on wheat imports due to the country’s inability to grow the commodity in any significant volume. Demand continues to grow, driven by retail consumption and the domestic milling industry. But the threat from low-cost wheat producers, such as Russia and Ukraine – as well as ongoing competition from premium suppliers like Canada and the US – is putting pressure on Australia’s exports to Indonesia.

In addition to Indonesia’s requirement for milling wheat, AEGIC forecasts strong future demand for feed grain. Indonesia is currently consuming over 20 million tonnes of feed grain per annum, with poultry accounting for 87% of use. (Source: AEGIC, IA-CEPA Submission 2019, accessed August 2020). As meat consumption rises with increasing incomes and urbanisation, the demand for feed grain will rise rapidly.  Under IA-CEPA, Indonesia allows duty free access for 500,000 tonnes in the first year of entry into force, increasing by 5% each year thereafter (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, IA-CEPA Outcomes 2020, accessed August 2020).

Market access

Currently Indonesia’s domestically milled wheat flour meets 96.5 per cent of Indonesia’s total demand. The Indonesian Government has imposed import restrictions on wheat flour: these include a five per cent duty and quota. This protection has benefited local flour mills. IA-CEPA provide access for feed wheat to enter Indonesia. Australian exporters will need to apply for quota access through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to supply feed wheat to Indonesia.  


With growing household incomes, and an increase in urbanisation, families are spending more on food, and increasing their consumption of dairy products. Indonesia’s milk consumption is only 11.7L/ per person per annum, which is significantly lower than other emerging economies in ASEAN including Philippines (22 litres) or Thailand (31 litres). Despite this, demand has been growing in Indonesia by at least 5% annually (Source: Australia’s Livestock Exporters, Indonesia’s Dairy Industry Needs to Grow to Meet Local Demand 2020, accessed August 2020).

Accordingly, over the past five years, dairy exports to the market have grown by 6.9%. Indeed between January 2018, and December 2019, 51 thousand tonnes of Australian dairy product, including skim milk powder, whey powder cheese, and butter worth US$114.4 million was exported to Indonesia – much of it bound for Indonesia’s vibrant food processing and value adding sector (Source: Dairy Australia, Market Brief Indonesia 2019, accessed August 2020).

Responding to growing demand for dairy, Indonesia’s dairy farming and manufacturing industry continues to grow. Indonesia’s dairy farming is concentrated to the island of Java. Given the scarcity of land, quality feed, and skilled labour, milk production in Java is expensive, and supply can not keep up with demand. Opportunities for supplying dairy cattle, expertise, farming equipment, and technical solutions exist for Australian dairy experts.


Areas of opportunities in the Indonesian agribusiness industry include:

Meat and livestock

  • Breeding, dairy, feeder, and slaughter cattle
  • Breeding practice, knowledge transfer for breeding programs and artificial insemination
  • Technology and equipment, cages, storage system
  • Feedlot management, feeding management, meat quality improvement
  • Abattoir, meat handling, and butchering equipment
  • Education and training programs
  • Boxed beef and other meat such as offal, mutton, goat, and lamb


  • Temperate fruit varieties - cherries, berries, summer fruits, table grapes, apple, pear, avocado, citrus, etc.
  • Premium vegetables: broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, beetroot, kale etc.
  • Plantation technology and services, modern planting, organic farming, greenhouse methodology
  • Cold storage and warehouse systems
  • Post-harvest product handling, packaging and distribution management


  • Wheat supply for milling in Indonesia
  • Feed grains – wheat, barley, sorghum
  • Support in value adding of Australian grains in Indonesia.


  • Dairy cattle and equipment
  • Dairy products and ingredients for manufacturing
  • Dairy products with specific health-related benefits
  • Increasing demand for cheese from food service sector
  • Increasing interest in dairy investment in Indonesia as well as Indonesian investors exploring investment in the Australian supply chain to secure dairy supply.

Tariffs, regulations and customs

Import duties for boxed meat products are now set at five per cent while animal Carcasses and half-carcasses are set at 0 per cent. All agricultural products including live cattle and meat are subject to a 10 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT). There is no import quota for live cattle; however, their import is only permitted from countries that are free from foot-and-mouth disease.

Australia’s trade relationship with Indonesia in agriculture benefits from low import duties applied across a range of key commodity imports including wheat, wheat flour, dairy and cotton. The current tariff of five per cent on chilled and frozen bone-less beef is eliminated under the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

While tariffs remain low, there are regulations on agricultural imports that exporters need to be aware of including quota for live cattle, beef, and horticulture products.

Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA)

Building on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, IA-CEPA will provide better and more certain access to the Indonesian market for Australian exporters. For more information on benefits for agricultural exporters visit:

ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA)

The Agreement Establishing the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) was signed by the then Minister for Trade and his ASEAN and New Zealand counterparts, on 27 February 2009.

AANZFTA is the largest FTA Australia has concluded. ASEAN and New Zealand together account for 18 per cent of Australia's total trade in goods and services, worth almost A$113 billion in 2012-13. AANZFTA contains regional rules of origin and substantial tariff reduction and elimination commitments, as well as World Trade Organization (WTO)-plus commitments in other areas such as services, which will provide commercially meaningful benefits to Australian business and further strengthen Australia's commercial ties with ASEAN.

AANZFTA is now in force for all 12 countries that signed the Agreement: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Agreement entered into force for Indonesia on 10 January 2012. AANZFTA for Indonesia will benefit both Australia and Indonesia. Tariffs on a wide range of Australian exports to Indonesia will reduce to zero, improving market access opportunities for Australian exporters. Indonesia will also bind existing levels of market openness in various services sectors, providing greater certainty for Australian exporters and investors

For more information regarding tariffs applicable to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) to

Industry standards

Exporters should be aware of halal requirements for frozen or chilled cut meat (beef) and also quarantine requirements for both cut meat and cattle. All meat products (except pork) exported to Indonesia and intended for human consumption must have halal certificates.

The main prerequisite for importing fresh produce into Indonesia is the procurement of a phytosanitary certificate issued by the appropriate authority such as the Department of Agriculture in Australia. The consignments are subject to plant quarantine inspection upon arrival in Indonesia.

This practice is common and Australian exporters have reported loss of orders for non-compliance. Australian companies should be wary of this and exercise due diligence and seek further advice before agreeing to any practices which may hinder their activities in the market.

For information on Australian registration for export, contact the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Marketing your products and services

Market entry

To take advantage of the opportunities that the Indonesian agricultural industry offers, it is imperative that companies have active marketing strategies such as:

  • Appointing the right business partner (after due diligence work has been undertaken)
  • Visiting the market regularly as face-to-face business is important
  • Preparing comprehensive information packs, profiling your company, product specifications, pricing and terms
  • Participating in major trade exhibitions such as Food, Hotel  Indonesia, Indo Livestock, Asia Fruit Logistica, Food Hotel Asia exhibition
  • Promoting the Australian image of clean and green agricultural products with highest quality and international standards

Consistent quality, timely delivery and competitive pricing are essential if Australian suppliers are to ensure an increased market penetration and popularity of Australian products in the Indonesian market.

Marketing and promotional activities in Indonesia vary dramatically. Some options include direct marketing (mail-out and/or fax-out), product/company launches held at key venues (e.g. five-star hotels), and advertising with the local media (TV, radio, newspapers). Television advertising is very expensive so most companies prefer to undertake newspaper advertising.

Distribution channels        

The major importers have their own distribution networks and cold storage facilities. For areas outside Jakarta, importers often have their own branch offices or appoint local distributors. Most of the business is done through the Jakarta office, with the branches usually located in major cities such as Medan, Surabaya and Denpasar (Bali). Mark-up for imported products is generally 10 per cent from the importer to the distributor.


Agribusiness products can enter Indonesia via air or sea depending on the commodities, quantity and urgency. The shipment can take between five to eight days for shipping and same day for air transport. Australian exporters should contact shipping companies for further information on shipping rates and requirements from Australia to major ports around Indonesia.

Live cattle exporters need to form a direct relationship with feedlot companies or slaughtered cattle importers. Main destinations in Indonesia for livestock are Jakarta, Lampung, Cilacap and Surabaya.

Links and industry contacts

News and general information
The Jakarta Post:
The Jakarta Globe:    

Australian resources
Australian Exporters Livestock Council (Livecorp) -
Hort Innovation -
Meat and Livestock Australia -

Indonesian resources
Ministry of Agriculture:
Ministry of Trade:
Directorate General of Customs and Excise:
Statistics Indonesia:
Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board: 
National Single Window:

Industry and Business Associations
Indonesian Cattle Farmer Association (GAPUSINDO):
National Meat Processor Association Indonesia (NAMPA)
Indonesian Fruits and Vegetables Exporter and Importer Association (ASEIBSSINDO):
Indonesian Wheat Flour Producer Association (APTINDO):

Chambers of Commerce
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry: 
Indonesia Australia Business Council AIBC:
Australian Indonesian Business Council:

Other websites with information relevant to Indonesian business
The World Bank:
The International Monetary Fund:
Expat resources:

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

Contact details

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