Indonesians with an appetite for beef may find themselves out of luck this month, as skyrocketing meat prices have caused several vendors to close shop and go on strike.
“There are usually three beef kiosks here, but they have all shut down since Thursday,” Siti, a vegetable hawker at the Palmerah market in West Jakarta, told Tempo.co on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Metrotvnews.com reported that sellers at the Kramatjati market in East Java are also striking — though they showed up to their stands, they did not offer beef.
Asep, a local hawker, said that he stopped selling beef because there was no more stock available. He added that the shortage had been ongoing for roughly a week.
Another vendor at the Kramatjati market, Uci, commented that beef sellers agreed to strike until Monday and will start selling again on Tuesday.
The price of beef at the moment is more than Rp 90,000 per kilogram.
“This is because of a supply shortage,” Ngadiran, the head of the Market Trader Association (APP), said on Saturday, as quoted by Tempo.co.
Thomas Sembiring, the head of the Indonesian Beef Importer Association (ASPIDI), stated that the shortage and steep increase in price was caused by a government decision to slash its import quota for beef. He added that purveyors chose to stop selling because the higher prices drove customers away.
The scarcity has caused problems for Padang restaurants, in particular, which are known for offering dishes such as rendang, a popular West Sumatran beef curry dish.
Padang Pukek Jaya, a restaurant located in Kampung Rambutan in East Jakarta, has stopped selling rendang because of the recent price hike.
“Many customers want to order rendang, but we cannot serve it because of the beef shortage,” Sisi, the owner of the restaurant, told Kompas.com.