What’s really at stake in the stand-off between Canberra and Jakarta over the potential relocation of the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem?

We’ve been told this issue has caused the postponement of the conclusion of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the free-trade agreement ready for signing during one of the meetings both countries’ leaders have been attending during this annual summit season.

The Weekly Times has said the postponement is costing Australian farmers $14 million in monthly sales, with agriculture making up half of all exports to Indonesia — those farm products being valued at $3.5 billion last year.

About $1.3bn came from the sale of 4.2 million tonnes of wheat last year. The FTA would grant access for a further half million tonnes of feed grain — worth up to $12.5m a month, while tariff cuts on potatoes and carrots would gain exporters about $1m and $420,000 per month respectively.

Trade expert Alan Oxley adds in the latest report of his firm ITS Global that “Indonesia is one of the biggest markets for Australian boxed beef, offal and live cattle exports, with all three worth almost $1bn annually.”

Please click here to read the full “Israel embassy issue costs Australia’s farmers” article in The Australian, written by Griffith Asia Institute Industry Fellow, Rowan Callick.