Northern pastoralists are hoping the running of general elections in Indonesia this week will see movement on the delays in the issuance of import permits for live cattle.
Several live export vessels are sitting offshore northern Australian ports waiting on the administration work to be completed before business can resume.
No shipments of cattle have left Australia since December. It is extremely unusual for no cattle to go to Indonesia - Australia's largest live cattle market - for that length of time.
The 2024 imports were expected in early January but have not yet been processed, along with permits for other agriculture products including fruit and vegetables and boxed beef.
Australian Livestock Exporters Council chief executive officer Mark Harvey-Sutton said it was an extraordinary situation and it was fair to say producers were eagerly awaiting an outcome.
"Industry across the board, both here and in Indonesia, has been doing all that is possible to expedite the issuance of permits," he said.
"Australia's ambassador in Indonesia is on the job and our trade and agriculture ministers have been reaching out to Indonesia counterparts to stress the importance of getting the permits done.
"There is no shortage of demand and Australian suppliers are obviously keen to get on with the job but unfortunately it is a waiting game at this stage.
"We are optimistic there might be a breakthrough this week but we have been optimistic for some weeks now."
One saving grace has been the extent of the wet season in the Northern Territory has meant there would likely have been logistical challenges getting cattle to ships anyway, so it is unlikely big volumes would have been leaving Australia through January.
Another factor auguring for action soon is that the shortage of beef in Indonesia is now starting to flow through to increased prices, which means consumer pressure might start to get the wheels moving.
International media has reported other countries are being affected in the same manner.
A spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said delays in issuance by Indonesia of import permits for a range of agricultural commodities for 2024 continued.
"These delays are not specific to Australia and have impacted imports from all trading partners into Indonesia," the spokesperson said.
"Australia continues to make representations at ministerial and official level on this issue."