Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 21:52 GMT 22:52 UK
Indonesia snubs Australian trade
Indonesia may stop buying key Australian export crops
The Indonesian Government has offered to help importing businesses find new sources of goods rather than buy Australian in protest against Canberra's stand over the East Timor crisis.
While Indonesia does not appear to be imposing an official trade boycott, Australian officials have voiced concern.
Australia is leading the UN force to end a wave of violence in East Timor following a referendum that opted for independence from Indonesia.
Anti-Australia protests have been staged almost daily across Indonesia since the force went in a week ago.
Australia counts Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous nation, as its main customer for cotton, an export trade worth $1.6bn Australian dollars (US$1.04bn) last year.
Indonesia is also a key customer for wheat and raw sugar.
Australian cotton and wheat exporters voiced disappointment on Monday.
"If there is some government directive like that then obviously that is a threat to our industry," said Gordon Cherry, chairman of the Australian Cotton Shippers Association.