A number of leather shoe producers in Greater Jakarta and East Java may be forced to suspend operations due to a government ban on leather imports from China.

The ban, in place since October 5, could affect production by about 13 manufacturers who depend on Chinese imports for about 60 per cent of their imported leather.

The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture placed an indefinite ban on the imports because of concerns about foot and mouth disease, which China has not issued a report on for years.

Although the ban was temporarily lifted in mid-October, only one shipment per importer has been allowed for the next three months.

According to Indonesian Footwear Association secretary-general Yudhi Komarudin, many of the imported leather materials are being held at the customs and excise office.

"The shoe industry cannot operate like that," the secretary-general told The Jarkata Post. "We cannot stock leather for the coming months as orders might vary in patter and colour. If we do so, we may suffer losses."

The Indonesian footwear industry employs about 24,000 workers, with its main export destinations including the United States, about 40 per cent, and Europe, 33 per cent.