A business association leader has warned that Indonesian exporters faced having to import empty containers at their own expense due to a drastic shortage of empties. Indonesia Footwear Association chairman Anton Supit said some export associations would negotiate with the Indonesian Shipowners' Association next week for a discount on imports of empty containers, the Jakarta Post reported. Mr Anton said Indonesian exports were threatened if the supply of empties did not improve soon. His comments coincide with reports by the Indonesian Textile Association that its members were about 150 boxes short of the 300 containers required for its exports to Europe last week. The economic crisis had forced some companies to abandon boxes in importing countries, with Djakarta Lloyd storing about 2,000 containers at five Australian ports because imports from Australia had slumped, the Jakarta Post said. Shipping officials said most lines were feeling the imbalance of the trade due to the Asian financial turmoil. Exports were booming while imports had been either reduced or come to a standstill. Firms which did not have hard currency to purchase raw materials had stopped importing and were turning to local raw materials where possible, the officials said.