Chinese demand drives rise in live exports
Chinese demand for Australian breeder bovine has provided a shot in the arm for WA’s live cattle market.
Department of Agriculture data shows Australian live cattle exports rose 19 per cent from 1.11 million head to 1.28 million last year on the back of 157,787 head being shipped to China.
China accounted for 78 per cent of Australia’s breeder cattle exports.
It came as cattle shipments from WA jumped from 263,038 head in 2018 to 297,895 head last year.
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Despite China’s rising demand for Australian cattle, Indonesia and Vietnam remained the top markets, and acquired 675,453 head and 266,795 head respectively.
WA Livestock Exporters’ Association chairman John Cunnington said cattle producers enjoyed upbeat export market conditions last year.
“Indonesia and Vietnam were again pillars for the cattle market,” he said.
“It shows the industry provides a great outlet for northern producers.”
There were 155,003 cattle which departed Fremantle Port, 110,987 were shipped from Broome, and 12,219 cattle left Geraldton Port last year.
At the Port of Port Hedland, 6447 cattle set sail and 13,239 left Port Wyndham.
Feeder cattle shipments rose to 846,540 head last year alongside mounting demand from Indonesia.
Slaughter cattle numbers also jumped about 17 per cent year-on-year to 277,863 head, primarily driven by growth to Vietnam.
A Meat and Livestock Australia report forecast demand for Australian cattle from South-East Asian countries to remain high.
However, MLA predicted cattle exports would be below one million head during the next four years “due to a severely depleted northern herd” as Australian cattle producers battled testing conditions.
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